Surviving 21st Century Stress
By Dr. Carol Ann Fischer, D.C.
In our world today, stress has become a way of life. We eat on the go, and our days are unending. We can’t stop thinking or doing, and let ourselves relax and enjoy. We wait for vacations, and then need a vacation after our vacation. We have forgotten how to enjoy life.
The right amount of stress helps motivate us to take action. Too much stress can cause us to feel overwhelmed, overworked, fatigued, and emotionally and physically drained. When the brain determines that it is stressed, it believes everything is an emergency.
We now live under continuous stress from our diet, job, family and the environment, when compared to our ancestors. There are three categories of stress: physical stress from poor posture, injuries or trauma; emotional stress; and chemical/environmental stress from toxins and non-organic food, electromagnetic pollution, insufficient water, and missing vitamins or minerals.
Signs of stess burnout include sugar, salt and/or carbohydrate cravings, unwanted weight gain, fatigue, irritability, sugar sensitivity, allergic reactions, sleep difficulties, lack of motivation, slow recovery from illnesses, bone loss, aches and pains, and digestive difficulties.
There is a natural solution to this 21st century stress overload phenomenon. First, identify the different stressors that are causing a stress reaction in your body. Next, reduce the stressors that you can by changing your diet and lifestyle habits.
Follow your natural body instinct to go to bed early, when you first feel tired.
Eat real whole foods and the correct protein requirement for your body type, instead of eating convenience and fast foods. Do not give into sugar, chocolate and carbohydrate cravings.
Avoid dietary stimulants that keep the body in a “stress emergency” state. Do not allow yourself to become dependent upon coffee, pop or caffeine stimulants.
Without sufficient water the body cannot flush out the toxins. They are then stored in your body fat, adding to weight gain. Do not drink less water than half your body weight in ounces.
Avoid junk food, packaged and processed foods made with hydrogenated oils or trans fats. These bad fats damage the cells on the inside of your body.
Do not force yourself to exercise when you are exhausted, which will slow your recovery.