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4 Ways to Beat the Effects of Stress

Hello lovely you,

Yesterday, I was sitting in some pretty horrendous traffic because of construction. We must have sat there for close to twenty minutes without anyone moving. Our side wasn’t moving, opposing traffic wasn’t moving. I knew I was going to be late to my appointment and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it except call ahead and apologize.

Now, there was a time in my life where a situation like this would have sent me straight through the roof of my car. I mean, after ten minutes of trying to be patient, I would have eventually snapped and started huffing and puffing and letting loose some not-so-nice words!

And what would this have accomplished? It wouldn’t have moved the traffic or given my car wings, and it wouldn’t have slowed down time. What it would have done is sent my heart racing and my blood pressure soaring.

But I didn’t let it get that far. I used some techniques I’ve learned and I will share with you to keep myself nice and calm.

How Stress is Making Us Sick

Stress doesn’t just happen in our mind, it effects just about every part of our body. In fact, this is how our bodies were designed. When we perceive a threat in the environment, our body instantly releases a surge of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol thanks to our natural “fight or flight” response.

This hormonal cocktail has helped keep the human race alive by making us very alert and elevating our heart rate to get that blood pumping to our arms and legs. This helps us fight off attackers and run from hungry bears. Fight or flight.

The problem is, modern day stress isn’t what it used to be. Most of us aren’t fighting off attackers or running from things that want to eat us. We’re trying to figure out how to pay our mortgage, get along with our spouses and send our kids to private school. While our ancestors had short bursts of stress (sprints), most of us deal with chronic stress (marathons).

But our bodies weren’t designed to constantly pump out these fight or flight hormones. It’s not healthy to have adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones pulsing through our veins all day every day.

Here are just some of the ways stress is making us all sick:

Sleep Problems

When you’re on high alert because of danger, how likely are you to get a restful night’s sleep? Not very. Sleep deprivation not only makes us feel miserable, it can also lead to an increased risk for developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Hypertension

Stress hormones constrict your blood vessels, which can raise your blood pressure.

Weakened Immune System

Long-term stress weakens your immune system leaving you vulnerable to infections, illness, and even diseases like cancer.

Risk of Heart Attack

Your heart was not designed to pump so hard all of that time! Eventually all of this fast pumping wears down your heart and leaves you susceptible for a heart attack.

GI Problems

Chronic stress upsets your digestive system causing heart burn, nausea, and diarrhea.

Depression

Chronic stress wears you down emotionally until you feel absolutely depressed.

4 Healthy Ways to Manage Stress

After I had been diagnosed with cancer, I learned through intensive research just how our emotions affected our physical health. At the time I had been dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of my father, and I was also in a highly dysfunctional relationship. I knew I needed to find ways to fight the affects of stress in my life. The following were the techniques I used, and still use, to keep myself calm, even in incredibly stressful times.

  1. Breathe

I have been telling people to breathe for years, but few have really listened to me. I get it, that word is thrown around when people are freaking out and it has lost its real context. The thing is, taking slow, deep breaths actually has a physical effect on your body. Your body immediately calms down and believes the threat or danger is gone. Try it the next time you start to feel stressed. Just take 3 slooooow, deep breaths and see if you don’t instantly feel disarmed.

  1. Meditate

Mindful meditation has been PROVEN to combat the effects of stress. Meditation is what helped me to finally get quiet and in-tune with myself. Through meditation, I not only reduced the effects of stress in my life but also became aware of my own power.

If you’ve never meditated before, start with just five minutes a day and slowly try to work your way up to 20 minutes. There are many different ways to try mindful meditation so experiment to see what works best for you.

  1. Exercise

Stress primes your muscles for action and all of those fight or flight chemicals have to be burned off. Exercise is the best way to actually get rid of the hormones that are causing you harm. As a bonus, exercise releases feel good hormones that make you feel calm and happy. If your doctor has said it’s okay to exercise, I encourage you to get some each day. Even just walking around your neighborhood will help immensely.

  1. Count Your Blessings

A great remedy for stress is to think of all of the wonderful people and things in your life that give you joy. Much like you can’t juggle and do a handstand at the same time, you can’t feel stress and joy at the same time. So, when you are feeling stressed out and you can feel your blood pressure begin to rise, stop, take 3 slow, deep breaths and think about something that makes you happy.

Stress sucks big time, but unfortunately it is a part of life. If you want to heal and stay healthy, you are going to have to figure out ways to deal with it. Try the 4 tips I suggested. They worked for me and if they worked for me, a former stressaholic, they can work for everyone!

4 Responses

  1. I love reading your articles. They are so inspiring and even the pictures you post are so beautiful. God Bless you.

    1. Thank you dear Aurora. I’m so grateful to have you with us all her at Prue’s Place. I’m honored to bring you some daily inspiration. God Bless you, too!

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11 hours ago

Prudence Sinclair

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It’s the holidays and everyone seems to be in such good moods, and you hate to spoil the fun with your darkness. You don’t want to feel dark; you want to feel like everyone else seems to.

Denying feelings is an impulse for many (if not most) people. But it’s not healthy and it will truly only make things worse. When we don’t process our feelings, they tend to linger.
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Don’t Deny Your Feelings

It’s the holidays and everyone seems to be in such good moods, and you hate to spoil the fun with your darkness. You don’t want to feel dark; you want to feel like everyone else seems to.

Denying feelings is an impulse for many (if not most) people. But it’s not healthy and it will truly only make things worse. When we don’t process our feelings, they tend to linger.

Whether you are dealing with your own health crisis, have a loved one who is, or have recently lost someone you love, coping with grief during the holidays can make you feel like you are in a nightmarish funhouse. Everything seems to move in slow motion, people have plastered smiles on their faces, holiday music seems to play from every corner of the Universe, and all you feel like doing is crying.

You are not alone during this time. Sadly, there are many people who are facing loneliness, grief and depression during the holidays.
While there is no magic wand or silver bullet that will make the pain go away, there are some things I have found that make coping a little bit easier:

- Don’t Deny Your Feelings
- Say “NO” When You Need To
- Identify Those Things You CAN Control
- Ask for Help
- Help Others
...

Whether you are dealing with your own health crisis, have a loved one who is, or have recently lost someone you love, coping with grief during the holidays can make you feel like you are in a nightmarish funhouse. Everything seems to move in slow motion, people have plastered smiles on their faces, holiday music seems to play from every corner of the Universe, and all you feel like doing is crying.

You are not alone during this time. Sadly, there are many people who are facing loneliness, grief and depression during the holidays. 
While there is no magic wand or silver bullet that will make the pain go away, there are some things I have found that make coping a little bit easier:

- Don’t Deny Your Feelings 
- Say “NO” When You Need To 
- Identify Those Things You CAN Control 
- Ask for Help 
- Help Others

2 days ago

Prudence Sinclair

Good morning, lovely you!

I cannot believe we are almost to the end of October! Before you know it, we’ll be stuffing our faces with stuffing and pie! And while many of us will be lucky enough to enjoy the holiday season with our friends and family, many people will be dealing with grief and sadness at the same time.

It's important to remember that each person has their own journey, and those paths don't always make time for holidays. Whether it's cancer, a breakup, or just a bad situation, we should all try to spread hope and love and life wherever we go.
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Good morning, lovely you!

I cannot believe we are almost to the end of October! Before you know it, we’ll be stuffing our faces with stuffing and pie! And while many of us will be lucky enough to enjoy the holiday season with our friends and family, many people will be dealing with grief and sadness at the same time.

Its important to remember that each person has their own journey, and those paths dont always make time for holidays. Whether its cancer, a breakup, or just a bad situation, we should all try to spread hope and love and life wherever we go.

3 days ago

Prudence Sinclair

Deal with Your Stress

We can’t talk about boosting your immune system without talking about stress. Because the truth is, chronic stress is the number 1 enemy of your immune system.

I’ve discussed the “fight or flight” response our body has to stress in other blog posts. But to quickly summarize, when we find ourselves in harms’ way, our body has a chemical reaction that helps us either fight the danger or flee from the danger. This automatic response is what helped our ancestors survive attacks by sabre-tooth tigers and such.

But now we don’t have the same kinds of dangers in our environment. We have mortgage payments, tyrannical bosses, COVID-19, working from home stress and 24/7 media hype! These stressors stay in our environment, which leads to a lengthened chemical response in our body, and that leads to chronic inflammation.

But a prolonged response to stress also suppresses the very immune cells that are needed to fight off infection and illness.

I CANNOT STRESS how important it is to deal with the stress in your life in healthy ways. Meditation is a powerful way to deal with stress. Deep breathing exercises, physical exercise, and spending time in nature are also great ways to deal with stress. And if you find you need to speak to a mental health counselor, do it. Your health is on the line.

If you’re one of my readers that always says, “I know, I know, I should be better about supporting my immune system,” then consider me right now giving you a friendly kick in the pants to just DO IT already!

Much love and health to you!
...

Deal with Your Stress

We can’t talk about boosting your immune system without talking about stress. Because the truth is, chronic stress is the number 1 enemy of your immune system.

I’ve discussed the “fight or flight” response our body has to stress in other blog posts. But to quickly summarize, when we find ourselves in harms’ way, our body has a chemical reaction that helps us either fight the danger or flee from the danger. This automatic response is what helped our ancestors survive attacks by sabre-tooth tigers and such.

But now we don’t have the same kinds of dangers in our environment. We have mortgage payments, tyrannical bosses, COVID-19, working from home stress and 24/7 media hype! These stressors stay in our environment, which leads to a lengthened chemical response in our body, and that leads to chronic inflammation.

But a prolonged response to stress also suppresses the very immune cells that are needed to fight off infection and illness.

I CANNOT STRESS how important it is to deal with the stress in your life in healthy ways. Meditation is a powerful way to deal with stress. Deep breathing exercises, physical exercise, and spending time in nature are also great ways to deal with stress. And if you find you need to speak to a mental health counselor, do it. Your health is on the line.

If you’re one of my readers that always says, “I know, I know, I should be better about supporting my immune system,” then consider me right now giving you a friendly kick in the pants to just DO IT already!

Much love and health to you!

4 days ago

Prudence Sinclair

Polyphenols

Decades of research have now confirmed that polyphenols, powerful plant compounds, have very positive effects on the immune system. Without getting too science-y, the body’s mucosal layer is its first line of defense against invading pathogens. But this layer, over time, can become susceptible to structural abnormalities, which negatively impacts the immune system’s initial response. Polyphenols protect this mucosal layer, thereby helping your immune system to do its job!

To get more polyphenols into your diet, be sure to add berries, dark chocolate, beans, nuts, red onions, spinach, black and green tea and red wine to your diet!
...

Polyphenols

Decades of research have now confirmed that polyphenols, powerful plant compounds, have very positive effects on the immune system. Without getting too science-y, the body’s mucosal layer is its first line of defense against invading pathogens. But this layer, over time, can become susceptible to structural abnormalities, which negatively impacts the immune system’s initial response. Polyphenols protect this mucosal layer, thereby helping your immune system to do its job!

To get more polyphenols into your diet, be sure to add berries, dark chocolate, beans, nuts, red onions, spinach, black and green tea and red wine to your diet!
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Melanoma Madness If you are new to my blog and don’t know my history, I was given only 6 months to live 30 years ago with stage 4 nodular malignant melanoma. Melanoma, as well as my home country New Zealand, are close to my heart.

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