4 Effective Stress Management & Relaxation Techniques

Stress is prevalent in today’s society and almost unavoidable. It can become overbearing when living in a fast-paced environment with so many demands from work, family and personal affairs. Emotions run high on a daily basis while our biological systems work hard to maintain homeostasis and keep up with our constant demands. Our feelings, thoughts and emotions have a direct influence on the ability of our bodies to function at an optimal level. 

What causes stress?

Did you know that our internal systems don’t know the difference between us running from a Lion or meeting an important deadline at work? Whether we fight (work under pressure), or flee (run from the Jaguar), our sympathetic nervous system becomes activated and hormones from our adrenal glands rush into our bloodstream. The longstanding release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline knock our systems out of balance and can be responsible for ailments like diabetes, adrenal fatigue, high blood pressure, hypothyroid and obesity just to name a few. 

How prevalent is work-related stress?

Did you know that 75%-90% of Doctor visits are due to stress-related problems and complaints? 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has declared stress a hazard of the workplace, costing Americans over $300 billion annually. 

Thankfully if you are reading this article, you will now have simple yet effective stress management techniques to implement into your daily lives.

4 Effective stress management techniques

1. Neutralize stress-inducing triggers

A stress-inducing trigger is anything in the outside environment that knocks our bodies out of balance. It could be noise, polluted environments, driving, a lack of joy in life, school, work, a lack of sleep, allergies, loneliness, negative thinking, or toxic relationships. Some triggers are unavoidable (such as pollution), but there are certain steps we can take to neutralize its effects. These include maintaining a healthy liver as well as drinking lots of water. 

Whatever your stress-inducing trigger may be, it must be identified and managed in a healthy manner through things like meditation, affirmations or life-changing decisions.  

2. Learn breathing techniques for stress management

Deep breathing is a simple, yet highly effective stress management technique. The straightforward conscious exercise affords many benefits. It helps alkalize the body, improves blood flow, detoxifies and most importantly, helps reduce mental and physical stress. Filling your lungs with air is a conscious effort that helps shift your focus and calm your mind. to  

3. Take vitamins to help relax and relieve stress

One of the most important things we can do to prevent stress-related disease is to nourish our bodies with the right nutrients.

Here are several vitamins we recommend for stress-relief: 

Omega-3:

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid most popularly known for its amazing effects on the brain and its ability to support emotional balance and mood.  Omega 3 is also an anti-inflammatory that works to counteract inflammatory conditions triggered by stress. This includes acute asthma attacks, headaches, arthritis, pain and IBS. Whatever the ailment is, stress can exacerbate the symptoms and Omega 3 can counteract it. The body doesn’t produce Omega 3 so it must be obtained through supplementation, like Noor’s Ultra Omega, or food in the form of freshwater fish, raw nuts and avocado.

Vitamin B:

Stress can deplete our energy levels and weaken our Nervous system overtime. Vitamin B can play a crucial role in the health of our Nervous system and energy levels. Noor’s Energy + contains a potent dosage of B vitamins along with other nutrients that nourish our stress centers, provide sufficient energy and aid in metabolism. Supplementing with Energy + will keep your stress levels low and reduce the risk of stroke and other infections.

 

Vitamin D3:

The Sunshine vitamin, also known as Vitamin D3, enhances mood and helps combat the anxiety that stress can come with. Vitamin D3 has been proven to combat the effects of S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and works by increasing the levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) in the brain. Supplementing with vitamin D3 will lift your spirits and offset the sadness that sometimes accompanies stressful situations. Vitamin D3 is also a key factor in bone and immune health.

 

Multivitamin:

Supplementing with a good quality Multivitamin will lessen the physical effects of stress by giving your cells what it needs to combat it. Although more targeted supplementation is needed for chronic stress (as mentioned above), taking a multivitamin will assist in your overall health and wellbeing. Noor’s gender and specific multi’s are fast-absorbing to ensure that you receive the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamins and minerals. 

4. Adaptogenic herbs for stress relief

Adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Lemon Balm and Holy Basil (amongst many others) are known for their amazing anti-stress properties. They work by neutralizing the changes in the body that are brought on by stressful events. They help the body “adapt” by maintaining homeostasis in the body. Adaptogenic herbs nourish the adrenal glands, reduce anxiety, increases energy levels and fights against nervous system disorders. 

Final thoughts:

Managing stress and mitigating its effects can be challenging. Becoming overwhelmed by the pressures and tensions of daily life can be very hazardous for one’s health. Incorporating the above tips and stress-management techniques into your daily routine can help revitalize and reinvigorate your quality of life, reduce the risks of stress, and hopefully eliminate it altogether.,

How to Boost Your Nutrition Before Pregnancy

Planning for a baby is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Often, the practical side of things takes precedence when it comes to foreplanning. Everything from arranging the baby shower, to prepping the baby room, to preparing an overnight hospital bag has to be done before you can embrace the love of your newborn. 

However, ensuring that you are in good health before conceiving is one of the most important gifts you can give your unborn child. Getting your surroundings ready for your baby is important, but mental and nutritional readiness are just as, if not, even more important.

Below is a list of tips to consider and implement before you conceive to ensure safe delivery and a healthy newborn.

5 Pre-pregnancy diet & lifestyle tips:

 

1. Detox your body

Detoxing your body before pregnancy will ensure that your fetus will grow in a clean, toxin-free environment while receiving all absorbed nutrients without interruption. Cleansing the liver and the colon is two body systems one should focus on before conception. Benefits include purified blood, healthy weight gain and regular bowel movements while lessening the chances of swollen feet/ankles, gestational diabetes and acne.

The gentlest way to cleanse the colon would be to increase one’s fiber and probiotic intake over time. If you have been occasionally constipated, an effective and additional approach would be to acquire a herbal laxative from your nearest pharmacy. A simple way to cleanse the liver would be to drink lemon water with a dash of cayenne first thing in the morning along with eating liver – nourishing foods like cruciferous vegetables, grapefruits and berries.

 

2. Eat whole foods

Foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, free-range/organic meats (and let’s not forget water!) contain key nutrients that should be readily available for your fetus upon conception. 

 

3. Incorporate supplements into your diet

Implementing a healthy diet and taking staple supplements like a Multivitamin, Omega 3, and Probiotics will ensure that your body is equipped to handle the pull of energy and nutrients from your cells once the baby is conceived. 

 

4. Prenatals before conception

There is a well-known myth that Prenatals should only be taken once a woman finds out she is pregnant. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, taking prenatal supplements before conception is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the baby you are prepping for. Prenatals can replenish your nutrient stores and decrease the possibility of any health complications during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Important nutrients like Folic Acid will inhibit neural tubal defects and ensure healthy brain and spinal development upon conception. 

The food that we eat (if not organic) comes from depleted soil and is genetically modified or conventionally grown with pesticides. This truth evidences the lack of nutrients in today’s food and the importance of incorporating prenatal supplements into one’s daily regimen.

 

5. Ensure positive energy and a positive environment 

A chaotic life, filled with drama and toxic relationships can lower your immune function and take a toll on your health. It’s important to keep a positive attitude and an even more positive environment with the least amount of stress for optimized health. Having people that support and celebrate you on a daily basis will lift your spirits and help keep stress at bay. Implementing daily stress management techniques before and during pregnancy will decrease the possibility of miscarriage or premature birth. 

An article published by Endocrinology, June 2003 issue shows the relation between stress and miscarriage. Stress triggers the secretion of CRH (Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone). Studies have found that this hormone was significantly elevated in women who had a spontaneous abortion (miscarriages). 

 

Final thoughts:

Bringing a baby into the world is a divine gift that we women are blessed with. Before we conceive, let’s take the time to optimize our health and ensure we are giving our babies the perfect start to development and growth.