There’s good stress … and then there’s bad stress. Do you know the difference? And how are you dealing with yours? It’s important to be aware of what stresses you out, so you can build a relationship with your biggest stressor and manage the way you react to them.
You’re not alone when it comes to stress. We all have different stress in our life, but chronic stress will wreak havoc on your health. We do know that stress can keep you up at night, increase your blood sugar, make you look older and contribute to knocking you off your ‘A-game’ at work. But the worse is that it causes inflammation in the body. There is also a new study that suggests when you eat a high calorie and high fat meal while you’re stressed, you can also cause your body to burn fewer calories (insert hand slap on forehead).
So the question remains, how do we get rid of stress?
Short answer: You can’t.
Long answer: Life is inevitable and not static; therefore, you should always be on your toes and learn to ‘go with the flow.’ Easier said than done, right? It’s not the stress in life that will hurt us, it’s the way we react to it.
There is more and more evidence that stress matters. It translates in our blood sugar readings and alters our microbiome. Aside from environmental stress and personal stress there is also another factor that effects inflammation = DIET! Both diet and stress can alter inflammation in the body. That’s important because chronic inflammation is linked to a litany of health problems including heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Just eat healthier food. Have you had someone tell you that? What does that mean to you? Just thinking about changing your diet can make you stressed. Eating well for you may not mean the same thing for your spouse or your kids and so on. Nourishing your body with the right food will give you the energy you need to tackle what life brings you, includingbody has different nutritional requirements, and each dietary plan should be based on an understanding of your unique mind-body type (also known as brain-gut axis). If you’re stressed out, what you’re eating is a great thing to look at, as different mind-body types are triggered by different foods. It’s important to make conscious eating choices with your unique self in mind.
I work with a variety of patients and I am constantly learning new things from them. Here is a short list I put together from my client’s comments of ways to manage stress:
Meditate: This may be a hard one, but meditation can be a great way to relax. Shut off your brain and focus on yourself. Research has shown that meditation can be helpful in lowering heart rate and blood pressure, and even improving cognitive performance. Give yourself at least 15 minutes each day to relax and meditate.
Drink hot tea: Green tea is very soothing and also promotes relaxation. Drink green tea or herbal teas, and avoid highly caffeinated beverages, since increased caffeine can worsen the stress response.
Listen to music: Listening to soothing music can be very relaxing—and slow tempos in particular can induce a calm state of mind. (It can also slow down breathing and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relax tense muscles too). This can be particularly beneficial when you’re getting ready for a tough day at work, or if you’re in your car stuck in traffic, or, if you’re lying in bed trying to free your mind of stressful thoughts.
Take a hot bath: Heat relaxes muscles—and taking a long bath can be soothing for the mind as well. Stock up on your favorite bath salts and soaps, get a bath pillow, and decorate the room with candles.
Exercise daily: Exercise helps to boost endorphin’s and reduce stress. It is recommended that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day is enough to reduce stress symptoms.
Remember to be good to yourself. Have a list of motivational sayings that inspire and strengthen your resolve. Use affirmations daily to help you feel good about yourself and your goals in life. When stress hits you next, rise to the occasion and show life who’s boss!
Stress can also sabotage healthy behaviors that could support weight loss and/or blood sugar goals. Let this serve as a reminder to shoot for healthier choices every day so that when stress gets in your way you’re starting in a better place.
Don’t know where to start? Reach out to me. Here at Healing Diabetes Naturally, I’ll help you come up with a strategy to reduce stress and help you overcome barriers that could be leading to stress. Then we will dive into your eating habits and make adjustments as needed. Leave a comment or send me an email and let me know what questions you have: