How Stress is Affecting Your Body and How to Fix It

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“Reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it.” – Jane Wagner

According to a new survey, released by Bupa, stress is at chronic proportions in Britain with 44% of the adult population suffering from debilitating stress levels. Out of all these frazzled people, 27% say they regularly feel close to a breaking point. This is an epidemic and we should be concerned. Stress damages our health, decreases our quality of life and reduces our productivity.

Check Your Stress Levels

Here’s how to do a simple check of your stress levels: try to lower your shoulders. If you can’t because your shoulders are tense, your body is in defense physiology because of chronic stress. Keeping your shoulders raised is just one clue that you are chronically “stressed out.” Other stress clues include sensations of a “knot” in your stomach or your heart pounding, feeling tense or nervous most of the time, habitual foot-bouncing or finger-tapping, teeth-grinding, jaw-clenching, or becoming easily “unglued.”

Additionally, the extra tension in your muscles may cause excessive pull on the spinal bones that they attach to and cause them to become misaligned. This is called a subluxation, which further aggravates the problem. These misalignments may irritate the nerves that they are close to and create a vicious cycle of adding even more stress in your physiology.

What Happens to Your Body When You’re Stressed

When you are under any kind of stress–whether life threatening or just irritating–your body goes into “defense physiology,” known as the fight or flight response. It is preparing for danger. It’s as if it is getting ready to outrun a lion. Organs and glands change gears, your adrenal glands are activated, blood pressure goes up, digestion slows and muscles tense; your overall physiology prepares to help you survive.

Stress from an emergency is over in a short time; however, stress from anxiety, worry or anger keeps your body in defense physiology 24 hours a day. Every organ, tissue and cell is working overtime. Eventually, your body becomes exhausted and your normal healing processes shut down. You become a candidate for chronic fatigue, depression and disease.

Additionally, when your body is in a chronic state of defense physiology, you are unable to process information correctly. Your brain is constantly being updated with information. There are approximately 300,000 impulses per second coming into your brain from your five senses. The problem is, if you are in defense physiology, the information coming up to the brain is altered and therefore your response to this information may not be appropriate. This negatively affects your mental, physical and emotional well-being.

Unless you are in a crisis situation, you should be reasonably relaxed and your mental emotional default should be one of ease, joy and happiness.

Three Types of Chronic Stressors

Stress shows up in many forms. Below are three types of chronic stressors that bombard you daily:

1. Mental or emotional stress (including job pressure, family problems and deadlines)

2. Chemical stress (processed foods, drugs, chemicals, poisons, pollution, etc.)

3. Physical stress (bad posture, falls, injuries, repetitive movements, sedentary lifestyle, etc.)

Five Remedies for Chronic Stress

If you are suffering from chronic stress here are some suggestions that may help you:

1.Take an inventory and clean out your stress. Review the three types of stressors in your life and decide where you can reduce the stress that is bombarding you. Often, awareness is 80% of the solution. Are there some projects that you could drop? Can you extend some unrealistic deadlines?

2. Treat your nerve-rich spine like gold by having your subluxations corrected by a good chiropractor. Start practicing good posture and getting plenty of stress-busting exercise, such as yoga and swimming.

3. Eat stress-busting foods such as avocados, whole grains, almonds and sunflower seeds.

4. Avoid stress promoting foods such as coffee, energy drinks, sodas, alcohol, fried foods and foods high in polysaturated fats (found in processed foods).

5. Chill and cleanse your mind with daily meditation. Think of meditation as your daily brain shower, cleaning out toxic and stressful thoughts every day. Large bodies of research show that even with as little as 20 minutes per day, meditation can help to combat the negative effects of stress.

A little stress is good as long it is keeping you challenged and engaged. But remember:

“Stress is like spice – in the right proportion it enhances the flavor of a dish. Too little produces a bland, dull meal; too much may choke you.” – Donald Tubesing



4 All-Natural, Homemade Facial Scrubs and Cleansers

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The perfect facial scrub and cleanser for our skin types are hard to come by, especially at a reasonable price. Many of these products are contain ingredients that are foreign to us: sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, stearic acid and more. While some may know what these ingredients are, most of us feel they are rather harsh and unnecessary.

There are also ingredients that many know to avoid when using a cleanser or facial scrub. Alcohol is used in many facial products as a base ingredient to lighten the weight of thick products. However, alcohol is a harsh ingredient that breaks down the skin’s natural oils and barrier. This can leave the skin dry which can trigger an overproduction of your skin’s natural oils. You want to avoid alcohol in your facial products if it results in dry or oily skin. Secondly, Parabens are used as preservatives in most cosmetics and skin care products. Although the FDA feels the use of parabens in beauty products is not to be concerned about, many people fear that it can increase breast cancer risk since parabens mimic estrogen.

There are so many unknowns out there about our skin care products it can cause hesitation before applying to our skin. However, there are some amazing recipes that are all-natural and can be easily made from your home!

Here are some of the best all-natural, homemade facial scrub and cleanser recipes:

Cucumber Yogurt Facial Cleanser

The cucumber relaxes and soothes your skin which results in soft and cool skin. The yogurt in this cleanser acts as a better moisturizer for irritable skin while fighting acne, reducing discoloration and prevents aging. This cucumber based facial cleanser is blended in a food processor and left on your skin like a mask for 5 minutes. Rinse with warm water and moisturize.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cucumber (peeled and deseeded)
  • 5 mint leaves

Oatmeal Facial Scrub

The oatmeal in this facial scrub takes on many properties for your skin. Many believe oatmeal is a natural remedy to acne. Oatmeal can also soothe dry and irritated skin. Some even believe oatmeal is great for your dog’s itchy and dry skin. Mix ingredients in a bowl, apply to skin in a circular motion for 30-60 seconds. Rinse with warm water and moisturize.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oatmeal (non-instant, finely grounded)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of sweet almond, coconut or olive oil (add more drops if mixture is un-spreadable)
  • 2 tbsp of whole or 2% milk
  • 1 egg white

Lemon Juice Facial Cleanser

The lemon in this cleanser acts as a disinfectant, killing bacteria and removing dirt on your skin. The lemon juice and oatmeal also absorbs excess oils to prevent your face becoming extra oily. Also, the lemon’s citric acid can help fade dark spots to even out your skin tone. Mix ingredients in a bowl and massage into the skin for 30-60 seconds. Rinse with warm water and moisturize.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tablespoon honey

Brown Sugar and Honey Facial Scrub

This scrub is easy and simple to make. The brown sugar acts as an exfoliator to help open up your pores and improve sun damage. The honey is great for acne treatment and prevention, anti-aging, creates a glow, and easily unclogs pores. Mix ingredients in a bowl and apply to skin in circular motions for 1-2 minutes. Rinse with warm water and moisturize.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 drop of essential oil
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