First let me explain how I came up with this whole concept of transforming stress into energy. To begin with, Im a workaholic, over-achiever, ageless (meaning Im in my midlife, by old definitions of aging) woman whos a caregiver, solopreneur, coach, author and consultant, in the world of health professionals. And yes, its true, as a health professional I should know better, but heck Im just like you, completely human with all of those darned human tendencies. I, like many of my patients and clients, used to find myself trying to be everything to everyone, including work, family and friend commitments! I just didnt know how to say NO to anyone. So my days would often start before the crack of dawn, and end well into the middle of the night. Whew
I found myself becoming more and more fatigued. That sickening sense of overwhelm often dominated every waking minute of my life. Instead of enjoying and loving my life, I dreaded the start of each new day. I was often so tired I could barely crawl out of bed in the morning, and then I would be dragging myself through the day, running solely on adrenaline. Coffee, albeit organic, was my drink of choice. All day long! Id promise myself that Id eat a healthy dinner and drink lots of water but the day would end, and I was way too tired to prepare anything, far less eat it!
Of course then, as over tired I was, I simply couldnt get to sleep at night. Partly due to the coffee and majorly due to my overactive mind worrying about all of the unfinished tasks and projects that still had to be done, and the fast approaching deadlines on way too many of those projects. I felt like such a complete and utter failure in my self-care efforts! Can you relate to any of this? I bet you can
The stress was killing me. And my excuse for not stopping to take care of myself was that I just didnt have the time. There was too much to do and someone had to do it. Heavy duty work commitments, teenage kids and all of their hormonal changes to deal with, family tugging at me on weekends, housekeeping and everything that goes with maintaining a home, and on and on and on. And then the day of reckoning came.
I was diagnosed with the big C! Thats right -- cancer! I was only 35 years old, and about to begin the worst ride of my life over the next 5 years, actually facing death at my lowest point. But you dont have to go through this kind of nightmare
Because, through my own journey back to health and then maintaining my health for more than 20 years I have found the keys to easily transforming the inevitable stress that most of us deal with, on a daily basis, into unlimited sustainable energyenergy we MUST have to fully and joyfully live the life of our dreams. Many of these keys or strategies can easily be done in 5-minute segments throughout your day, and they can be done by anyone, anywhere, anytime. No excuses accepted. Just do them!
SO, WHAT THE HECK IS STRESS ANYWAY?
You have to know what it is before you can take steps to reduce or eliminate it or better still, to transform it into something useful and beneficial: energy!
1) It is not simply tension or emotional distress. Stress is actually any condition or situation that places undue strain on the body.
2) It can be physical, such as a physical illness, or a physical injury. Physical stress is generally episodic.
3) It can be psychological resulting from fear, anger, frustration, and even happiness. Emotional stress is part of everyday living.
4) Unbearable stress to one person may be the very life force to another. The experience is very individual and unique to each person.
WHAT CAUSES STRESS: THOSE DARNED STRESSORS?
Arguments with your children
Arguments with your spouse/parents
Change in jobs
Birth of a child
Loss of a loved one
Loss of your home
Lack of control of your environment
Personal injury or illness
Traffic jams and crowded stores
Irregular sleep habits, especially insomnia
Rich food and sedentary lifestyle / Bad diet
Poisons / Caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and/or drug use
Withdrawal from an addiction
Unrealistic goals and expectations
Etc, etc etc
10 MAJOR ACUTE SYMPTOMS OF STRESS!
Headaches Sense of hopelessness
Neck and shoulder tightness / pain Feeling preoccupied
Loss of appetite Depression
Indigestion Constant irritability
WHAT ARE THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF STRESS?
Bone loss Eventually: Eating Disorders
Increased blood pressure Hypertension
Increased blood sugar Insomnia
Increased fat around the abdomen Migraine Headaches
Increased levels of potent steroids Ulcers
as cortisol Ultimately: Cancer
Increased serum cholesterol levels Diabetes
Weaker muscles Fatal Heart Attack
Suppressed immune system leading to disease Degenerative Illness
3 PRIMARY WAYS DIET AFFECTS STRESS MANAGEMENT
1) Fast energy is required to replenish the bodys energy reserves, from both natural sugars and carbohydrates, such as whole grains, and abundant fresh vegetables and fruits.
2) Extra protein, i.e. tofu, tempeh, soymilk, textured vegetable protein, low-fat yogurt (soy or dairy), non-fat cottage cheese, and combinations of grains & legumes, will prevent muscle wasting.
3) Prolonged stress often leads to diminished appetite, resulting in greater muscle loss, increased needs for Vitamins D, C & A, thiamin, riboflavin and other B Vitamins, and increased needs for essential minerals, i.e. magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, selenium
10 TOP ENERGIZING FOODS
Cant keep your eyes open? It happens every day at the same time!! Or, you have an important meeting and the only thing you can think of is crashing? Or worse! You are on your way home from work and your eyes keep closing due to a deep sense of exhaustion? Next time you feel yourself in a slump, here is a simple proven solution. Turn to brain-boosting high protein, low-fat foods. As little as 2 - 5 ounces will do it. Within two hours of consumption you will experience the full impact of this intake. The following foods will do the job:
Almond butter Low-fat
veggie burger patty
Beans, peas, lentils Non-fat plain yogurt
Fish, fresh or canned in water Peanut butter, fresh ground
Hummus &vegetable sticks Tempeh
Low-fat cottage cheese Tofu
10 TOP CALMING FOODS
You are totally strung-out! Your whole body is tight with tension, and you cant see straight, far-less focus. But focus you must!! What are you to do? Well the following, low-fat, high carbohydrate foods will trigger the release of chemicals from the brain that have the potential to soothe your stretched and strained nerves. Ingest these foods just 15 to 30 minutes prior to the time that you need to feel their effects.
Bagels, sprouted Oatmeal, steel cut
Brown rice Pasta, wholegrain
Corn Rice cakes
5 TOP LIFESTYLE STRESS TRANSFORMERS!
1) Get enough sleep: at least 7 - 8 hours per night.
right! As close to the original
form of the food as possible!
3) The 80-20 principle: 80-90% healthy; 10-20% fun foods, not the opposite!
4) Drink plenty of water, 6 -8 glasses, everyday.
5) Get enough exercise and vary the forms: aerobic, stretching, weight resistance.
6) Each night before bed think of, or even better, write down, 5 things from the day that you are grateful for.
5 TOP ATTITUDE STRESS TRANSFORMERS!
1) Use power phrases versus pain phrases. Monitor the words you use daily. Remember that words carry power, e.g. I can, I am able.
I cant I wont
I should I could
Thats a problem Thats an opportunity
Lifes a struggle Lifes an adventure
If only......... Next time.........
What can I do? I know I do the job
I hope I know
100% responsibility for what you are feeling. Dont blame others.
3) Tell the truth to yourself and others about yourself. Stay in integrity.
4) Fully participate in life with enthusiasm. Act, dont react!
5) Tell everyone in your life that you love them, every chance you get.
10 INSTANT STRESS BUSTERS
Call someone on the phone.
Email someone you just met.
Journal -- Write about your feelings.
Rent a hilarious comedy movie, and laugh until you cry.
Take a walk around the block (or the field, or the park).
Laugh heartily for no reason -- even if you feel much more like crying.
Write all of your shoulds on a piece of paper, crumple it up & burn it.
Write a dream or wish list, including people you would most like to meet.
Relax in a long warm bath, with a glass of wine, soft music, candles and incense.
Listen to music any kind that lifts your spirits and makes you dance or relax.
Now get out there and transform all of your stress into the energy you need so that you can fully enjoy your life, your work, and the people in your life. Then watch your productivity soar, experience more joyful connection and meaning in all of your relationships, and revel in an unparalleled sense of fulfillment in every area of your life.
Dr. Marilyn Joyce, The Vitality Doctor, is the author of the best selling books, 5 Minutes to Health and I Cant Believe Its Tofu! as well as her more recently released book, INSTANT E.N.E.R.G.Y.: The 5 Keys to Unlimited Energy & Vitality. Check out: www.marilynjoyce.com, and sign up for her Special Reports. And visit her blog for up-to-the-minute information on transforming stress into energy and her free 15-week ecourse of Fast Healthy Tips: www.TransformStressNow.com. Also visit www.DrJoyce4Nutrition.com or call 800-352-3443.
Originally published on November 11, 2011 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau