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Alternative Medicine: Simple steps to manage stress July 22, 2007

Posted by Dreamhealer in Health.
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Dreamhealer Blog

While most people recognize that stress affects our mental and emotional states, it also is important to note how it affects us physically. Poorly managed stress often is associated with common health complaints such as high blood pressure, diabetes, digestive disorders, headaches and autoimmune diseases. Working to decrease the level of stress we experience has the power to directly affect our quality of life.Stress

Although it isn’t likely that all stress can be eliminated from our lives, it is possible to control how we react to it. Realizing that the stressors we often face are there not only to be a negative aspect to dwell on, but they also give us the opportunity to learn, change and grow in ways we may never have thought possible.

Here are a few recommendations on how to better manage stress and help minimize its adverse effects on our overall health and well being:

  • Decrease the use of caffeine and other stimulants. These chemicals activate the sympathetic nervous system, which decreases the body’s ability to relax.
  • Eat regular, healthy meals. Stress is known to affect a person’s biochemistry in a way that depletes many nutrients, such as vitamins B and C, at a much faster rate. Also, waiting too long between meals can increase production of stress hormones.
  • Exercise. Exercise helps to positively affect our hormonal response to stress, and improves our overall strength and endurance to get through the day.
  • Relax. Deep breathing, visualization, long walks and yoga are just a few of the many ways we can get ourselves into the relaxation mode. There are many ways to manage stress, but finding one that you enjoy is the key to making a lifelong habit.— Michele Campbell, ND resident in naturopathic medicine Bastyr Center for Natural Health Bastyr is a non-profit, private university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees, with a multidisciplinary curriculum in science-based natural medicine. The university’s Seattle teaching clinic, Bastyr Center for Natural Health, is the Northwest’s largest natural medicine clinic. Go to bastyr.edu or bastyrcenter.org.
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