5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 5)

12 January 2013

Are you in a rut? Are you feeling like you’re losing your “touch”? Is complacency becoming the norm? Maybe what you need are some basic lifestyle changes. In the coming days we will review five suggestions for the New Year to help improve your health and overall wellbeing – helpful advice that may also initiate a sense of self-renewal and give you more energy, which in turn will give you a whole new outlook on life.

To review part 1, click on: Go on a cleanse or detox diet.

To review part 2, click on: Improve your dietary choices

To review part 3, click on: Find a daily activity that insures you’re getting enough exercise.

To review part 4, click on: Pick one habit or trait that is detrimental to your health and eliminate it.

Here’s part 5…

5. Find a practical technique to reduce stress in your life.

Did you know that a recent scientific study conducted by cellular biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton at Stanford University concluded that “over 95% of all illnesses occur because of stress in the body’s autonomic nervous system”?

Also, did you also know that stress can seriously accelerate the rate at which you age because of the incredible and excessive strain it puts on your body?

Many of us have never considered how dangerous stress can be to our health and very few of us make a conscious effort to manage stress in such a way that it doesn’t take over our lives.

Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. A normal stress response won’t harm you, and is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts negatively affecting your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life, including major damage to your health that can lead to these negative conditions:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Panic and anxiety attacks
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Spastic colon
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Chronic fatigue Syndrome (constant tiredness)
  • Chronic and migraine headaches
  • Insomnia, frequent waking
  • PMS – Premenstrual tension

It’s not unusual for excessive stress to change your personality and affect the way you interact and deal with other people. Problems like anger, irritability, aggressiveness, verbal abuse, mood swings and road rage can be brought or exaggerated if there’s too much stress in your life. So, when stress gets out of hand, it’s time to find some practical ways to slow down and get your stress levels back to normal.

Here are eight free suggestions for you to try; they are simple stress-reducing activities you can do right now to help lower your stress levels:

1. Get away from your TV – There’s too much drama there that is unrelated to your real life, plus watching the news for long periods of time can cause depression and increase your stress levels.

2. Deep breathing is an easy stress reliever that has numerous benefits for the body, including oxygenating the blood, which ‘wakes up’ the brain, relaxing muscles and quieting the mind. Breathing exercises are especially helpful because you can do them anywhere, and they work quickly so you can de-stress in a flash.

3. Get outside and go for a walk. Weather permitting, take time to reconnect with nature and enjoy the sense of space that surrounds you when you’re outdoors.

4. Practice a simple meditation technique. Meditation affects the body in exactly the opposite way that stress does, it restores the body to a calm state, and this helps the body repair itself, preventing new damage, plus it shields you from the effects of chronic stress.

5. Spend time with a friend, meet them over a cup of coffee or join them for lunch. Often times, a few minutes in the company of someone you love and trust can make a huge difference in the way you feel. Never underestimate the power of human contact and friendship, especially if you’re having a difficult time.

6. Listen to some relaxing music. When dealing with stress, the right music can actually lower your blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind.

7. Spend some time at the local library or your favorite bookstore: This is a great activity to help you relax, and who knows, it might get your creative juices flowing again!

8. Take a hot detoxification bath. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of Epsom Salt (or Sea Salt) and add to a very warm water bath while it is filling. Soak for 20 – 30 minutes. After the soak, scrub the skin gently using a natural fiber and pure Castile Soap. Shower to rinse well and follow with a brisk towel rub. You will feel like a new person, guaranteed.

Let’s hope at least one of these free stress relief activities has spoken to you in a helpful way. Try one, two, or all of them and notice how much your stress has lessened.

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