Friday, March 5, 2010

In Trying Times . . . Live the SWEET Life!

I seem to know many people going through trying times right now. Some of the most stressful times of our lives, with exception of surviving a natural catastrophe, are birth & death, wedding & divorce, and changing jobs or houses. I seem to know people going through each of these stressful experiences right now!

When I have times of great stress, like above, I really focus on living the SWEET Life because it helps me get through the tough times.

SLEEP: In trying times, you are probably not sleeping enough because your mind is overflowing with ideas and you are too busy to go to bed at a decent hour. However, the busy-ness and overflow of ideas is exactly why you need ample sleep! Your mind needs time to assimilate all these concepts, which is what it does while you sleep. Sleep will help solidify your ideas and refresh your mind and body for the next day.

WATER: When you are stressed, you are probably thinking about drinking either coffee or alcohol rather than water. However, stimulants and/or depressants are NOT what your body needs in times of stress. These beverages also dehydrate you. Even mild dehydration causes fatigue, irritability, and loss of focus, three things that you already have plenty of if you are stressed and certainly don't need more of! What your body needs is the plain hydration that water provides, to dilute toxins, keep body systems running smoothly, maintian mental clarity.

EATING: Who thinks about what they eat when they are stressed? Even the healthiest of eaters will grab whatever comfort food is closest in times of stress. Some of us eat more when stressed, and some of us eat less. In either case, your body needs to be properly fueled to combat stressful times! To get through your day, to accomplish what you need to accomplish, your body needs the energy that healthy food provides in order to function, physically, mentally and emotionally.

EXERCISE: Exercise is amongst the first things to go when we are overly busy or stressed out. However, exercise releases "feel good" hormones, along with giving you strength and stamina to help your through the trying times, physically. Even a 30-minute walk can help relax you, take a break from all your stress, and let your mind wander, all of which are needed.

TRANQUILITY: How is it possible to have tranquility when you are stressed out!? Well, that's exactly why you need to focus on getting some tranquility, at least 30 minutes a day. Exercise is a great form of tranquility. So is chatting with a friend. Reading a good book can help distract you from your stress for a little while. Taking a bath instead of a shower might help you relax for a bit.

Cortisol is the stress hormone that your body releases. Human bodies are not designed to withstand long periods of stress; we are designed for short bouts of "fight or flight". When we are too stressed for too long, we gain weight, lack focus, lower our immunities, and get out of shape. All of these effects are negated by living the SWEET Life.

Live the SWEET Life for just one week . . .
  • Sleep - 7-8 hr/night
  • Water - drink 8-10 cups/day
  • Eating - a variety of nutrient-dense foods in small portions
  • Exercise - 30-60 min/day
  • Tranquility - 30-60 min/day
. . . and see how much better you feel!

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