(NaturalHealth365) Is chronic stress slowly killing you? Everyone is under stress during the course of the day as they pursue their life endeavors. But, some individuals allow the daily stresses to beat them down while others seem to thrive in the midst of their stress.
The way you think, move and eat will play a significant role in your ability to thrive under stress.
Mental and emotional stress has the ability to elevate an individual’s life or to destroy it. The result depends upon the preparation, adaptation and recovery process the individual is able to go through with the particular stressor.
Hans Selye developed the term “stress” and defined it as a “non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” Stress can be very positive for the body and that is called “Eu-Stress.” An example of eustress would be high-intensity exercise where the body is aggressively challenged but later adapts and becomes stronger and more resilient through that stress.
Distress refers to either an enormous stress or chronic stress that the body is unable to effectively adapt too. Distress overwhelms the body and leads to unsuccessful adaptation and accelerated aging processes.
About 80 percent of our daily stressors can be used as eustressors that enhance our functionality. Here are the key steps and advanced strategies to adapt to stress more effectively and take your distress and turn it into eustress.
Changing your mindset
Adapting well to stress begins with your mindset. Most people are focusing too much on their stress and worry about all the uncertainties in their life. To thrive under stress you must have confidence that you can overcome the hurdle. Developing prayers and affirmative statements that instill hope can infuse you with new found energy that helps you think more creatively and innovately about the unique challenge.
One advanced strategy to help you overcome the mental hurdles would be anchoring on previous successes. We have all had success at certain times in our life and if you can recall a great success you had that gave you a great emotional charge than you can anchor in empowering emotions. Simply take time to visualize and re-experience the success and the emotional charge and then anchor it into your physical body through a certain posturism or physical activity. An example would be to clench your fist or draw your shoulders back as you experience the emotional charge.
Repeat this visualization and activity again and again until you can recall the emotional charge immediately when you do the physical activity that is anchored to it. This gives you incredible mental-emotional leverage that you can use anytime you feel over-burdened or stressed about a life circumstance.
Challenge your body
High-intensity fitness enhances our ability to thrive under stress. When you train at 100 percent of your maximal intensity level for short periods of time – it stimulates the body to work more efficiently at those very high rates. High intensity training increases one’s reserve capacity or the ability to effectively raise heart rate and breathing rates very quickly and efficiently.
Individuals with lower reserve capacity are more at risk for anxiety attacks, passing out and hyperventilating. Improving reserve capacity enhances an individual’s ability to adapt to stressful events with greater ease and composure.
Sprints and other high-intensity work has been shown to improve oxygen uptake better than endurance training. The body adapts to intense training by adding new capillaries, developing stronger heart and lung tissue, adding more energy producing mitochondria and increasing the bodies’ tolerance to high levels of lactic acid accumulation.
Using adaptogenic herbs
Herbal adaptogens are especially good at helping the body to modulate stress levels. They do this by modulating the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Some of the best adaptogenic herbs are holy basil, ashwaghanda, ginseng and astragalus.
One of the key components, that adaptogenic herbs offer, is their ability to lower and stabilize cortisol levels. High cortisol drains the precursors to major hormones such as testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. With less than adequate raw materials, the body becomes hormone deficient. This process rapidly accelerates the aging process and makes an individual’s life miserable.
Healthy individuals have stable cortisol levels that naturally spike in the morning and then level off and stay consistently low during the day before tapering at night. This allows us to wake up with energy in the morning and maintain that energy until nightfall when we should naturally be gearing down and getting ready for sleep. Stable cortisol levels result in improved mental clarity and memory. The individual feels as though they are less agitated and anxious and therefore able to perform better and have higher quality of life.
Adaptogens can be used in herbal tinctures and teas, whole-food based supplements or fermented in organic acid bases. The fermentation with organic acids enhances the absorption of the unique adaptogenic nutrients in these super herbs.
About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information – visit: DrJockers.com. Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.
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