Did you know that stress can have a profound negative effect on your physical health? Certified health coaches Kelly Palace and Maria Parker break down several ways stress in your life may be impacting your mental AND physical health -- and then offer tips to combat stress for a healthier outlook.
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Ways that Stress is Damaging
- Increased cortisol production. RESULTING IN weight gain (especially in the belly), inability to lose weight or gain muscle, and premature aging.
- Decreased nutrient absorption. RESULTING IN: feeling sluggish Due to decreased digestive enzyme production; decreased bile flow from the gallbladder, as well as decreased oxygenation and gastrointestinal blood flow.
- Decreased gut flora populations. RESULTING IN: feeling sluggish immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient deficiencies, and digestive distress.
- Increase in sodium and fluid retention. RESULTING IN: high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Decrease in thermic efficiency. RESULTING IN: decreased ability to burn calories.
- Decrease in thyroid hormone. RESULTING IN: decreasing the body's metabolic activity.
- Increase in blood cholesterol. RESULTING IN: raising LDL cholesterol levels.
- Increase in blood platelet aggregation. RESULTING IN: A major risk factor in heart disease.
- Decrease in sex hormones. RESULTING IN: lower sex drive, energy, and decrease muscle mass.
- Increase in inflammation. RESULTING IN: The basis of many ailments including brain and heart disease.
- Decrease in gastric emptying time. RESULTING IN: constipation and can be a risk factor in diseases of the colon.
- Increase in gastric emptying time. RESULTING IN: diarrhea, and food particles prematurely entering the small intestines -- a probable factor in food sensitivities, and various disease conditions.
- Increased food sensitivities. RESULTING IN: decreased immunity and leaky gut.
- Decrease in growth hormone. RESULTING IN: slower healing and rebuilding tissues and burning fat and building muscle.
- Increase in insulin resistance. RESULTING IN: unresponsive to insulin -- a factor in diabetes, weight gain, heart disease and aging.
- Increase in erratic function of LES (Lower esophageal sphincter). RESULTING IN: gastric reflux (heartburn).
- Increase in oxidative stress. RESULTING IN: Prematurely aging the body; a precursor to many diseases.
- Increased risk of osteoporosis. RESULTING IN: Bone density loss.
10 Tips to Manage Stress
- Control negative thoughts when uncertainty creeps in--stay in the present moment.
- Turn off the news -- take a news fast!
- Meditate or pray.
- Get into nature.
- Make sure you are getting good quality sleep.
- Find a community that uplifts you.
- Breathe deeply. Try the 4-4-8 cycle of 4 seconds in through the nose, hold for 4 seconds and breathe out through the mouth for 8 seconds slowly.
- Listen to uplifting music.
- Eat foods that are good for you. Consider cutting caffeine - it increases anxiety.
- Focusing on healthy, organic, fresh foods is so important for overall health.
- Listening to uplifting music reduces stress.
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