Health

Stress and the Balanced Body

Stress causes so many negative reactions in our body chemically, which in turn brings forth symptoms such as poor sleep or insomnia, mood swings and depression, and anxiety. Worse yet, most of us are so used to running ourselves ragged and altering our chemistry with stimulants such as caffeine (as I write this I’m sipping on my morning cappuccino) that we fail to notice we’re burnt out until it’s almost too late.

Case in point, I didn’t pay attention to what stress was doing to my body until the bags under my eyes showed up and decided to stay. It was vanity that made me stop and pay attention and wonder, what’s going on?

Let’s get real: this isn’t about being less stressed. Stress isn’t going to go away. This is about figuring out how to better support your body so it can cope.

First, let’s look at what this stress thing is all about. Your adrenal glands respond to stress – they’re responsible for what we call the “fight or flight” mechanism of our body. The adrenal glands ready our body in case we need to run from a predator, our in this case deal with everyday high tech stress. Our healthy adrenal glands respond by releasing adrenaline, which makes us more alert and focused, and cortisol, which converts protein to energy and releases our stored sugar, glycogen, so our bodies have the fuel needed to respond quickly. (Excess cortisol leads to belly fat, by the way. But more about that another time!)

However, this process was meant to be a means by which we would handle an immediate threat. We were not meant to sustain the adrenal reaction to stress over a duration of time, or as consistently as we do in our modern technological always on lives.

Adaptogens are natural products proposed to increase the body’s resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue.

… Now, many of my friends don’t believe in supplementing their body’s needs by taking natural products such as vitamins and minerals. You know, we’re supposed to get our nutrition from our food. While I agree in theory, I have to say there are several counters to that traditional belief. First, what do you eat every day? Are you eating a healthy, nutritious and well balanced diet? What about the food you’re eating, is it fresh, raw , and nutrient rich? Do you remember that Total cereal commercial where they showed how many bowls of that “other cereal” you’d have to eat to match the “total nutrition” in just one bowl of Total? Yeah… better start eating and make a permanent reservation for the Rainbow Grocery produce aisle!…

So, back to adaptogens. If you’re interested in getting your body back under control, this is your first place to start. I take 2 capsules of New Chapter’s Stress Advantage immediately when I get up in the morning. It’s important to take it right away because your stress level and your bodies “alert level” has a baseline that is set when you first get up. It’s kind of like the National Security Alert Advisory being set each morning. Take two and cut your feeling of stress and anxiety off right away. This particular formula strengthens the cardiovascular, adrenal and immune system response to stress by means of the world’s most powerful adaptogens from Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, and Russian traditional medical systems. Better yet, New Chapter makes their formulas are from whole-food complex vitamins and minerals certified as being made with organic ingredients. This means a better quality, more effective product for faster and more noticeable results. I noticed a significant effect in how I felt just a few days after taking it (2 in the AM, 1 in afternoon).

Meanwhile, when you’re under stress, you burn through your bodies resources like crazy, namely your vitamins and minerals. You should be taking a daily vitamin, and I suggest using only those made by the highest quality. I lean to Nature’s Sunshine for pretty much all my nutritional supplements, and you now know I’m also a fan of New Chapter. Check out New Chapter’s Every Woman or Every Man daily supplement. Their daily formulas deliver nutritive and energizing probiotic vitamins and minerals as well as stress-balancing and free-radical scavenging herbs cultured for maximum effectiveness. (Probiotics are the good bacteria that you’re hearing about in all the yogurt commercials lately.)

Lastly, there are the basics. Drink plenty of water so that your body can flush toxins and stay hydrated. Try to get consistent good sleep each night for approximately 8 hours. I’m not going to debate “how much you need” here. Just try to sleep more and in the same consistent time frame. Lay off the caffeine, and if you can’t manage that, at least layoff in the afternoon so you don’t affect your sleep. Eat well—fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and whatnot. Stay away from things in packages and boxes that are laden with preservatives and have been enriched, bleached, and modified, especially with fake sugars.

If you try out this program, please let me know how it works for you!

A Word of Caution: Remember, these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products, and my advice, are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. As with any dietary or herbal supplement, you should advise your health care practitioner of the use of this product. If you are nursing, pregnant, or considering pregnancy, you should consult your health care practitioner prior to using this product.

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