Alternative Medicine: Healthy Stress and Inner Peace

For many of us, stress is everywhere in our lives, and for some of us it is a deadly affliction. But some stress is good, it keeps us on our toes and moving forward. So, how do you know if you are experiencing “healthy stress” versus the kind that might kill you?

Often, we are frustrated, overwhelmed, underpaid, and up against deadlines. As I write this I can feel my face is tense and my breathing is shallow. Stress expresses itself differently in everyone, but some common negative stress signals to look out for are:

* increased muscle tension
* elevated heart rate
* headaches
* irritability
* insomnia
* confusion

Sound like you? Now try to notice when you feel this way. The morning, before a big presentation, getting ready to visit the in-laws? Once you are aware of what is creating tension in your body you will be able to combat it.

How, you ask? Just like stress symptoms present themselves differently in everybody, we all have our own personal prescription to alleviate them. The list below offers some suggestions. it may be a combination of actions that is needed to help you restore your inner peace.

Here are common alternative medicine treatments that have proven effective. Some may sound like common sense but they work and you don’t want to miss anything that might help.

* Work out! Endorphins are like stress killing ninjas, they will help you re-center
* Eat a balanced diet and often. Some people stop eating when they are stressed, and many overeat. Try to maintain even blood sugar and you will be better able to focus on what you need to get done.
* Enjoy Hobbies. Sometimes it is nice to lose yourself in an activity you enjoy. Knitting, painting, building model airplanes, whatever you want!
* Meditation. 75% of insomniacs who meditate daily are eventually able to fall asleep in 20 minutes
* Get enough sleep! Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
* Creative Imagery/Visualization. In your mind’s eye, see yourself relaxing on a beautiful beach, smell the salty air, hear the ocean..
* Set achievable, personal Goals.

“A one-day stressor isn’t going to make a big change in your risk of getting a cold, for example,” says Dr. M. Ronald Glaser Ph.D. a professor at Ohio State University Medical School. “But a chronic stressor that lasts a few weeks could dampen your immune response and create a risk of disease. In fact, stress may affect every cell in your body,” say Dr. Glaser.

Now you know why getting centered is important, how to recognize stress and what to do about it. Now good luck with your stress busting adventures, I have a date with some endorphin ninjas.

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