Stress can damage your health at the cellular level, Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, has determined through clinical research and found that managing stress is a critical part of an Inclusive approach to optimizing health as it promotes and protects cellular integrity. In his book The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger (Wiley, September 2010), Dr. Murad explains how Emotional Self-Care is key to mental and physical well-being. Take a look at several factors that can stress you out and some tips on how to manage the stress!
What is Stress?
Stress is typically felt by most people who experience it by irritability, heart racing, and their face feels hot, headaches or upset stomach, an impending feeling of doom and even the smallest factors can irritate most. Studies show that when subjected to constant stress, humans can develop certain life-threatening afflictions, including heart attacks and strokes.
What is Cultural Stress?
Studies have shown that people who live in “blue zones,” places where people live long, lean lives into their 90’s, all have a common dominator – a low-stress lifestyle. Some cultural stressors include work, supervisors, children, tardiness, technostress, and constant e-mail. Dr. Murad discovered throughout his studies of more than 50,000 patients, that using the Water Secret to create healthy, hydrated cells, helps the body fight aging and disease and more importantly, the ruinous effects of Cultural Stress.
Health Impacts from Stress
Studies show that stress releases neuropathies directly damage cellular membranes. It causes our cells and connective tissue to break down, which in turn prevents our heart, lungs, brain, and other organs from functioning at optimal levels – all of which become apparent when you look at the skin. The best way to keep stress at bay is to learn how to manage it so it affects you less.
Tips to Manage Stress and Cultural Stress:
Get Connected: Get involved in community events, exercise classes, professional groups or associations, book clubs, potluck dinner nights with your friends, charity events at your children’s schools or volunteer at a nearby nonprofit or take a class at a local community college.
Disconnect: There’s an odd duality to being attached to machines that allow us to connect with others around the world in an instant. In a nutshell put down your phones! Take time at least twice a week to not check your phone or email. It’s a healthy mental break.
Start Your Day Off Right: Deficiencies in B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium stress out your body and trigger and increase in cortisol levels, not to mention food cravings. Many people skip breakfast and can easily find themselves lacking these critical nutrients and in turn rely on caffeine to stay alert and productive throughout the day. Try eating a handful of berries (vitamin C), six to eight ounces of low-fat yogurt (calcium and magnesium), and a slice of whole grain toast with natural peanut butter. Whole grains are loaded with B vitamins, while peanut butter contains fatty acids that can decrease the production of stress hormones. Peanut butter will also keep you satisfied longer.
Eat “Brain Food”: About two-thirds of our brains are composed of fat, and the protective sheath around communicating neurons is 70 percent fat. In essence, we need fat to think and to maintain healthy brain function, as well as normal growth and development. The omega-3 fats in salmon (often called “brain food”) as well as other cold-water fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and olives have numerous proven health benefits, including those that protect your heart. It is also important to limit your intake of processed foods!
Exercise: Exercising regularly nourishes the skin with oxygen while sweating flushes out toxins. It will also improve digestion and increase one’s metabolism and endocrine function so that the entire body is functioning at an optimal level.
According to Dr. Murad, “Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness.” When the body is at optimal health, the skin will follow suit. Through a three-pillar approach, Dr. Murad’s Inclusive Health philosophy focuses on internal, external and emotional elements. Help regulate stress by following the Inclusive Health philosophy!