To some of us, the stresses of the holidays are just part of the chaos that makes up the holiday season, and we can take it with a grain of salt. But to many of us, the holidays are a very unhealthy time. Stress ( from shopping , cleaning and cooking for Passover ) has been shown to raise heart rate and blood pressure levels. Even after the holidays are over, we have the stress of paying the bills for all the kosher for Pesach food that we have purchased and we are beginning to think about paying and doing our taxes.
Every challenge to the mind and body creates a demand on the adrenal glands, the walnut-sized glands located on top of each kidney. These glands release a particular group of hormones that bring about physiological changes that help our body cope with stress. When these hormones are released over a long period of time they have negative effects. They can contribute to insomnia, belly fat production, weight gain, high blood pressure, migraines and poor immune function.
Taking active steps to beat stress and calm your nervous system is essential for optimal health. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to take the edge off in stressful situation. During times of stress, most of us take shallow breaths from our chest. Abdominal breathing is much healthier, more relaxing way to breathe. Just four deep belly breaths will do the trick and get your body out of the “flight or fight mode” so common with stress. Simply inhale for four seconds (while expanding your stomach like you are filling up a balloon) and then exhale for four seconds. Pause for two seconds before the next breath and breathe this way for a minimum of four breaths. Studies have shown that massage increases endorphin release, which is excellent for treating anxiety. Going for a massage during your lunch hour or after work may do you a world of good. Many nail salons offer 10 minute mini-massages. Done on a regular basis, yoga and meditation combat abnormal responses to stress.
It is important to take care of your adrenal glands so they respond appropriately to stressful situations. Consumption of caffeine, tobacco products and alcohol are believed to exhaust the adrenals. Also, high fat diets and diets loaded with sugar should be avoided since they put the adrenals through an unneeded workout. Eating a well balanced diet, having a solid workout regimen and proper hydration all help the health of the adrenal glands.
Pure Encapsulations ‘ Phyto-ADR Formula can assist in keeping the adrenal glands healthy . Their Cortisol Calm Formula may help reduce anxiety. Order them online at HeleneKaplanHealth.com
Questions? Contact me at HeleneKaplan@yahoo.com or 516-538-6799.
***These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure disease.