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Monday, July 12, 2021
Speaker: Tracy Hess
Tracy Hess is the owner of Dominion Wellness Coaching
Topic: How to Handle Stress; also, 8 Strategies To Handle Stress
This is a recording of the online monthly meeting of Breathmatters from July 12, 2021
In this presentation, Tracy Hess speaks on eight important areas of dealing with stress through a focus on health via self-care, healthy eating, staying hydrated, physical movement, sleep, practicing relaxation, setting realistic goals and expectations, and the benefits of journaling.
8 Strategies To Handle Stress
Stress Strategy #1: Create and Maintain a Self-Care Routine
You can't give from an empty cup! Self-care is all the steps you take to
tend to your physical, mental, and emotional health in the ways you are best
able to do so. When practiced regularly, the benefits of self-care have been
linked to positive health outcomes including reduced stress, improved immune
response, increased productivity, and increased self-esteem.
Stress Strategy #2:
Drink More Water! Sounds simple, but not always easy. Being well-hydrated helps counter-act
many of the effects of stress.
Water helps decrease inflammation, reduce constipation, regulates bodily
fluids and helps reduce the signs of aging. It also helps cushion the
joints, keep the kidneys working well, and
Stress Strategy #3:
Eat Healthy! Eating a balanced diet is essential for
supplying the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body needs to
restore, recover and heal.
Stress Strategy #4:
Movement is another kind of food for your body. Any physical activity
improves the body's ability to utilize oxygen and improves blood flow. It
increased the production of endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters in
the brain, and naturally elevates your mood. Physical activity also takes
your mind off of the day-to-day worries. And, the benefits of exercise are
cumulative, meaning that the more you do the better you feel over time!
Stress Strategy #5:
Sleep! For many of us, this is easier said than done. Develop a habit of good sleep
hygiene with a "power-down" hour before bed. When you are well-rested, you
are more motivated to make healthy choices and have more energy to follow
Stress Strategy #6:
Taking time to relax every day can protect the body against the effects of
stress. Techniques such as deep breathing, imagery, mindfulness, meditation,
or progressive muscle relaxation can be extremely effective!
Stress Stragegy #7:
Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
Recognize that it is not possible to give 100% effort 100% of the time. Nor
is it possible to be successful at everything all at once Be mindful of the
things you can control and work to accept the things that you can't.
Stress Strategy #8:
Writing down what you are grateful for, what you did well that day, and what
you plan to do more of tomorrow to keep moving forward can be a powerful
tool for clarifying thoughts and feelings and gaining self-knowledge.
The Effects of Stress on The Body
Increased cortisol production: Associated with weight gain (especially in
the belly), inability to lose weight or gain muscle, and premature aging.
Increased nutrient excretion: Stress increases the urinary excretion of
calcium; magnesium; potassium; zinc; chromium; selenium; and various trace
Increase in sodium and fluid retention: Can lead to high blood pressure
Increase in blood cholesterol: Stress raises LDL cholesterol levels.
Increase in blood platelet aggregation: A major risk factor in heart
Increase in inflammation: The basis of many ailments including brain and
Increase in gastric emptying time: Can lead to diarrhea, and food particles
prematurely entering the small intestines-a probable factor in food
sensitivities, and various disease conditions
Increased food sensitivities: Most likely due to decreased immunity and
Increase in insulin resistance: Chronic low-level stress may cause target
cells to become unresponsive to insulin-a factor in diabetes, weight gain,
heart disease and aging.
Increase in erratic function of LES: Lower esophageal sphincter opens
inappropriately, causing gastric reflux (heartburn).
Increase in oxidative stress: Prematurely ages the body; a precursor to many
Increased risk of osteoporosis: Bone density has been shown to decrease in
stressed and depressed women; stress increases the urinary excretion of
calcium, magnesium and boron
Decreased nutrient absorption: Due to decreased digestive enzyme production;
decreased bile flow from the gallbladder, as well as decreased oxygenation
and gastrointestinal blood flow.
Decreased gut flora populations: Stress destroys healthy intestinal
bacteria, which can lead to immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient
deficiencies, and digestive distress.
Decrease in thermic efficiency: Ability to burn calories is diminished.
Decrease in thyroid hormone: Can decrease the body's metabolic activity.
Decrease in sex hormones: Can lower sex drive, energy, and decrease muscle
Decrease in gastric emptying time: Can lead to constipation and can be a
risk factor in diseases of the colon.
Decreased hydrochloric acid production: The majority of people will
reduction of stomach acid in the presence of stress as the nervous system
diverts blood flow away from digestive organs.
Decrease in growth hormone: A key hormone in growing, healing and rebuilding
tissues; helps burn fat and build muscle
tracy @ dominionwellnesscoaching.com