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5 Things I Have Learned About Tackling Stress

5 Things I Have Learned About Tackling Stress

A Buddhist monk once said, “If a problem can be solved, why worry? And if it cannot be solved, what’s the good of worrying?”

Wise words, but admittedly difficult to practice. Problems are inevitable, and they cause stress. And stress can contribute to serious health conditions.

Like everyone else on the planet, I have my stressful days and moments. Finding ways to deal with them has taught me how to sift the useful tips from the less effective ones. Let me share some stress-relief strategies that really work for me:

1. Wait it out.

I can never forget what my father said while battling a bout of flu. “I am enjoying it,” he said, red-nosed but smiling. “It’s nothing but the body’s channels cleansing themselves. Another two days, and I’ll be fine!” This, when he had work deadlines he could not miss.

Another time, when I lay bedridden from multiple fractures, my surgeon gently told me the secret to dealing with the depression: “Think of the pain as a tunnel that you are slowly swimming through. At the end of that tunnel, there is light. Power yourself toward that light.” The image helped me tremendously. Stress will happen. Let it come and go. Hang in there!

2. Walk away.

When it comes to stress, don’t indulge in give-and-take, because stress can be contagious. It rubs off on others around you. And if somebody around you is stressed, the effects can ruin your own mood and day. When I feel a stressful situation developing, I try to move physically away from the scene and situation for a while. I am a book lover, so a trip to a bookstore always calms me. Sometimes, I go watch a movie, or just take a nice walk. If things are really stressful, you might consider a solo vacation. Nature offers a comforting shoulder indeed.

3. Analyze your anger.

It is easy to feel stressed when someone is saying harsh, hurtful words to you. And it is indeed difficult to put yourself in the other person’s shoes at that moment. But if you can teach yourself to empathize, you could let go of the intense negative feelings that stress brings. Remember, when someone says things that are painful for you to hear, it is likely that he is also feeling much of the pain he is inflicting. Here is a good reminder from writer William Arthur Ward:  ”It is wise to direct your anger towards problems — not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses.”

4. Use humor.

A good laugh fills your lungs with fresh, oxygen-rich air and releases feel-good endorphins into your system. The result: you feel instantly better. When stress comes knocking, treat yourself to some episodes of Candid Camera, a  Marx Brothers movie, or a stand-up comedy show—nothing works like a hearty dose of laughter. Shared laughter is even better, so take a friend or two along. Your stresses will have no choice but to melt quietly away!

5. Pamper your body.

This is my favorite way to deal with stress. Over the years, I have noticed how easily the body responds to a little TLC. A quick trim and blow-dry or facial massage are enough to take your mind off your stress. Checking into a good day spa or a spa resort over the weekend not only revitalizes your tired body, but also rejuvenates the unhappy mind. You emerge feeling more confident, energetic, and ready to take on the world. Massage, in particular, reduces muscle tension and improves blood circulation. A trained therapist knows and works on the right marma points, thus aligning the body’s healing energies to make you feel better.

What are your own strategies for dealing with stress? Do share!

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

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Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

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11 Ways to Boost Your Lymphatic System for Great Health

11 Ways to Boost Your Lymphatic System for Great Health

 

The lymphatic system, or lymph system as it is also called, is a system made  up of glands, lymph nodes, the spleen, thymus gland and tonsils. It bathes our  body’s cells and carries the body’s cellular sewage away from the tissues to the  blood, where it can be filtered by two of the body’s main detoxification organs:  the liver and kidneys. This sewage is made up of the byproducts of our bodily  processes, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, illicit drugs, cigarette  toxins, other airborne pollutants, food additives, pesticides and other  toxins.

The Fat Flush Plan author Ann Louise Gittleman,  PhD, estimates that 80 percent of women have sluggish lymphatic systems and that  getting them flowing smoothly is the key to easy weight loss and improved  feelings of well-being.

If you are suffering from injuries, excess weight or cellulite, or pain  disorders like arthritis, bursitis, headaches or others, a sluggish lymphatic  system may be playing a role.  Here are 11 ways you can get your lymph  flowing smoothly.

1.  Breathe deeply. Our bodies have three times more  lymph fluid than blood, yet no organ to pump it. Your lymph system relies on the  pumping action of deep breathing to help it transport toxins into the blood  before they are detoxified by your liver. So breathe in that sweet smell of  healing oxygen. Breathe out toxins.

2.  Get moving. Exercise also ensures the lymph system  flows properly. The best kind is rebounding on a mini trampoline, which can  dramatically improve lymph flow, but stretching and aerobic exercise also work  well.

3.  Drink plenty of water. Without adequate water,  lymph fluid cannot flow properly. To help ensure the water is readily absorbed  by your cells, I frequently add some fresh lemon juice or oxygen or pH  drops.

4.  Forget the soda, trash the neon-colored sports drinks, and  drop the fruit “juices” that are more sugar than fruit. These sugar-, color- and preservative-laden beverages add to the already overburdened workload  your lymph system must handle.

5.  Eat more raw fruit on an empty stomach. The enzymes  and acids in fruit are powerful lymph cleansers. Eat them on an empty stomach  for best digestion and maximum lymph-cleansing benefits. Most fruits are  digested within 30 minutes or so and quickly help you feel better.

6.  Eat plenty of green vegetables to get adequate  chlorophyll to help purify your blood and lymph.

7.  Eat raw, unsalted nuts and seeds to power up your  lymph with adequate fatty acids. Choose from walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts,  macadamias, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

8.  Add a few lymph-boosting herbal teas to your day,  such as astragalus, echinacea, goldenseal, pokeroot or wild indigo root tea.  Consult an herbalist or natural medicine specialist before combining two or more  herbs or if you’re taking any medications or suffer from any serious health  conditions. Avoid using herbs while pregnant or lactating and avoid long-term  use of any herb without first consulting a qualified professional.

9.  Dry skin brush before showering. Use a natural  bristle brush. Brush your dry skin in circular motions upward from the feet to  the torso and from the fingers to the chest. You want to work in the same  direction as your lymph flows—toward the heart.

10.  Alternate hot and cold showers for several  minutes. The heat dilates the blood vessels and the cold causes them to  contract. Avoid this type of therapy if you have a heart or blood pressure  condition or if you are pregnant.

11.  Get a gentle massage. Studies show that a gentle  massage can push up to 78 percent of stagnant lymph back into circulation.  Massage frees trapped toxins. You can also try a lymph drainage massage. It is a  special form of massage that specifically targets lymph flow in the body.  Whatever type of massage you choose, make sure it is gentle. Too much pressure  may feel good on the muscles, but it doesn’t have the same lymph-stimulating  effects.

There are countless benefits of getting your lymphatic system moving more  efficiently, including more energy, less pain, and improved  detoxification.  Adapted from The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox  Plan.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

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