On average, 75% of Americans will report experiencing stress at any given point. The newest research out of John Hopkins University suggests that today, we will experience more stress in a given day than past generations may have felt in a lifetime. In my clinical experience, I could easily state that the vast majority of the patients whom step foot in our office would note stress as one of or the chief contributing factor to their symptomatology.
You see, our bodies are unable to differentiate stresses to the body. Physical traumas, emotional stress responses, toxic exposures to food or the environment all affect us equally and may manifest as symptoms in our body. Symptoms of a stressed body include but are not limited to high blood pressure, insomnia, tension headaches, irritability, sexual dysfunction, stiffness/soreness and depression. A stressed body is essentially one which has been chronically eliciting a sympathetic or fight/flight repose and has succumb to life and lost the ability to adapt to said stresses. Before you get to this point, here are my 5 tips to beat stress and live the life you deserve before ending up in our office.
- Just sleep, man! Sleeping seems simple but most of us are doing it wrong. If you aren’t sleeping well, you aren’t recovering well and your stresses will only compound. Bulletproof your sleeping by avoiding exposure to blue lighting at least a few hours before bedtime. You can buy blue light screen blocking stickers that can be placed on your phone, I personally use a product from Swanwick which are cool looking glasses which block blue light allowing you for optimal sleep. I also use a free app called sleep cycle which wakes you up at appropriate times during your sleep cycles ensuring optimal rest and not a groggy morning.
- Just Breathe—Simple but unbelievably necessary. Most people these days just don’t breathe well, we find ourselves breathing shallow and we find ourselves hypoxic, lethargic and a shell of ourselves. I recommend learning the Wim Hoff Method. I have been doing his work for years now and it has revolutionized my life and resiliency. I also love box breathing, this has been done for centuries and is popular with yogis, Buddhists and most recently with Navy seals. Check out Sealfit techniques for box breathing here.
- Mediate Mindfulness. Calming the mind and finding focus obviously works wonders for mitigating stress. The spectrum of possibilities for these methods are limitless so I would suggest reaching out locally to find the expert in your area and go for it. I use a nice app called headspace which leads guided meditations that are only 10 Mins! It works wonders for me and I can fit it into my schedule with ease. I have also used mindfulness coaching, guided hypnosis, mantra meditations amongst others to help find peace
- Go see your Chiropractor! Duh Chiropractic has been clinically and classically shown to help people manage stress, decrease blood pressure, sleep better and generally heal more efficiently so as to adapt to the stresses life more efficiently. Techniques are available for brain balancing, relaxing your central nervous system and guiding the body into a more relaxed state. Find your local expert or reach out to us with any questions you may have.
- I love magnesium. I use it nightly to aid in better recovery, improved sleep and generally relaxing my body. My favorite product is Natural Calm by Natural vitality. A powdered magnesium blend which mixes easily in water and touts itself as the “Anti-Stress drink”.
Do these 5 things and you are well on your way to becoming the best version and least stressed version of yourself possible. Watch “Natural Stress Relief “. Go crush life and see you next week!
Yours in health,
Dr. Jordan Hart Kaplan