Essential Health & Wellness Blog

From the Desk of Dr. Stevens: It’s Time to Assess Your Stress

Friday Feb 17, 2017 by Essential Health and Wellness in

It seems a lot of attention is being given to the role of stress in our lives. When we hear the word stress we tend to simplify if to a concept of mental tension. Although this is certainly a significant component of what is entailed it is important to realize it is much more. Stress is the sum total of all the daily requirements of living and can be positive, neutral or negative in many facets. What I am hoping to help my patients understand is what are the key elements of stress and what are some steps to take to balance the effects of stress.

The list of things that stress impacts negatively is long but one worth reviewing daily. If anyone is looking for a bit of an eye opener or inspiration they can post these on their refrigerator. Stress is inextricably involved in:

  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Premature aging

That’s an intimidating list and there are many people that will have many of these at one time. So the focus of today’s letter is entertaining how can one reduce stress to avoid these consequences or to improve ones that are present. The answer can be broken down into several pathways. Putting as much together in each of them will lead to the most significant improvements. Here is a list to post on your refrigerator right beside the list of diseases:

  • Eat a low-carbohydrate high fat diet
  • Exercise daily – mix moderate activity days with more intense activity days
  • Exercise outdoors in nature when possible and exercise 150 minutes per week minimum
  • Avoid excess caffeine
  • Hydrate with purified water – 80 ounces a day or more
  • Sleep effectively – 7 hours per night minimum
  • Learn breathing exercises
  • Learn meditation, prayer, guided imagery
  • Practice appreciation throughout the day
  • Practice effective communication and conflict resolution
  • Engage in loving and supportive social relationships
  • Change your perception – remember the axiom “perception is reality”

So this is the beginning of a new year for all of us. I encourage you to assess your stress and make the changes that you can. Cheers to your success this year!

From the Desk of Dr. Stevens: It’s Time to Assess Your Stress was last modified: February 17th, 2017 by Essential Health and Wellness