It never fails to amaze us at HealthWise how often stress creeps into people’s lives without them knowing. Anything from worries about your work targets, financial pressure, sitting in traffic each day or relationship issues can all place stress on your body and you may be too busy to notice it happening. When the cause of the stress is out of your control and unresolved, it can be carried in the body contributing to ill health.
Research tells us that prolonged stress does play a major part in illness. Lowered immunity leading to colds and flus, slow healing wounds, poor memory, disturbed sleep, headaches, muscular pain, digestive disorders and high blood pressure are just some of the signs associated with chronic stress.
Learning to manage the inevitable stresses in your life is a must for good health.
Here are some essential tips for maintaining a more relaxed, healthful lifestyle:
Magnesium – this mineral is deficient in most people’s diets. Magnesium calms nerve function; harmonises mental and emotional imbalances including irritability, depression, sleep disorders and PMS; relaxes tight muscles; supports digestive elimination and a lot more. Food sources of magnesium include raw nuts, whole grains, vegetable greens, legumes and sea vegetables.
Herbal medicine – There are a number of herbs that assist you to cope with stress. Withania is one of the ginsengs which also has a calming effect. St John’s Wort has been popularised for depression but is also a superior nervine tonic. Lavender dates back centuries to the Romans and has a long history in calming those under stress. As stress affects us all individually, David and Zam can tailor a herbal formula specifically for you.
Diet – Recent research has shown that stress actually makes us crave junk food. However, by supporting yourself with a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and good quality proteins and fats you will be in a position for dealing with stress more easily without needing to reach for the double coated Tim-tams.
Exercise – A short walk at lunchtime, playing squash after work, or a martial arts class might be just what you need to get your body moving and shifting that tension that has accumulated in your neck, shoulders and the rest of your body.
‘You’ time – this may be one of the most important and hardest things to do. Make time each week for peaceful, relaxing time just for you. This is often difficult to do at home with partners, children or even the housework vying for your time. If this is the case, book yourself a weekly treatment to help yourself unwind – it could be cupping, acupuncture or counselling. Yoga, tai chi and meditation classes are also good ‘you’ time.