Stress Less

Tips to Help You Stress Less
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A healthy lifestyle can have a positive impact on our weight and overall health, but it can also help you manage stress. Changing your health and developing healthy habits can provide more energy, and it can help your brain work better, and it can help improve your sleep, all ways to improve stress levels.

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What Is Stress?

Stress is a normal part of life. You experience stress as a response to changes in your environment, your health or even feelings. Tension can be job-related or family health problems, but anxiety can be caused by positive changes as well such as a marriage, the birth of a baby, or a new home. When you feel anxious your body naturally reacts with physical, mental and emotional responses.
Common symptoms of stress include tension, anger, irritability, difficulty making decisions, loss of interest in normal activities, and loss of appetite. Additional symptoms that can be seen with stress are sleep problems, sadness, depression, and even body aches.

How Stress Can Affect Your Health

Ongoing stress can affect your health by causing or worsening many health problems, including: cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke.
Here are some healthy ways to cope with stress from the CDC.gov.


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Relaxation Techniques from nccih.nih.gov

What do we know about the effectiveness of relaxation techniques? Relaxation techniques may be helpful in managing a variety of health conditions, including anxiety associated with illnesses or medical procedures, insomnia, labor pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Psychological therapies, which may include relaxation techniques, can help manage chronic headaches and other types of chronic pain in children and adolescents. Relaxation techniques have also been studied for other conditions, but either they haven’t been shown to be useful, research results have been inconsistent, or the evidence is limited. Learn more


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Physical Activity Can Help Manage Stress AHA.org

Engage in daily physical activity. Regular physical activity can relieve mental and physical tension. Physically active adults have lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning. Physical activity can be a great source of pleasure, too. Try walking, swimming, biking or dancing every day.

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Move More

Get at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise four to five times a week. Physical wellbeing improves your overall health and it is also a defense against stress.


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Learn to Relax

There are many ways to relax such as deep breathing or muscle relaxation. While you may not always have the time to devote to these things daily. It is important to make relaxation a priority.


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Body, mind and spirit are linked together for optimum health. If one of these is out of balance, it is likely that your health will be affected. Yoga is a practice that addresses each of these components in order to maintain good health.
Read more...

By April Clark,
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Difficulty Sleeping?

"Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together." --Thomas Dekker Are you having difficulty falling asleep and or staying asleep? Insomnia is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even contribute to serious health problems. Stress often leads to sleep deprivation and lack of sleep can cause stress, a vicious cycle that can frustrate and exacerbate the problem. Simple changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can put a stop to sleepless nights.

Learn more

By April Clark
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All About Laughter Yoga

There are many different styles of yoga. Some of the more common types are Hatha, Ashtanga, and Bikram. Others include Aerial, Restorative, and Laughter yoga. To celebrate National Humor Month, I thought I’d highlight Laughter Yoga.

Keep Reading
By April Clark
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Does Chronic Stress Increase Appetite?

According to WebMd, for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite and induce weight gain. And WebMd adds “we
would like to blame all our weight gain on stress, but experts say that eating in response to stress can also be a learned habit, often, eating becomes what we do to relieve stress.”

Keep Reading
By Lighten Up Onslow
Healthy Habits to Successful Weight Loss
Avoid high-fat meals

Keep an eye out for meals that use the following words in their description: Au Gratin, Parmigiana, Tempura, Alfredo, creamy and Carbonara, because these meal descriptions usually mean a "high-fat" content.

Be mindful when you are eating

Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. In other words, sit down and pay attention to the food you are eating. Really enjoy each and every bite. If you're watching TV or working while you eat, you won't pay attention to what's going into your mouth and you might eat more than you should and enjoy it less.

Drink more water

Drink water instead of grabbing for a high-fat snack. Drinking six to eight glasses a day will help fill you up and help your waistline.

Ask for a "doggie-bag" before you eat

Ask your waiter for a take-home box before you begin to eat your restaurant meal and put half of your main course into the take-home box. Putting the food away before you start your meal will help you eat a more sensible portion and you'll have leftovers to take home for tomorrow.

Leave something on your plate

Challenge yourself to leave half of your sandwich on your plate, remove the bun from your burger or eat only half your spaghetti and meatballs. You might find out that you are satisfied eating only half-of-a- portion and not to consume the rest of your meal.

And most important - Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

If you’ve been following our tips, you know that in addition to eating the appropriate amount of calories, increasing your exercise activity can be the key to helping you lose weight. In fact, a Duke University study suggests that you should walk for 45 minutes a day. The study found that “while 30 minutes of daily walking is enough to prevent weight gain in most relatively sedentary people, exercise beyond 30 minutes results in weight and fat loss. Evidently walking 45 minutes can burn an additional 300 calories a day which could help you lose 30 pounds in a year without even changing how much you’re eating.

All About Laughter Yoga
By April Clark

There are many different styles of yoga. Some of the more common types are Hatha, Ashtanga, and Bikram. Others include Aerial, Restorative, and Laughter yoga. To celebrate National Humor Month, I thought I’d highlight Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga was started by Dr. Madan Kataria in 1995; it combines gentle yoga breathing and simulated unconditional laughter. When the simulated laughter is practiced in a group setting, it soon gets an energy all its own and evolves into genuine laughter. Some of the benefits of this form of yoga include:

- General health. The health benefits of laughter are extensive. After laughing, the positive effects can last up to 45 minutes, benefiting the cardiovascular system and even reducing blood pressure. Indeed, studies have shown that people suffering from heart disease are 40 percent less likely to laugh in many situations compared to people without heart disease. Laughter even speeds healing.
- Stress relief. Laughter can be a healthy way to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as fostering a positive attitude and feeling of happiness. Within minutes of laughing, stress levels drop.
- Boosted immune function. Laugher can help our immune response by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells and disease-fighting proteins called gamma interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies.
- Aerobic conditioning. The regular practice of Laughter Yoga can be good for your heart, diaphragm, abdominal, intercostals, respiratory, and facial muscles. As part of the “workout" of laughter, endorphins are released, the body's natural painkillers, which foster a sense of well-being.

While I don’t practice Laughter Yoga personally, I appreciate a good laugh and realize its many benefits to physical and mental health. Remember, the importance of laughter and a positive mood on our health can’t be overestimated. Sometimes, a good laugh can be just the prescription the doctor ordered.

Does Chronic Stress Increase Appetite?

According to WebMd, for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite and induce weight gain. And WebMd adds “we would like to blame all our weight gain on stress, but experts say that eating in response to stress can also be a learned habit, often, eating becomes what we do to relieve stress.”

For most of us, stress is a way of life and getting your kids ready for school in the morning, receiving a late email from your boss about a report that is due in the morning or rushing to get the yard done when suddenly the lawn mower breaks... 
We feel pressured about getting it all done and it can certainly take its toll on you, 
your body and your diet. And we all know, stress can affect how well you take care of yourself and stay on track with your healthy lifestyle changes.

Evidently, when stress hits, it triggers our neuroendocrine system this system and that activates a series of hormones meant to give us the biochemical strength we need to fight or flee the stressors. But, unlike our ancestors, these chemicals aren't serving our bodies well in the 21st century and can lead not only to weight gain, but a tendency to store fat around the midsection. These fat cells that can lie deep within the abdomen have been linked to an increase in both diabetes and heart disease.

To further complicate matters, the "fuel" our muscles need during the "fight or flight" syndrome is sugar which is one reason why we crave carbohydrates when we are stressed, says endocrinologist Riccardo Perfetti, MD, PhD.

Tips to Help You Deal with Every Day Stress

1. Exercise every day. It is by far one of the best stress-buster and it burns calories.
2. Eat a well-balanced diet and don't skip meals. 
3. Get your sleep. Not getting enough sleep can increase stress and your appetite. When you’re tired, your body will crave "sugar" for energy and you may end up overeating.
And, most important: Devote time to relaxation

 

 

The content of Lighten Up Onslow, Onslow Memorial Hospital and its affiliates, is not a substitute for medical advice.  We encourage you to please consult your primary care provider  before beginning any exercise program or nutrition plan,  especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical condition, or are taking any medication.  We do not endorse the use of any specific product, service or business, including but not limited to supplements, meal replacement products, diet plans, exercise equipment, health and fitness businesses, etc.  The contents on our website are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

 

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