My dear friends, with everything going on in our world at this moment, in a time when so many people are feeling lost, and that their future has been stolen from them. And so many others, then are not able to provide for their family or their selves as they once did before the epidemic. Looking at all this with a sincere heart, I was able to feel and see an overwhelming amount of lives being surrounded with stress. My team and I took the liberty to research solutions that may help.
From diet to exercise to mindfulness to Fitness, there are several paths that you can take to identify and manage these ever-present feeling, that sometimes makes you feel that you’re crazy. It’s become important to realize that eating certain foods that promote our digestive health, can also lead to improving our well-being that can help us manage stress long-term. To boost gut health and stress relief, we must understand a balance plant-based diet filled with fiber-and probiotic-rich foods, such as onions, garlic, asparagus, berries and bananas. When stress amps up, it causes disruption in the digestive system, so a diet that supports gut health can calm those physiological stress responses. (38% of adults eat unhealthy foods because of stress).
In 2018, the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES updated its Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Recommendations for adults are currently to do at the very least 150 minutes, or two and half hours, of moderate aerobic exercise (swimming or walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running each week, as well as incorporating strength training twice a week.
Yoga and other forms of physical activity are without a doubt, are critical for maintaining our mental health, you see my friends, exercise can alleviate stress by boosting our outlook through a meaningful activity and sense of accomplishment. In a 2019 study that was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, the researchers found that acute habitual exercise has some real significant stress-buffering effects on the activation of the primary stress hormone cortisol. And in 2018, a study of 52 women that was published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, those who participated in 12 sessions of regular yoga practices showed significant reduction in anxiety, stress and depression.
Integrating exercise into our routine could be as simple as going for a joyful bike ride a few times each week, or taking a walk after work, running on a treadmill. Or regularly getting involved in a yoga class, and yoga, dear friends, has the ability to train the body to cope with over-active fight-or-flight reflexes in people with chronic stress and anxiety.
72% of America are feeling stress about money. In nearly every aspect of our day-to-day life from our morning cup of coffee to the reality of keeping a roof over the heads of our families and ourselves, thought about money weigh heavy on our minds. According to a 2018 survey by the insurance company Northwestern Mutual, money was the dominant stressor for 44% of Americans. Additionally, a very recent report by financial firm John Hancock, showed that 69% of workers were stressed one way or another about finances.
IN 2017, Andrew Abeyta, who is an assistant professor of psychology at Rutgers university-Camden, published a study in the Journal of Social Psychology based on the idea that, from an existential perspective, financial insecurity can threaten psychological health by undermining one’s sense of purpose. “People certainly derive a sense of importance or a sense of purpose from their careers,” said Abeyta. When it comes to financial insecurity, that sense of purpose and pride that people get from earning the money and putting food on the table and pursuing career goals is threatened.
A constant fear of being unable to provide for oneself and family can cause perpetual activation of stress response. For anyone who is a workaholic who may have lost his or her job, this can lead to feelings of meaninglessness. From a motivational-psycholgy perspective, said Abeyta, it is easy to internalize blame and question whether you actually have what it takes to be successful. A 2017 Australian study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that financial stress can drive people to develop a smoking habit. And in a 2015 survey for the American Psychological Association (APA) by Harris Poll, proof that nearly 1 in 5 Americans will ignore health care needs because of the inability to afford it.
The bottom line is, financial insecurity can be different from other sources of stress, because of the necessity surrounding the problem. A compromised sense of meaning resulting from being unemployed or from living paycheck-to-paycheck. Can also negatively affect sources of emotional support, and interfere with personal relationships. We just don’t want to be around other people who constantly brings the conversation back to money. When we lose those avenues for social support in our everyday life, it can send us down a further spiral.
To be able to cope with financial stress try to make only one significant monetary decision at a time. Track your spending on a daily basis, with a list and always remain mindful of ways to reduce your spending wherever it is possible. It is important to derive a sense of purpose from other sources than a paycheck, especially for individuals whose personal sense of meaning is wrapped up in work and money. Try to think about other things in your life that may give you a sense of purpose, and spend some time fostering that to avoid the tunnel vision of money.
MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS
THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION estimates that from 2012 to 2017, the practices of meditation increased significantly, from 4.1% to 14.2% of Americans who are adults. Connected to the broad ideal of mindfulness, this popular practice can be particularly effective for the relief of stress. Mindfulness is a way of addressing life with a patient-centered awareness of purpose, to pay attention to what’s happening in the present moment Instead of getting lost in what has happens in the past and what may happen in the future, as we all often do.
Meditation unites the body and the mind in a method of relaxation, quelling the physical response that the body feels in moments of stress. This can actually be as simple as becoming aware of your body’s reaction to stress such as tension in your shoulders or rapid breathing. Physiologically, blood pressure is lowered and the heart rate is slowed. The meditation state enables you to go from the response of stress into what we’ve always called the relaxation response, so actually achieving a state where your body is not always on red alert.
When you first begin a regular meditation practice start small with two or three minutes per day, rather than trying to tackle a large gold like 30 minutes or more. For those that are new to the practice or self-conscious about meditating alone, group classes can provide a sense of real support. There is just something about being in a community that can be very healing, it can be a tremendous source of stress relief.
Try integrating mindful moments throughout your day, including taking a walk or breathing deeply. Putting a smile on your face and heart. Accepting the unavoidable anxiety of daily life and moving forward with centered awareness, brings you to the place that you always have to be in, to do any kind of meaningful change. All that you need is inside of you, open your mind and believe in you.
May good health and prosperity be always with you.