Our world is getting more and more complicated resulting in serious stress right now. I, for one, getting increasingly stressed each and every day as people are batteling the Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement situation. I believe many of you are feeling the same. This is why I have talked to Health and lifestyle expert Kristin Grayce McGary about the warning signs of stress and how we can manage it. Without further ado let’s see what she has to say about stress management in her own words.
Thank you Kristin Grayce for the wonderful interview. I believe the readers will truly appreciate it.
Stress is a reaction to a perceived danger or demanding situation, and it affects everyone a little differently. It impacts every cell in your body, even if you only have 1 or 2 symptoms. Stress causes your nervous system to react in a fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response. They are pretty self-explanatory but the “fawn” response is likely new to you. People in this response lose the sense of self and take on the victim-persona. They ignore their own needs and focus solely on others, often being attracted to abusive relationships.
Some stress responses are good because they can save your life. If you’re about to get run over by a bus, you will get a surge of adrenaline to jump out of the way. This short-lived stress got you moving quickly.
Long term or chronic stress is much more damaging and sometimes elusive. Emotions such as worry, fear, anger, or sadness can cause physical changes in your body that are stressful. Feeling your emotions and expressing them in a healthy way is crucial for vibrant health. If you suppress or ignore them, they can literally cause you to become ill.
Here are some signs that you may be under stress:
- Not sleeping well
- You feel more tired than usual and have low energy
- Digestive challenges like upset tummy, gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Your blood sugar feels up and down
- Your hormones feel out of whack
- You have depression or anxiety
- You feel irritable
- Tension headaches
- Aches and pains
- Painful menstruation
- Decreased sex drive
- Heart palpitations
- Changes in your blood pressure
- Changes in respiration: either faster breathing or more shallow
SC: As our current world is getting more and more stressful, what are your 5 tips to manage stress?
My favorite tips to manage stress are:
- Get out in nature, breathe deeply, and connect with the elements all around you. This oxygenates your body and allows for better heart/brain coherence, which directly impacts your nervous system and stress hormones, causing them to drop.
- Self-help relaxation techniques such as yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, experiencing or creating music or art, and journaling can all help you to manage your stress more successfully.
- Exercise! Moving your body and increasing your heart rate through cardiovascular exercise changes your body’s chemistry and can help blow off steam and decrease stress. This includes things such as cycling, running, dancing, and even having sex!
Need some inspiration to start exercise? Read the previous article on A Pilates Expert Demonstrates 5 Easy Exercises You Can Do While Making Dinner
- Eat well. Increase your leafy green veggies, organic proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid sugar, processed junk food, and stimulants such as coffee, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine which only add stress to your entire system.
- Safe touch. Hugging someone for two minutes causes huge changes in the chemistry of your body, such as releasing oxytocin, and can help decrease stress.
- Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, advanced craniosacral therapy, massage, foot reflexology, Shiatsu, equine-assisted therapy (horse therapy), emotional support animals to love, and neural therapy can all address your nervous system and help you better manage and release stress.
Suggested read: 10 Ways to End Bad Habits during Times of Stress
SC: Can you think of the ways we can be more sensitive and helpful towards people living alone right now?
I believe that heightening our awareness of both our selves and the world around us enables us to “wake up” to the needs of others. I’d reach out to neighbors, co-workers, family, and extended community members to check-in. In my neighborhood, we found eight different families who lost their jobs or had financial hardship due to COVID-19, and as a community we gathered food, cleaning supplies, and money to help them.
Each week we are making sure that everyone is taken care of. I’d connect with local neighbors or trusted organizations. The food banks may be quite low right now so donating to them could be a good idea. If you’re aware of anyone elderly, give them a call and see if they need anything. Offer regular check-ins via phone. Leaving kind little notes on people’s doors, a flower from your garden or a bag of wholesome veggies can mean the world to someone.
SC: What is the most important advice you would like to give to the readers of Sifa’s Corner regarding stress management?
Love yourself enough to commit to being the very best you can be, all the time, no matter what. This doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, but you are open and willing to grow and evolve. Commit to radiating your brightest in the world by taking care to eat healthy food, drink plenty of clean spring water, exercise, laugh, own your power, feel and deal with your emotions in a healthy and balanced way, and do random acts of kindness daily. Awaken to your wholeness and shine.
About Kristin Grayce:
Health and lifestyle expert Kristin Grayce McGary (LAc., MAc., CFMP®, CST-T, CLP) is an authority on autoimmunity, functional blood chemistry analysis, thyroid, and gut health, pain alleviation, family wellness, extreme exhaustion, resolving blocks to healing, and food as medicine. She specializes in integrating mind, body, and spirit in healthcare through a uniquely individualized approach. Kristin Grayce is the author of “Holistic Keto for Gut Health: A Program for Resetting Your Metabolism” (January 2020) and “Know Your Blood, Know Your Health: Prevent Disease and Enjoy Vibrant Health Through Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis” (April 2020).
Learn more at www.GutHappyKeto.com or www.KristinGrayceMcGary.com. Follow her on Facebook, YouTube.
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