This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have over 20 years experience in helping people improve their health.
I help people get healthy, and more importantly, stay that way so they're not miserable and just slowly dying for the last 20 years of their lives, which IS the "norm" today.
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I got quite a few emails after the last newsletter from people saying that it's just not possible to remove the stressors from their lives.
Hey, I get it. It's tough. But you gotta. Your health depends on it. If you don't, you'll pay for it sooner or later.
I love the people that think I have all kinds of spare time because I have my own business and I'm only working in the pharmacy 2 days a week. Every entrepreneur knows how laughable that is. I would have much more time (and way less stress) if I just worked full time in the pharmacy. I've never been so busy and had so much to do since I started my health coaching business. In fact, I had to make the decision a few months back that I needed to slow down my business growth. I struggled with the decision for weeks and I didn't want to, but I knew that my health would suffer (as well as time with my family) if I didn't scale it back a bit. It means
delaying my goals for a few years, but I know now it was the right decision. I feel much better and am much happier.
You see, knowing what I know about stress and what it does to you, I made it a priority because I was already starting to see the early effects of chronic stress. Hey, I've personally witnessed how it has affected my clients, which was a major factor in them needing my services in the first place. I was not about to put myself in that situation.
I still have stress, don't get me wrong. But it's not too much anymore and I use some techniques to help my body manage it...
7 Stress-Reducing Techniques
Last time I discussed some strategies to get rid of some of your stressors. I hope you took some time to actually think about how you can change your situation to lower the stress in your life.
Most people are unable to remove most of the stress from their lives (at least in the short term), but like I said, this is your life and you need to optimize it so that you can be happy and enjoy it, not to mention avoid the health problems that inevitably happen when there is chronic stress. If you don’t learn to effectively minimize your stress, your body will force you to slow down via health problems.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with the stress that you can’t get rid of:
- Belly breathing. breathe deeply through your nose so that your belly moves out on the inhale and in on the exhale. Do this for 30-60 seconds as often as you remember. The physical movement of your diaphragm turns off the sympathetic nervous
system (stress) and turns on the parasympathetic system (relaxing).
The beauty of this is that you can do it anywhere with nobody even knowing.
- Time Out. Just like we do with toddlers. Take 5-15 minutes to be on your own and just relax. Ideally you would do some belly breathing and focus on your breaths. Do you need to shut your door at work for 10 minutes twice a day so you’re not constantly “on”?
Not having time to yourself is also a stressor, no matter how much you like the company.
- Meditate. You knew this was coming right? It’s easier to do than you think (like the above point where you’re focussing only on your breaths- that’s a form of meditation). Whatever stops you from thinking about all the other crap that’s stressing you out…
There’s lots of guided meditation videos on YouTube, where you focus on the person’s voice and what they’re telling you to do. No need to spend a lifetime
learning how to clear your mind…
This is especially effective if you have difficulty sleeping because you can’t turn your brain off…
- Sleep. Couldn’t resist. Not sleeping at least 7 hours/night or not sleeping between the hours of 10pm and 2pm accelerate the effects of stress.
- Laugh. Hard. A good belly laugh also turns on the parasympathetic nervous system. So watch a hilarious movie, go out with your funny friends…
- Have good posture. Most people are slouchers and spending a day at the computer also shrinks your posture. Sitting up straight and putting your shoulders back opens up your lungs and helps you breathe better.
- Gratitude Journal. Take 1-3 minutes at the beginning or the end of your day and reflect on the positive things that happened to you in the last day (even if it’s only someone holding the door for you). Focussing on positive things is a powerful
Note: You must actually put it in writing though. Studies show it to be much more effective than just thinking about it. Bonus: you can look through it when you’re feeling particularly crummy to get you positive again.
- Do more things that make you happy. Sounds simplified doesn’t it? Think about it though- what are you doing that YOU want to do? For most people, it’s nothing.
Make a list of the things that make you happy. Maybe it’s playing a certain sport, or a hobby like gardening or fishing, or playing a card or video game, or dancing, listening to music or even a massage. Then make a commitment to do it regularly. (ie: schedule it into your daytimer like an appointment)
Stress management simplified: do more of what makes you happy and less of what doesn’t.
Another Grateful Customer...
I have so much more energy and willingness to participate in activities than I did before. I can play a full game of basketball without subbing out if we are short of players. One comment I overheard recently from an opposing team's player as she was subbing out was "watch out because she is really quick!" I didn't think I'd ever hear that in reference to me!
This past year we've taken two vacations - I was able to wear a bathing suit on the beach and not feel like everyone was looking at me and making some derogatory comment. It is very possible to continue with the program while on vacation (with a few allowances so you don't completely deprive yourself!)
I believe I had such success because my husband and I were both doing the program together. Also, we were given vital information on nutrition, exercise and the science behind supplements in moderate doses so we weren't overwhelmed.
Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...
Eight Words with two Meanings
1. THINGY (thing-ee) n.
Female... Any part under a car's hood.
Male... The strap fastener on a woman's bra.
2. VULNERABLE (vul-ne-ra-bel) adj.
Female... Fully opening up one's self emotionally to another.
Male... Playing football without a cup.
3. COMMUNICATION (ko-myoo-ni-kay-shon) n.
Female... The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one's partner.
Male... Leaving a note before taking off on a fishing trip with the boys.
4. COMMITMENT (ko-mit-ment) n.
Female... A desire to get married and raise a family.
Male... Trying not to hit on other women while out with this one.
5. ENTERTAINMENT (en-ter-tayn-ment) n.
Female... A good movie, concert, play or book.
Male... Anything that can be done while drinking beer.
6. FLATULENCE (flach-u-lens) n.
Female... An embarrassing byproduct of indigestion.
Male... A source of entertainment, self-expression, male bonding.
7. MAKING LOVE (may-king luv) n.
Female... The greatest expression of intimacy a couple can achieve .
Male... Call it whatever you want, just as long as we do it.
8. REMOTE CONTROL (ri-moht kon-trohl) n.
Female... A device for changing from one TV channel to another.
Male... A device for scanning through all 375 channels every 5 minutes