What is Stress Management?
Stress is pervasive in this culture currently. It involves the automatic overreaction of a part of the nervous system to a perceived threat from outside or inside the individual person. As a result of the threat, a message is sent to the adrenals to dump stress chemicals that cause wide-ranging affects on the body.
- increased heart rate and blood flow,
- constriction of blood vessels under the skin,
- dilation of the pupils,
- and increased availability of blood sugar and lipids.
is part of the ‘fight or flight’ response getting
us to ready to fight a perceived threat or run away from
it. This was really helpful in cavemen times, but now, we
no longer need to fight or flee to survive (at least not
most of the time). Unfortunately, the body is hard wired
with this response and it occurs automatically as a result
of any ‘perceived’ threat, the number of which
seem to have multiplied in modern times. If you
have a lot of responsibilities and worries, you may be running
on stress a good portion of the time—launching into
emergency mode with every traffic jam, phone call from the
in-laws, or segment of the evening news. But the problem
with the stress response is that the more it’s activated,
the harder it is to shut off. Instead of leveling off once
the crisis has passed, your stress hormones, heart rate,
and blood pressure remain elevated. Furthermore, extended
or repeated activation of the stress response takes a heavy
toll on the body. Prolonged exposure to stress increases
your risk of everything from heart disease, obesity, and
infection to anxiety, depression, and memory problems. Because
of the widespread damage it can cause, it’s essential
to learn how to deal with stress in a more positive way and
reduce its impact on your daily life.
Stress is a major factor in most of the visits people make to the doctor’s office. Managing stress is therefore one of the most important elements in wellness. There are many different approaches to Stress Management. It can involve, for instance, improved diet, exercise, herbal medicines, supplements, relaxation (breathing, meditation, tai chi, yoga, etc.), affirmations, visualization, assertiveness training, correcting cognitive distortions and analyzing thought patterns. A major aspect of Stress Management is to alter our perception of the external environment so that everything we encounter does not seem to pose a threat.
There are many things you can do to alleviate the symptoms of depression naturally.
- Talk about your problems and find ways to change your circumstances. Consider therapy with a Licensed Counselor (especially an MFT – they use very practical techniques like giving homework) to help you to make the changes that you need.
- Regular exercise (at least four times a week). Just going for a walk or run is very helpful, particularly concentrating on your surroundings!
- Eating certain foods will also help to raise serotonin levels. Good examples are oats, turkey, milk, pasta and other carbohydrate-rich foods.
- Look after yourself and learn to say 'No'.
- Regular Detox periods are very helpful to clear the system of pollutants and certain metals that are absorbed from the atmosphere and may contribute to the symptoms of depression. Juicing is a very helpful way to get there easily. Buy a good juicer and concentrate on greens and beets (if not hypoglycemic), but be careful not to overdo it. They are very powerful even in small quantities!
- Healthy diet (sufficient Vitamin B6 and B12, magnesium, iron, zinc and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids). Eating 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables can help you get there quickly.