By Rose Czyrny – Contributing Writer
So much emphasis is on gift giving, attending holiday parties and finding time to do your holiday shopping this time of year that our stress levels soar – when we should be enjoying the holidays.
What can we do to reduce stress?
Let’s take a look at what goes on within our bodies when we get stressed:
- Digestion stops. The adrenal glands become exhausted and we crave sugar and simple carbohydrates. We feed our body sugar or carbs for the quick burst of energy. This is a false and temporary fix, our insulin levels peak, and the body stops burning fat and calories.
- The acid levels in our body soar as we stress, bringing our immune system down, inviting illness to make matters worse. This makes us irritable, and our muscles and joints become sore.
- Our blood pressure rises and health problems intensify.
What can we do to eliminate stress?
1. Just say no: You will feel better when you say it! We tend to take on too much; prioritize and simplify your life.
2. Practice yogic breathing every day: Our bodies are oxygen starved. We are upper lung breathers. When we get stressed, we hold our breath, bringing in less oxygen. Soften your belly. Inhale slowly through your nose, filling your lungs completely. Exhale slowly through your nose, drawing your navel into your spine. Do this as many times as it takes until you begin to feel relaxed. Practice this two to three times a day. Did you know this helps promote weight loss?
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff: I know you’ve heard this before but it’s true. Is worrying about something going to change the outcome?
5. Water is key: Drink half your weight in filtered water. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, drink 60 ounces. And add lemon to your water. Contrary to what you may think, lemon is alkalizing when it mixes with the body’s chemistry. Adding it to one or two glasses a day will reduce your acidity. Always drink 6 ounces of water with lemon the first thing in the morning.
6. Take time to notice your posture: Are you drawing your shoulders up to your ears when you get stressed? This causes tightness in the muscles around the neck and shoulders, causing discomfort and pain. Lift up your heart and loosen up.
7. Try eye palming: Rub your hands together and gently place the bottom of your palms to your eye sockets. (If you have detached retinal problems, this one is not for you.) Hold there, applying to pressure, for up to 5 minutes. Remove your hands gently and slowly blink the eyes. This is great for children or adults on the computer or doing intricate work. Our eyes become strained and tired. This yogic exercise is wonderful.
8. Exercise: Brisk walking or cardiovascular exercise has always been a good choice for eliminating stress.
9. Consume Celtic or Himalayan Sea Salt: Our body needs trace minerals for optimal health and stress reduction.
10. Carry a horse chestnut with you: The properties – energy and herbal – are absorbed by the skin and will bring the body back into polarity. When we get stressed, our polarity gets short-circuited.
Rose Czyrny is a certified holistic health practitioner who teaches yoga, herbal nutrition and other wellness practices at her business, Body Glyphix, in Wales Center.