Dealing with stress

Stress is no laughing matter--it is a major drain on your health, so dealing with it is critical to get healthy and stay healthy.

I think the people who take it the most seriously are those who are ill or fighting cancer. When you get sick, you cut back on the things you have to do and rest. Well, getting control of the chaos in your life is important when you're feeling fine, too.

Anxiety when we were teenagers showed up in our faces pretty fast--remember getting that big zit on your forehead right before a big exam? When we're past puberty, it still shows in our skin. Rosacea and eczema, for example, are known to flare up when people are emotionally or physically drained.

Lack of sleep and hormones like cortisol will add pounds to your waistline, and they can also make your hair thin. "Beauty sleep" is real!

How to cope better

  • Take your anxiety seriously, and stop wearing it like a badge of honor. If your primary source of tension is work, talk to your manager about priorities. If it's your relationships, maybe you need to talk to a counselor or maybe get out of the relationship.
  • Say "no." Set limits with others so that your well-being isn't sacrificed.
  • Get 6-9 hours of sleep every night.  Try to have the same bedtime and wake time so that your body naturally develops that routine.
  • Eat better.  But don't make that into a religion either.  Focus on food quality and eating what makes you feel better.
  • Try to laugh more.  Watch funny movies, think funny thoughts, hang out with funny people.
  • Exercise moderately.  Exercising too much is actually stressful.
  • Tune up your supplements. Add antioxidants to help your body on the cellular level neutralize free radicals.
  • Try acupuncture.  It can make an amazing change in your life with just a few sessions.  I find it more relaxing than a massage, and the results can last a long time.  Infertility doctors routinely recommend acupuncture now.
  • Get some sunshine. Spending 30 minutes mid-day in sunlight can help you relax and boost your mood.
  • Try the Emotional Freedom Technique or "tapping."  This simple technique uses some points from acupressure to relieve strain. Tapping Solution is a great site to show you how to do this.  It is extraordinarily powerful to release stress due to whatever in your past or present.