Want to Live Long? Beat Stress

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

If you want to be healthy, you must have an anti-stress strategy in place.

Just like you plan your diet, your weekends, and even your retirement, you also need a solid plan to reduce stress in your life.

In fact, your health pretty much depends on it.

As a society, we generally don’t handle stress very well … it handles us. And it does quite a number, leading to a host of health problems.

Lucky for us, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Your Life Depends on an Anti-Stress Plan

Stress can literally shorten your telomeres, the caps found at the ends of your DNA strands.

Your telomeres are kind of like the “time clock” in your body. The shorter they are, the shorter your life span is likely to be.

So all that extra stress you have? It can literally shave years off of your life.

You Create the Stress, You Can Destroy It

All that stress you’re feeling — you may very well be creating it. How’s that for irony?

Your thoughts ultimately make a big difference in how stressed out you feel. Take it from me, I can literally stress myself out with just my thoughts.

I’m admittedly a “type A,” perfectionist, glass-is-half-empty kind of person. If you’re anything like me, you need to try to look at things in a positive light … if you want to be (and stay) healthy.

Positive thinking is a must. It helps to ease and prevent stress. And yes — positive thinking
can be learned.

Before your brain classifies something as stressful, you have to think that it is. Your thoughts are what signal your body to react in a stressful way. So that means you are nothing short of instrumental in managing your own stress.

How to Manage Stressful Thoughts

Stress is often the result of negative or overblown thoughts. Our minds can effortlessly warp situations and make them seem way more stressful than they actually are.

So, next time you’re faced with a stressful situation, ask yourself these questions. It may be all in your head...really.

  1. Can this wait?
    We create stress when we feel we have to get things done quickly. Chances are, whatever it is, it CAN wait. Stress = urgency.

  2. Is this worth having a heart attack over?
    When you feel your teeth clenched up, ask yourself this: Is this worth a heart attack down the line? In reality, nothing is worth the heart attack, right?

  3. Five years from now, will this matter?
    Is this “important matter” really going to make a difference in a few years? How does it relate to the bigger picture in your life? This “problem” might actually be rather small, if you really think about it.

  4. Am I living one day at a time?
    Sometimes we get stressed out because we’re thinking too far into the future. The future can wait and so can your plans. It’s actually MUCH less stressful to live in the moment.

The Stress Busting Basics

Oh yes, and let’s not forget the obvious. Are you eating right, sleeping right, and exercising? Do you have any leisure time at all?

When was the last time you went on a vacation? Do you do anything that you actually like? These are really important questions to ask yourself.

Basically, you need to be sure you're making choices that actually make your life enjoyable. You simply have to, if you want to live long.

Supplements to Help Manage Stress

A number of supplements can have a big impact on minimizing stress. Taking them regularly can really make a difference in how your body responds to circumstances.

The first goal with supplements is to help your brain’s production of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter which helps to wind down your nervous system.

These supplements help support GABA production:

  • Magnesium
  • L-theanine
  • Lemon balm
  • B vitamins
Next, your adrenal glands modulate the stress hormone cortisol and the “flight or fight” response in your body. They’re bean-shaped organs that sit right on top of your kidneys.

If you want to feel less stressed, you have to give your adrenal glands a little TLC too. Here are a few supplements that support healthy adrenal activity:

  • Holy Basil
  • Ashwagandha
  • Vitamin C
  • Phosphatidylserine

What about You?

Stress is a number one killer. Do you have an anti-stress plan in place? Please tell us what's been working for you in the comments!

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1 comments:

NorthQueensland said...

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