Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tips for Conquering Stress and Exhaustion


I came across a book about conquering exhaustion and stress...and here's a few tips from that book:

a) Eat in accordance to your body’s rhythms. Since your metabolism peaks at about noon, it is better for your body to have a bigger breakfast and lunch and smaller dinner. Eat good fats and protein for breakfast because that is what your body needs for fuel during the day. Smoothies are a great way to get both of these into your diet. The typical sugar and carb-laden breakfast of a bagel, muffin, toast or sugary cereal are just about the worst things you can have, so avoid those at all costs.

b) Have an “electronic sundown.” At around 10 pm, turn off your computer, charge your cell in the other room and turn off the TV. Scan your bedroom for blinking or glowing lights – the alarm clock, the charging indicator on your cell phone, the DVD clock and timer, etc. Turn these off or cover the lights. Each little bit of light can stop your melatonin levels from rising, which you need to induce sleep and to reach the deep restorative sleep your body requires. If you can’t darken your room, wear a sleep mask. This period of darkness will help reset your natural rhythm.

c) Slow down with relaxing music. Music is one of the best ways to retrain your body to chill out. Our internal rhythms will speed up or slow down to match the stronger external rhythm around us. For instance, research has shown that when you are at a beach, your rhythms slow down or when you are in a busy city, they speed up. This is called entrainment. We are entraining all the time to our surroundings and the rhythms around us. Music is a wonderful way to help your rhythms entrain. Relaxing music slows heart and breathing rates and creates a feeling of well-being.

d) Invite ease with restorative yoga. Restorative yoga is the perfect solution to the over-stressed state we all are in. As you are supported in the poses, one gets the profound effects of yoga without having to exert any energy. Restorative yoga is one of the most physically reviving things you can do when you feel run-down, burned-out, stressed-out and spent. These poses are particularly good to chill you out at night before bed.

e) Release tension with tennis balls. Buy two tennis balls, as these can be used to do self-massage, especially on your shoulders, back or feet. Releasing tight muscles will free up blocked energy and not only decrease pain, but energize you, too.

(Note: For the ultimate neck and shoulder release, you can lie on your back, knees bent and feet hip width apart. Place two tennis balls at the top of your shoulder blades, side by side, in the area where you would love to have a massage. Slowly lower your head and shoulders. Place a pillow behind your head if your neck is uncomfortable. Lift your arms to the ceiling, then move them slowly toward your knees and then toward the wall behind you. Repeat this 10 times.)

f) Add an adaptogen in the morning. Adaptogenic herbal formulas have been used by Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. They serve as energizing tonics to help energize people who are weak or aging. These herbs increase the capacity of the body to adjust to the stresses of life. Lately, there has been much research confirming their positive effects. My favorite adaptogens are Panax ginseng, ashwagandha and rhodiola. Because they combat stress and are anti-aging, they are the perfect antidote to spent. (Note: Please consult your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements)

g) Practice ubuntu. “Ubuntu” is an African term that means what makes us human is the humanity we show each other. It’s a worldview that sees humanity as a web of family rather than a mass of individuals. When you relate in this way, you feel connected, energized and have a sense of abundance.

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

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