“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.” – Jane Wagner
The experts say that 83% of US workers suffer from stress – the reason why employees are absent from work and some require serious treatment. Work-related stress causes around 120,000 deaths every year and around $190 billion in healthcare costs yearly.
Since 1992, April has been Stress Awareness Month. It’s about making the public aware of the seriousness of stress, which is rampantly on the increase. The thing is, stress is linked to so many other health problems like heart disease, immune system problems, digestive problems, insomnia, among others.
This year, 2021, the experts say that most of the USA is experiencing collective trauma. Dr. Michael Young, a service chief at a psychiatric hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, says it is not a surprise that more than 4 in 5 adults in the US are showing signs of prolonged stress.
How to manage stress in life is a big question people ask today.
According to stress consultant and life coach, Elaine Sanders, “Stress is a direct result of negative emotions that are out of control.” Kathleen Hall, another counselor and CEO of The Stress Institute and Mindful Living explains that “Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional response to change.” Both these experts have shared tips on how to manage stress better at home and work – apart from a healthy lifestyle such as what you eat, drink, what you put into your body, and exercise.
To spread the understanding of Stress Awareness Month, Health Web Magazine collaborated with various Health Experts and Enthusiasts to share their views on – “How to manage and reduce Stress?”
25+ Experts came forward and shared theirs views with us. Health Web Magazine is proud to share their words with everyone and would like to thank our panel of experts for sharing their knowledge and spending time for us, we’re grateful to you!
- Lisa Peranzo
- Ana Marinho
- Claudia Armani
- Claudia Baillargeon
- Maddison Hodson
- Angela Reed-Fox
- Ellen P LaFleche-Christian
- Dāka Karuṇā T.r
- Olena Heu
- Narado Zeco Powell
- Michael Jacuk
- Kathleen Trotter
- Sandra Nicole Jolles
- Janice Newell Bissex
- Janet Gathers
- Gemma Nice
- Stephanie Grosvenor
- Maureen Scanlon
- Lisa Vosloo
- Megan Johnson McCullough
- Cassie Byars
- Anna Gibson
- Noelle Spice
- Frances Robertson-Ritchie
- Julia Nadolski
- Marissa Miller
- Rachel Potter
- Elly McGuinness
- Sonya Pinto
Lisa has over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She has worked with a diverse population, including first responders, athletes and adolescents. Her experience in the fitness industry has also included working with clients to rehab from a variety of injuries, from spinal chord injuries and brain injuries, recovery from childbirth, to sports related injuries as well as joint replacements. Her focus is always to help her clients find their own strength and power from their fitness routine.
She is a PMA accredited Pilates Instructor, Senior Trainer, Certified CrossFit Instructor, Certified Kettlebell Instructor, and Certified Barre Above Instructor, Lisa also has a certification in Paleo Nutrition, a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Human Behavior. She is a contributing writer for HealthWeb Magazine as well as Smartrepreneur Magazine.
In addition to being the founder and CEO of A Healthful Life, Lisa has been featured in various magazines and on podcasts including San Diego Voyager magazine, Combat Divas, The Pourly Written Podcast, and Radical Resilience.
Reducing Your Stress with Fitness
Stress is an unavoidable factor in life. Increased tension levels can negatively impact many areas of our lives, like how we sleep or even muscle tension throughout the body. One of the easiest ways to mitigate stress in our lives is through our workouts.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have workout equipment at home, go for a hike or a walk. Not only will you get that endorphin rush, but that fresh air will help to clear your lungs, giving you more energy and mental focus.
Your body might be under increased physical stress levels during the workout, but your body’s chemical reaction is to decrease stress levels by releasing endorphins to decrease your perceived level of pain. Endorphin releases cause the body to feel good, leading the body to feel more relaxed and less tense.
Trainer Tip: Listen to your body and plan your workouts accordingly. Auto regulating your workouts will help to calm your central nervous system, also helping to decrease stress levels.
Use your workouts to your advantage. Make it a priority to schedule time into your week to workout consistently so you can see of decreasing your stress through fitness.
Hi, I am Ana Marinho.
I am a physical therapist, mind-body coach, visceral manipulation practitioner, and intuitive healer.
For over 13 years, I have been empowering clients to transform emotional/physical pain into overall well-being using self-healing techniques, mind-body connection, and neuroscience.
I offer a multi-faceted approach remotely via Zoom or in-person (South Charlotte-NC).
Reduce stress now and Be Healthy! Body, Mind, and Soul
Before we talk about how to reduce stress, I think it is better to first reflect on: why are we feeling stressed and what is causing this?
Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. A small amount of stress can be helpful to complete all our tasks before the due date. However, stress can become a problem when we do not manage it well and/or we let it consume us to the point of breaking down. It can get the best of us and block us from thinking clearly or worst case, we allow it to reach a point that it manifests in a form of sickness. Remember: what the mind thinks, the body follows.
Stopping ourselves from drowning in physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion enables us to make better decisions. When we are calm, our body feels safe. When we are able to rebalance the self, the mind can function better and our body feels more grounded.
There are plenty of ways to reduce stress! We can start by learning how to control our emotions by simply picking up good habits to quickly calm our minds when feeling anxious. Try shifting the mindset from a stress response, to a relaxation response.
Also, it is best to give yourself that feeling of RESET and STARTING FRESH every now and then. Taking time to honor and acknowledge your feelings and pausing to listen to your soul and intuition. The more clear our energy is, the easier it is for us to take action and to feel what we really want.
Claudia is a health coach, food blogger and movement educator.
Spend as much time as you can outdoor in nature. Longer days boost your metabolism and rebalance your circadian rhythms, help you de-stress, boost your immune system, and some much-needed Vitamin D.
Claudia is a kinesiologist, nutrition coach and speaker who helps thousands of women feel empowered in their bodies, positive in their mindset and confident in their ability to sustain awesome healthy habits so they can perform at their best everyday. Through KarmaKin, her online health coaching business, she inspires, educates and shares her passion about all things related to health, mindset, travels and growth. She has been coaching for over 14 years, working with a variety of people who have a wide spectrum of different goals. She is herself passionate about figure skating, weightlifting, travels and personal development.
Stress is an amplifier and even a risk factor for pretty much ALL illnesses, aches & pains, discomforts, digestive issues, mental health problems, and more. It is CRUCIAL that we integrate some tools, strategies, and habits to help us manage our stress better for both short and long-term benefits.
Let's first look at what you can do IN THE MOMENT, in only a few minutes, to help reduce your stress when you feel it creeping up.
1) Have a Dance Party! Play your favorite song, dance like no one is watching, and sing the words out loud like if you were on a stage in front of a thousand people. (Sounds silly? Try it, it works; you can thank me later ;)!).
2) Shake your body out! Changing your physical state is key to relieve some stress in matter of seconds. Yes through a dance party, but through any movement: jumping jacks, push-ups, going up and down the stairs, quick sprint on the spot, etc.
3) Mindful breathing! Place your hands on your stomach, breathe in deeply slowly through your nose, filling your belly and lungs with air, keep your shoulders down, and breathe out slowly feeling your body relaxing. Repeat as many times as needed.
4) Essential oils! Some scents and oils, like lavender, can help manage your stress. Rub a high-quality oil on the inside of your wrists or diffuse it in your workspace.
5) Happy moments! Close your eyes, visualise a beautiful moment you experienced in your life. It can be as small as hearing your kid's laughter in your mind or as huge as picturing the day you got married. Feel it, see it, embrace it. Add as many happy moments as you need; pile them up on top of each other in your mind and your heart for a burst of happiness and gratitude.
6) Brain dump! Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down every single thing and thought that is going on in your mind. Dump everything down on paper to release some of the emotional or mental stress you are experiencing.
These strategies are awesome for short-term, temporary relief. Now, let's look at some habits you can integrate (with consistency!) in your daily or weekly routine to make sure that your stress level stays low and that you have what it takes to manage it when it gets a little higher.
1) Physical activity! Make you to move your body multiple times per week. Exercising is the best stress reliever. Whether that's lifting weights at home, going for a run, doing a virtual yoga class, incorporate physical activity every single week.
2) Healthy nutrition! Eating processed foods filled with chemicals and artificial ingredients or loaded with sugar causes a huge stress on the body. It can cause inflammation, gut issues, brain fog, fatigue, lack of energy - only to name a few. Stick to healthy whole foods as close to nature as possible at least 80% of the time and make sure to stay hydrated (with high quality filtered water).
3) Meditation! Having a daily meditation practice is awesome to help you stay in the present moment, not feel overwhelmed, quiet your mind and better manage your stress. Start with 5-10 minutes every morning and night and use guided meditations to help you get started.
4) Connexion! Humans crave connexion; make sure to keep high vibing people in your circle. Reach out to close friends and family every day to keep these connexions alive and benefit from engaging, being supported and inspired by your tribe.
5) Have fun! Make sure to schedule time for FUN weekly. Between routines, chores, kids, work, notifications, we lose that sense of spontaneity and fun which is one of the best ways to get our minds off of stress. Enjoy and treat yourself with what lights up your soul and makes you smile :)
If your stress becomes chronic or you are dealing with anxiety or more severe symptoms, please reach out and get some help. Use these tools and strategies to help you on a day-to-day basis and don't forget to take good care of yourself.
You deserve it!
Maddison has over seven years of experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare fields, working as a scientist and technical writer. She is a licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist with a degree in biology. As a wellness writer, Maddison now draws on her technical background to break down complicated science in an enlightening way. Having hands-on experience with multiple diseases and conditions on the cellular and patient level, she is passionate about what it takes to lead a healthy life and prevent sickness by the importance of proper education about health and wellness.
Stress, and especially chronic stress, can impact us on a cellular level. It can damage the mitochondria, which is the part of the cell responsible for the energy produced within a cell. It can lower the effectiveness of the immune system, making it harder to fight off infections. Chronic stress can even increase our risk of developing diabetes. Therefore, the importance of managing stress cannot be emphasized enough. Here are some hands-on actions you can take to help better manage your stress today!
Get out and enjoy the sun! UV rays from the sun stimulate skin cells to produce beta-endorphins whose essential function is to reduce stress. But don't forget about your sunscreen!
Drink matcha tea. Matcha tea is rich in l-theanine, an amino acid proven through many scientific studies to reduce anxiety and stress.
Practice deep breathing. Research has shown that deep breathing exercises reset the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls your ability to feel relaxed.
Stress is a normal part of all our lives and is even helpful in certain situations. Do your best to be mindful of stress and hang in there; we're all in this together!
I build courses and train fitness instructors all over the world to be the best they can be.
Stress is a normal part of life, and a manageable level of stress can be motivating and energizing. It's when we feel we're losing control, or have too much of the stuff that we start to get problems. There are a few quick ways you can instantly reduce stress and the EFFECTS off it:
1. Give it back. A lot of our problems are not only caused by others, but really BELONG to others. Are you worrying about something that shouldn't really be your problem? You have permission to hand it back. You can't carry all things for all people.
2. Self-care. Get control over your life. There are certain things we need to function - make sure you've got enough of each in your life. There is no such thing as 'not having time' - lockdowns have taught us that it's not time that's lacking, it's usually motivation. MAKE time for eating properly, being hydrated, leisure time, and looking after your body.
3. Spend time well. Even your leisure time counts. Do more things that will give you satisfaction. Watching TV and scrolling social media have low value. Reading a book that changes your perspective, or gives you a new insight is high value.
4. Invest in relationships. You can't have a deep friendship with all people - because you know too many people. However, it's good to build and strengthen ties with positive people who inspire you. Spend time with and invest in people who inspire you - you'll become inspirational yourself.
5. Value what you have. Family, your home, your career, you passions. These are valuable. Whatever makes you 'you' - cherish it.
6. Finally, and of course I WOULD say it (but I'm saying it because it's true, and I've seen countless lives changed by it); get active. Physical activity boosts endorphins, clears the mind, helps you focus, reduces stress and anxiety, and makes you feel great about yourself. Make an appointment with yourself to stay active and get fitter (now matter how fit you are - or aren't).
Putting your life in this perspective, taking charge and LIVING your life rather than bumping along being taken for a ride, will help you manage stress as never before. You've got this. ;-)
I believe it doesn't have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. At Confessions of an Overworked Mom I share simple healthy living tips to show busy women aged 40+ how to lead fulfilling lives.
Managing and reducing stress is one of the most important steps you can take for your own mental wellness. Find the solution that works well for you as each person will be slightly different. I find that taking time for self-care is vital for my own peace of mind. Try journaling, herbal tea, essential oils, and loving movement.
Dāka Karuṇā T. (दाककरुणातान्त्रिक) is a psychospiritual care provider, writer, educator, prolific blogger, speaker, and generally inquisitive, curious and adventurous homoerotic man. Daka adopted the Sanskrit name Karuna, meaning “compassion” because of his love for all creation, but for the highest value, Truth. Daka Karuna earned degrees in philology, psychology, and divinity; he is an ordained minister and professional interfaith chaplain, as well as a specialist in yogic Tantra (तन्त्र). Daka Karuna’s teaches a masculine spirituality is based on the Sanātanadharma (सनातनधर्म), specifically the Yoga (योग) and Tantra (तन्त्र) traditions, and its adaptation to Western masculinity. Daka Karuna is an outspoken champion of the concept of divine masculinity and authentic masculine intimacy.
Stoic spirituality and the scriptures of Sanatanadharma have much to teach modern strivers about stressors and stress. The Roman stoic Epictetus writes, “The true felicity of life is to be free from perturbations, understand our duties towards the Divine and man, and to enjoy the present without anxious dependence upon the future.” Be in the moment and avoid stress.
In the Bhagavad Gita, we read that “[a] man’s natural duty, even if it seems imperfectly done, is better than work not naturally his own even if this is well performed.” A lesson in being you and avoiding stress.
An attitude of non-attachment is strongly urged in the Bhagavad Gita. You must work, but “[d]esire for the fruits of your work must never be your motive in working… renounce attachment to the fruits” and “[p]erform every action with your heart fixed on the Supreme Lord.” The point is that any man who works solely for the sake of the material rewards or things it brings is committing a basic mistake. He tends to dedicate his life and efforts to worldly ends rather than to higher attainment. And when he is blocked in achieving his worldly ambitions or he loses his stuff, he becomes angry, bitter, resentful, and malicious, thus losing that equanimity or tranquility of mind which is the foundation of peace.
There is no better advice for avoiding today’s stressors and stress.
Olena Heu is an award-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated writer based in Hawaii. As a former reporter and television news anchor, she received the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, numerous Society of Professional Journalist Awards and her recent work as a freelance writer has also garnered a Telly Award. An advocate for physical, mental, social wellbeing and proactive care, Olena is a highly sought-after previvor, influencer, public speaker and well-known television personality.
My number go-to, when it comes to stress relief is taking a dip in the ocean. In Hawaii we are blessed to be surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, which is mainly warm and inviting. The saltwater always calms my senses, cleanses the soul and I feel grounded with my feet and toes in the sand.
Narado Zeco Powell was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica and as a child, he was underweight. When he moved to the United States at age 16, he was 5’11” and weighed 113 pounds. By age 18, he was inspired to learn more about fitness and nutrition and took a special interest in fitness. He spent 18 years educating himself by reading evidence based scientific articles, learning from mentors and trying different techniques. In 2018, he decided that he wanted to use his knowledge to help others.
Zeco carries 7 fitness and nutrition certifications from the International Sports Sciences Association. They include: 1. Certified Personal Trainer 2. Certified Nutrition Specialist 3. Corrective Exercise Specialist 4. Exercise Therapy Specialist 5. Transformation Specialist 6. DNA Based Trainer and 7. Weight Management Specialist. Having a large knowledge base allows him to work with a wide variety of clients. In addition, it allows him to design programs that are specific to his clients’ needs.
He hosts the weekly podcast, The ZecoHealth Show, which teaches us habits to manage our weight by improving our health. The show is available on Spotify, Amazon, Google and Apple Podcasts.
This month the world is focusing on an important topic, stress. We underestimate the role stress plays on our health and in actuality, it is a silent killer. There are countless studies that show that stress leads to chronic disease, excess inflammation, fatigue, weight gain, and much more. An article on the website for The Anxiety & Depression Association of America explains that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S, affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older every year. Combating stress is never easy, especially in today’s current environment. Here are some techniques that can help. The most important habit is always getting quality sleep. Research shows that during sleep, your body rebalances your hormones, reduces inflammation, heals your gut, and much more. There are reports that show that over 83 million Americans do not get enough sleep. It is also important to have a stress-free morning routine. Many Americans are exposed to at least 5 stressors in the first couple hours of their day. This leads to excess cortisol and eventually brings on anxiety and panic attacks. A solid morning routine can include short meditation, reading, and any activity that allows you to practice gratitude. There are many other techniques we can use to combat stress and take back our lives. Let’s start by taking these small steps.
I am an experienced Operations Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Health, Wellness and Fitness Industry. I consider myself skilled in Sales and Business Growth Strategies, Digital Marketing & Advertising, Brand Management & Social Media Management. I consider myself a Serial Entrepreneur: Owner at Michael Jacuk Enterprises, Founder of Spectrum Health & Wellness Inc. & President of the Spectrum Wellness Group – a Registered Charity coming soon to Ottawa, Canada.
Stress as a Primal Program
The human body is an incredible machine and as a species, we’ve yet to come across much in terms of human anatomy and/or physiology that is without function. Stress is no different and in fact, many moons ago – stress saved our lives.
Allow me to paint a picture for you. . .
You are out hunting & gathering when a lion crosses your path. The stress response is your physical and thought responses to your perception of the situation. When activated, your body may release hormones such as cortisol (to let you know you are in danger) and adrenaline to run faster & jump higher. (. . . to save your life from the lion!)
Stress is a feeling of emotional and/or physical tension. It saved our lives for many, many years but our programmed response does not differentiate a lion vs. work or any other modern-day perceived stress.
Be well, take care of your mental and emotional health.
Kathleen Trotter is a fitness expert, nutritionist, personal trainer, life coach, writer, and overall health enthusiast. She is author of “Finding Your Fit: A Compassionate Trainer's Guide to Making Fitness a Lifelong Habit” and “Your Fittest Future Self: Making Choices Today for a Happier, Healthier, Fitter Future You.” Kathleen earned a master’s degree in exercise science from the University of Toronto. Her clients include athletes of all ages to individuals living with Parkinson's and osteoporosis. For Kathleen's columns in The Fray, visit Fitness Monday.
My first tip on managing stress is “STOP judging your stress”.
Stop feeling stressed about “feeling stressed”. Criticizing yourself for feeling stressed will only result in your feeling stressed and crappy, “less than”, frustrated with yourself, etc. Normalize your feelings of discomfort. We are living in crazy times. You are only human.
My next tip is “get specific”. The statement “I am stressed” is too amorphous. You can’t fight vague, shapeless demons. Are you tired? Are you feeling unfit? Are you stressed because you are missing your friends? Are you overwhelmed?
Make a list. Divide the list into two camps: “In my control” and “out of my control”. Create a plan to control anything you can control. Overwhelmed? What can you delegate? Feeling unfit and/or disconnected from friends? Make a regular walking date with a friend.
Let me quote Susan David, “emotions are data, not directives”. Meaning, all emotions need to be acknowledged, but the behavior doesn’t have to flow automatically from any emotion. No emotion is “bad” or “good.” All emotions are simply data. So, acknowledge that you are “stressed” (which is probably a code for anxious, overwhelmed, scared, etc). Then, ACT in ways that will decrease vs increase your stress.
Sandy Jolles is a wellness coach, group fitness instructor, and personal trainer. For group fitness, she focuses on Barre, Pilates, Body Pump, and Chair Yoga, and creates individualized classes that combine high intensity interval training (HIIT) with strength, balance, and flexibility.
As a personal trainer, Sandy specialize in senior fitness and works to create routines that integrate coordination with functional fitness to improve biomechanical stabilization and neuromuscular efficiency. Sandy graduated from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition(IIN), which educates on a vast library of dietary theories, as well as the importance and balance of the primary food groups (exercise, relationships, spirituality, and career). Sandy is currently enrolled in graduate school to earn her Master's in Nutrition.
When it comes to combating stress, nutrition, mindfulness, and exercise are our greatest forms of defense. By supporting our biochemistry with holistic medicine, we are better able to manage how our bodies process and respond to stressful triggers. Unfortunately, most of us are not able to just eradicate all forms of stress in this day and age. However, by nourishing ourselves naturopathically, we can develop a resiliency to stress.
Hobbies: With many of our days dominated by work, school, children, etc, it can be hard finding a time for ourselves. However, dedicating even five minutes to a passion or hobby can be a way of centering ourselves and reestablishing our emotional/cognitive alignment. By being the architect of what brings us joy, we can better control our internal ecosystems and biochemistry.
Nutrition: With many studies proving there is a bidirectional gut-brain axis, certain foods can trigger metabolites and compounds that can either alleviate or exacerbate forms of stress. For instance, gluten carries an opioid that can travel past our blood-brain barrier and trigger inflammation in some people. With neuro-inflammatory molecules floating around in our brain, stress can feel both overwhelming and all-consuming. We have the power to control that through a diet rich in phytonutrients, fiber, healthful fat, protein, and whole foods.
Exercise: It's no secret that exercise can produce all sorts of happy chemicals in our body. With a cocktail of increased endorphins and dopamine, our self-confidence/self-concept can improve exponentially. Exercise is a natural way of metaphorically melting away the stress of the day.
Mindfulness/Meditation: Tapping into the signals of our body and becoming naturally aware of how our body responds allows us to wield more control of managing stress. As a nonjudgmental observer of our thoughts, we can allow potential stressful thoughts or worries drift away in the confines of our brain.
Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RDN, FAND is a Holistic Cannabis Practitioner, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and cookbook author.
After her dad found relief from his pain using medical cannabis it became Janice’s mission to help others suffering from pain, anxiety, insomnia, autoimmune diseases, IBD/IBS, and other debilitating conditions find relief with CBD and cannabis.
She completed training and attained certification from Holistic Cannabis Academy and Green Flower, as well as the University of Vermont end of life doula program. Janice now advises clients on access, proper cannabinoid ratios, dosing, best consumption methods, and cooking with cannabis at Jannabis Wellness. Janice partnered with a Colorado manufacturer of organically-grown medicinal grade hemp to provide phytocannabinoid-rich hemp CBD products for her clients under her Jannabis Wellness label.
As Co-Program Director of Cannabinoid Medical Sciences and professor of cannabis therapy at John Patrick University School of Integrative & Functional Medicine Janice is on a mission to educate health professionals on the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoid therapy.
One in seven Americans has turned to CBD to help manage stress, anxiety, pain, and other conditions. CBD is cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp and cannabis plants. Unlike the cannabinoid THC, CBD is non-psychotropic, meaning it will not make you "high." CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, neuroprotective, antibacterial, analgesic, anti-spasmotic, antiemetic, anti-psoriatic, anti-diabetic, anti-ischemic, and vasorelaxant properties that may provide relief for a variety of conditions.
Everyone is different in terms of when and how much relief they will see from taking CBD oil. Some report dramatic relief in a matter of days, while in others it can take two or more weeks to see a beneficial effect. There are some people who may not see significant relief. Don't give up! It's possible that trying another mode of intake would work better (some people may lack the enzyme needed to process softgels or edibles and may respond better to a tincture). It's important to know that CBD is likely working at the cellular level to help reduce inflammation, strengthen bones, improve blood sugar, and calm neurons whether you feel significant relief from your pain/symptoms or not.
There are so many CBD products on the market, and according to the Food & Drug Administration, 70% of these products are mislabeled, with some containing zero CBD. Buyer beware! Look for a CBD product that is full or broad-spectrum (versus isolate) meaning it contains the synergistic compounds in the plant, organically grown (in the USA), and that has a certificate of analysis (COA) proving that the information on the label is accurate.
Janet Gathers is the Owner and Operator of GatHouse Fitness - a Virtual and In Person Wellness Business. She specializes in Reiki, wHolistic Healing, Power Yoga and Weightloss Services. Janet began her wellness business five years after losing 100 lbs herself (in 2015) and loves being able to provide, not only, education based knowledge to her clients - but also HANDS ON EXPERIENCE with time tested expertise. Janet is also running for Yoga Journal Magazine’s YOGA WARRIOR - vote for her daily. Link in InstaGram Bio @she_gathers_wellness
Most of us walk around clenched, tight, and straining and we’re not aware of it. It has become our baseline state. This is why I urge my clients to redefine what they categorize as “normal” when it is actually a stressor or trigger. As a supplement, I love to prescribe BreathWork, Mantra Chanting, and Healing Sounds because these modalities can unlock suppressed emotions and heal the organs where these emotions reside. This process in and of itself brings awareness to what in your life causes you stress. Then provides real-time remedies to reduce your stress levels immediately!
My name is Gemma Nice and I help professional women who are trapped in the unhappy unhealthy and unsatisfying work life cycle which is causing them to feel old before their time unloved by those closest to them and is though their life has no meaning through the power of yoga and wellness. I to suffered with my relationship after many years of trying and now we have overcome those factors and have been together for over 20 years. I have suffered trauma through a miscarriage but we got over that and made our relationship stronger.
The real problem is that no matter how many therapists you see, courses you take or conversations you have nothing seems to change. You have this sinking feeling in your heart that the rest of your life is going to feel like a repeat of the time before. I am a 38 year old with 2 children. I was born in Brighton and I love outdoor walks and being in nature and I love spending time together as a family. We have backpacked around the world for 7 months in 2006. That was the best trip ever. We as a family love to travel and the children get to see the amazing world. I am into healthy eating but also am partial to chocolate. I love reading romance novels and health magazines. I love my life and everything about it.
STRESS – Oh it’s that 6 letter word that starts and ends with an ‘S’ and we all know something about it. So, what exactly is it? Well, its where there are more levels of Cortisol hormone (stress hormone) in your body than there should be and there needs to be more of serotonin (that’s your calming hormone) in your body for your mind and body to function correctly.
When we start to feel stressed that’s when the levels of cortisol are higher and we then start to have headaches, tightness in our shoulders and neck area, our brain function starts to decrease, and we start doing silly things. We need to start to notice when we are feeling stressed and what causes it for us to then do something about it before it gets out of hand.
To do this take 3 big deep breaths and channel our thoughts out into our exhales. We can also use our hands and place them against a wall and try to push the wall away. As you do this, the stress levels decrease as you are ridding your body of the cortisol. Go out for a walk in nature. Nature is truly our biggest healer and teacher.
After being trained by the Shaolin Warrior Monks in China in mind-body medicine and completing her certification as a Holistic Nutritionist, Stephanie takes a very well rounded approach to helping her clients implement small, practical change in their daily life that can have a huge impact on their overall wellbeing. Stephanie work on all aspects that influence wellbeing such as individualized genetic predispositions, diet, and lifestyle factors. Together with her clients they co-create actions plans that drive her clients to easily reach their wellness goals.
Through her own 15-year battle against digestive disorders and chronic inflammation, Stephanie was able to learn how to heal her own body through holistic, natural remedies and lifestyle changes and is now dedicated to helping other adults do the same. She understands that to be succeed you need the right people in your corner to hold you accountable and offer you support and guidance along the way. Stephanie is the founder of Unlimited You – Holistic Health Coaching where she provides 1:1 sessions to help her clients get to the root cause of their problems and begin healing from the inside out. She has helped countless men and women overcome digestive distress, rebalance hormones and regain their quality of life. For more information on the services she offers or to read her wellness blog you can head over to www.unlimitedyoucoaching.
Stephanie holds a certification in Holisitc Nurition from AFPA and is currently underway with her certification in Functional Medicine Health Coaching through FMCA – A division of the Institute for Functional Medicine. In the fall she will begin her studies in Immunology through Harvard Medical School’s online department. Stephanie is also certified in Tai Chi and basic Shaolin Kung Fu by the Shaolin temple, Yunnan Province in China.
To manage stress we get to face where it is coming from and what the underlying problem is. When you take a moment to honestly think about why you are feeling stressed, at a deeper level, it becomes easier to shift out of this way of being. Most of the time, this boils down to fear. Fear of failure, of looking bad, of not being able to pay the bills, etc. Stress = Fear. When we face what the underlying problem is, we get to shift our focus to working through that so it will not create stress for us in the future.
Stress can also be created by overwhelm. Our lives are busy. Looking after kids, building a career, working out, looking after the home, etc. and the demands we take on can often feel too much. Your to-do list grows faster than you can tick things off! When we are overwhelmed we are living in the future and our expectations of it. When feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, remind yourself to take it one step at a time, one thing at a time, and focus on being present in your day instead of rushing through it, jumping from task to task. Being present in each day, to each task, in each conversation, at each meal, will decrease feelings of overwhelmed and stress and even increase your level of happiness! Connecting to ourselves, people around us, and our daily tasks can dramatically increase feelings of happiness each day
One of my favorite stress-relieving techniques is breathing. It actively switches our body from fight or flight into rest & digest! Do this when you feel stress starting to come on so you can nip it in the bud before it gets too high and starts to damage your body internally
Try 4-7 -8 breathing. Taking a slow deep breath in (expanding your tummy, not your chest) to a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, and exhale for a count of 8, allowing your tummy to collapse back toward your spine. It is in the pause and exhales that we switch to rest and digest and this is the state in which healing can take place in the body.
Maureen Scanlon is the founder and CEO of Maureen Scanlon Life coaching. She is an Award-winning Author, relationship expert, motivational speaker, positive change integrator, and spiritual coach who has successfully helped many people, from experienced professionals to young adults and couples. She focuses her tools and techniques on overcoming past negative experiences and making positive changes in our thoughts and lives.
Maureen has been featured on 3TV Good Morning Arizona, 3TV Your Life Az, ABC15 Sonoran Living, Voyage Phoenix Magazine, appeared on the cover and featured in Ultimate Women International magazine, USA daily times
Managing and Reducing Stress are very different ends of the spectrum. The priority is to reduce the stress so there is LESS stress to manage. Everyone’s idea of what stress looks like can vary. It can be task-related (work/career), emotional (family/relationships), or environmental (politics/pandemic). Here are ways to reduce and manage the stress in your life:
1. Complete a Life Wheel- Break your life into categories (in a pie chart) and see where most of your time is spent. For Example: If you spend 75% of your time at work, you can see that work is the main cause of stress, etc. Work to balance all of the areas of your life as equally as possible.
2. I’m laughing WITH you- The best way to produce endorphins and dopamine-the happy chemicals. Find time to enjoy life and have fun!!
3. ME time- It’s so crucial to allow time for yourself to unwind and relax. Self-care is Self-love
4. Look what I did!- Find a hobby or project that allows you to focus on one thing, reducing all of the other noise in your mind. Plus, it gives a sense of accomplishment which feels great!
Lisa Vosloo is a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach based in Cape Town, South Africa. In her practice she utilizes a variety of bioresonance analysis devices to help her clients get to the root cause of their symptoms of dis-ease. Together with therapy to help balance any biofield imbalances detected during their scan, Lisa then coaches her clients using a tailor-made plan of action that's 100% doable for the client given their unique circumstances, thus helping them to get back on their journey to better health.
Sadly, after the year that’s been, stress has become the norm in most of our day-to-day lives...
From a Functional Medicine, perspective stress is one of the root causes of many forms of dis-ease, due to the toxic adrenaline that naturally ensues a stressful trigger. Whilst its best advised to identify the cause of our stress and find ways to eliminate it or at best mitigate it, that is sadly not always possible in today’s volatile, unprecedented times.
Thankfully there are numerous ways to cope with stress – techniques to suit all types of personalities and depending on your time, budget, and comfort levels.
I challenge you to try at least one of these suggestions every week (try more for an added bonus!), then journal your activity and be sure to record how it made you feel:
- Create a gratitude journal, daily entering at least five things you’re grateful for.
- Try out yoga, tai chi, or qi gong.
- Sliend time in nature.
- Give yourself a hand or foot massage.
- Look into adoliting a new hobby.
ll the best and as Sydney J. Harris says “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
LMegan Johnson McCullough, owner of Every BODY's Fit fitness studio in Oceanside CA, has an M.A. in Physical Education and Health Science, is an NASM Master Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Senior Fitness Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Drug and Alcohol Fitness Specialist, Group Exercise Instructor, Wellness Coach, and Weight Management Coach. She is currently a candidate for her Doctorate in Health and Human Performance, Megan is also a professional natural bodybuilder, published author (https://bit.ly/MeganJohnsonMcCullough), fitness model, wellness coach, as well as a certified group exercise instructor (Zumba, Aqua, Cycle, Yoga). For more information about her view her website.
In alignment with the American College of Sports Medicine approach, exercise is medicine. Not only does exercise release physical stress, but it is also a great therapy for the mind and to alleviate stress. There is a mind-body connection that helps reduce the spike in cortisol that occurs with the onset of stress while at the same time increasing the amount of positive endorphins released. This can be in the form of meditation or yoga, but resistance and aerobic forms are extremely beneficial for stress reduction as well. The sense of accomplishment and self-care from a good workout and a little sweat can go a long way to change a bad day into a good one. Stress can wreak havoc on the body when cortisol levels strike, adrenaline can set in, and bad food choices are made to suppress your emotions. Instead of taking in calories, burn them with exercise.
Cassie helps wellness companies expand their influence and grow their business with engaging content and compelling copy. With a background as a wellness consultant, she specializes in nutrition, natural supplements, healthy lifestyle, and a functional approach to wellness. With fierce conviction, she is passionate about empowering others with the information and tools to take control of their health and live a life of wellness. You can learn more about Cassie and her services on her website.
Stress is inevitable. It is simply a part of life. The first step to managing stress is accepting it. Of course, it can be helpful to assess your schedule, your routines, and your commitments, and make adjustments that will minimize stress. However, in today’s world, it is inevitable that stress will be a factor, at least on some of your days.
A great, proactive way to manage stress is to schedule a time to do something that you enjoy. This may be some form of exercise, a creative hobby, reading, cooking, or any other activity that brings you joy. Engaging in enjoyable activities will release endorphins, chemicals released by the brain. Endorphins have been shown to boost mood, decrease pain, lower blood pressure, and improve overall wellness.
Not only will these endorphins help you recover from stress, but they will also help you manage future stress. During times of increased stress, chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline are released. Increased levels of these chemicals negatively impact digestion, sleep, hormonal balance, and many other areas of health. When you engage in an activity that you truly enjoy and your brain releases endorphins, they counteract stress hormones.
To make this strategy really work for you, it is important to actually schedule time for activities that you enjoy. Don’t approach this time as “bonus” time, but instead treat it as an appointment. Make it a non-negotiable. It is that important.
A personal trainer, group fitness coach and educator with 20 years in the fitness industry. Anna has a passion for helping people move better and feel better through training, nutrition and mind set coaching. Her specialty is helping women over 40 peri and post menopause.
Here are my top tips for dealing with stress:
- Switch off phones and laptops and get away from stressors.
- Get outside and go for a walk and enjoy nature.
- Move - any exercise you enjoy will help you feel good.
- ake 5-10 full deep breaths - this helps slow down the heart rate and calm the mind.
- Socialize, whether in person or on FaceTime, catching up with friends, sharing your problems or having a laugh always makes you feel better.
- Watch something funny - get a good laugh-out-loud comedy.
Noelle is a mental health and personal development blogger and content creator. After having struggled with her mental health for years, and been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, and ADHD, she now uses her platform to encourage and educate other people who are struggling with their mental health. With the right tools, she thinks everyone can heal, grow, and be merry.
When it comes to dealing with stress, my advice is to focus on three key areas:
- Check-in with your body
- Check-in with your surroundings
- Check-in with others
Check-in with your body Is there anything you can do right now to help your body perform at its optimal level? Have you eaten recently? Have you drank enough water? Have you had enough sleep? Would a hot shower/bath help relax you? Or would you feel better with some exercise? Perhaps yoga, meditation, or breath work would help you ease your tension.
Check-in with your surroundings Now that you’ve checked in with your body, take a look at the environment you’re in. What can you do to make your environment less triggering? Would you feel less overwhelmed if you cleaned up the room? Do you need to open a window and get some fresh air? Would you like to listen to some music or watch a comforting show/movie? Maybe changing your clothes or the background on your phone will be a nice change.
Check-in with others Lastly, make sure you’re not isolating yourself. We have a tendency to shove our emotions down and refuse to ask for help. But the people in your life can be a big help. Consider therapy or seeing a doctor (you can try online options if you need to). Confide in your family and friends. Even just spending time with others can help, even if you don’t talk about what’s bothering you. Consider playing a board game, or making something together like a puzzle or some baked goods. We are social creatures. Community will make you feel better.
This is far from a comprehensive list but these are the top tips I like to give to other people when they need some serious self-care and the ones that I am most likely to use for myself.
Frances is a Mum of three –a teenage boy who loves guitars and twin girls who couldn’t be more different. She trained as a Yoga teacher and Hypnotherapist to be able to help others to re-evaluate their priorities in life and to create habits to support a healthy and happy life.
Stress is often portrayed as a bad thing, something to be avoided. In actual fact, we are able to efficiently manage stressful situations that arise in life. In the past, that might have looked like running away from predators or fighting for survival. We can look to the natural world to see how animals process this kind of stress and we in turn have that same innate wisdom in our bodies.
In our modern societies, the chances of being chased, or having to fight for survival are rarer. Instead, we experience the stresses from our daily lives. Although these stresses may not be life-threatening at the moment, we still get the same reaction in our bodies. We feel as though our life is under threat, we just don’t act on those impulses to run or fight.
This may give us guidance on how we can begin to manage stress more effectively because ultimately there are always going to be challenges in life, we can't control that. What we can control is the way that we react to those challenges.
Here are 3 simple ways that we can manage our reactions to stressful situations:
1. Since we are no longer running from danger, we can bring movement into our habits and lifestyle as a way of processing and releasing stress. This might be running, or swimming, or Yoga, something you enjoy and can practice with awareness.
2. We can practice sitting with what arises by developing a meditation habit. Using techniques that help us to drop into the present moment and simply observe with curiosity rather than getting caught up in a spiral of thoughts about what might happen.
3. Breathing techniques are a powerful way that we can affect the way that we feel. By learning to control our breathing we can learn to drop into a more relaxed state under challenging situations.
Julia Nadolski - NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Knowledge has become Julia’s power as she struggled with mental health surrounding fitness throughout adolescence. Now a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Julia equips others with that knowledge to unleash the strongest and most confident version of themselves, just as she has. She emphasizes all components of wellness and their interlinkage: her core value as a Chief Fitness Officer with ENDVR. She offers free 1:1 consultations with all clients looking to improve their wellness and personalizes an affordable plan based on their unique goals by equipping them with trusted resources that will make those goals a reality.
To schedule a free 1:1 consultation with Julia, please visit - https://endvrwellnessco.com.
3 Tips on Stress Management
1.) Schedule breaks Studies have revealed that the most high-achieving individuals take breaks about every 52 minutes. Set reminders on your phone that nudge you to step away from your workspace, mindfully eat, take a walk, stretch, and/or chat with a friend to help prevent burnout, release tension in the body, boost energy levels, and spark creativity.
2.) Set boundaries Before agreeing to every task or opportunity, evaluate its urgency, relevance to your goals, and personal timetable. You’re not a hotline receiver and you don’t have to conform to others’ expectations to be accepted. In fact, those who truly appreciate your character will respect and admire the boundaries you’re setting instead of getting upset when you put yourself first.
3.) Follow morning and nighttime routines that serve you How you start and wind down your day has a significant impact on your mental health, mood, energy levels, productivity, and sleep quality. The key is to set sustainable habits and rituals that fuel your mind with peace, positivity, and gratitude.
Final Thoughts How you show up for yourself in one area of life typically reflects the overall quality of your lifestyle. Making yourself a priority isn’t easy, but those extra acts of self-care will inevitably promote a cascade of healthy choices and behaviors that further reduce stress. It’s all a cycle, my friends. Take care!
Marissa Miller is a journalist and editor covering health, nutrition, fitness, style, beauty, travel, tech and mental health with work published in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN Style, NBC News, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, USA Today, BBC Travel, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, GQ and more. PRETTY WEIRD, her debut collection of essays contending with themes of impostor syndrome, body image and self-worth, will be published by Skyhorse Publishing and distributed by Simon & Schuster in May 2021. Several of her poems have won national awards and are published in anthologies by the Poetry Institute of Canada. Miller judges journalism and poetry contests across North America and lectures at universities to aspiring writers. She holds a degree in journalism and creative writing from Concordia University, and a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell University. In 2018 and 2019 respectively, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global named her one of the top women to watch and one of the top female creatives.
I like to manage my stress before it happens instead of waiting to deal with it once it’s become overwhelming. As someone who's been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, I can expect most things that happen to me to feel stressful. I take small, actionable steps every day to mitigate some of the pain and inconvenience those stressors would otherwise cause. Here’s what I recommend:
1) Avoid burnout: We’ve all been conditioned to be as busy as humanly possible. I learned the hard way that there’s nothing honorable or noble in neglecting your interpersonal relationships, mental health, and hobbies. In my experience, the symptoms of burnout mimic that of depression, which is a lot harder to deal with than asking to use a sick day. Take multiple days off to look at your phone and do nothing. Like a rest day after the gym, you’ll come back so much stronger.
2) Find your form of self-care: Self-care is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot, but few of us actually know what it means. Identify what puts you at ease instead of trying to pursue some nebulous idea of self-care only to feel disappointed once nothing gets better.
3) Maintain proper gut health: We often underestimate the gut-brain connection, but maintaining a balanced gut flora can do wonders in boosting cognitive function, thereby providing you with some of the tools to self-regulate stress and anxiety. Not to mention, the gut releases some of the same neurotransmitters as the brain does, like dopamine and serotonin, which both play a role in enhanced mood. Start by increasing your intake of probiotic-rich fermented foods like sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, and kombucha. I would recommend the whole foods route before opting for a supplement, as nutrients are most bioavailable in food form—and you need those calories to survive and enjoy life.
Rachel Potter is a LCSW based in NY. She is the founder of Strive Behavioral Counseling and Well-Being, a private practice focused on helping individuals coping with chronic stress, including burnout and chronic illness.
If you are experiencing stress, here are some ways to manage it better. First, acknowledge your stress then get curious. Where is this stress coming from? Is it caused by a specific situation or general circumstance? Is it something you can fix? This may sound obvious, but sometimes you narrow in on a problem that is not the source of your stress (e.g., focusing on your messy desk rather than the work stress that is causing your desk to be a mess). Once you have clarity, decide if you can resolve the situation or if you need to tolerate the distress. For example, if you are job searching you can take action by applying for jobs, but you will also need to tolerate the uncertainty of the job search.
Here are some ways to tolerate ongoing stress:
- Take breaks – Allow yourself short breaks throughout the day to reset. This could be 5 min walk around the block or getting up to stretch.
- Compartmentalize – Allow yourself to separate from the source of stress. For example, if your stress is work-related, set a cut-off time when you will stop checking emails.
- Develop a gratitude practice – It is easy to get stuck focusing on the negatives. A gratitude practice helps you to recognize and appreciate the positives. Bonus: A consistent gratitude practice will help you to find the good with ease.
- Use your 5 senses to re-regulate – Look for 5 things you can hear, 4 things you can see, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
Elly has been helping men and women to become the fittest, healthiest version of themselves for the past 20 years.
As an experienced industry professional, she helps free you from diets, fads, and quick fixes so that you can feel fab and kick your long-term health and fitness goals.
By taking you down the Holistic Health Highway she’ll empower you to make the tiny sustainable changes that will add up to the fitter, healthier and happier lifestyle that you desire and deserve.
Elly is a mom to two young girls and alongside her partner Colin they live a full-time ‘slow travel’ and location-independent lifestyle.
Unprecedented events over the past year or so have left more people feeling like their stress levels are out of control. A busy modern lifestyle in itself can often produce high levels of perceived mental stress. More than ever, stress management needs to be the central focus for better health and wellbeing.
Our bodies have an incredible hormonal system that helps us to deal with times of stress. The problem is, for many people, their stress levels are remaining constantly elevated. When your body doesn't receive a message that it's time to reduce those stress hormones, it's not able to return to homeostasis (a state of balance).
Chronic stress can have far-reaching implications for many areas of health, so it's important that each person develops their own personalized pathway towards healthier stress levels.
Although that pathway will be different for everyone, here are a few points to consider, to get you started with better stress management:
1. Focus on gentle forms of exercise that help activate your parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest one). Examples include restorative yoga, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi. Intense forms of exercise can be too much for an already over-stressed person.
2. Create space in your life for rest, relaxation, and sleep. (And yes, you need both rest AND sleep!). Even small actions can make a big difference over time. Examples include:
- Taking time to sit and mindfully drink a cup of tea (without doing anything else such as checking your phone!)
- Stopping for 10 deep belly breaths
- Spending time in nature
- Switching off from devices and the media regularly
If you don't feel like you have time to stop for anything these days, consider taking stock of everything you're doing in your life. Start by making a list of what you could remove or swap to make space for rest, relaxation, and enjoyment.
Sonya Pinto is an MBA turned Certified Nutrition and Digestive Health Coach Specialist, (CNTC). I also have a Certificate in (Food as Medicine) from Monash University. I am an Acid Reflux /GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease) survivor who had to give up my corporate career due to my debilitating chronic disease. My Mission is to help people/ GERD patients get Medication Free -Naturally, help them achieve their Digestive health goals, and lead a well-balanced holistic life.
Stressful events occur in every once in a while at unexpected times. It is always good to be prepared to face such unexpected events. You may not be able to change your situation but you can take steps to manage the impact of these events.
Basic Stress management strategies include:
1. Wholefoods diet : Eating a healthy whole foods organic diet free of preservatives and additives, processed food, junk food, refined carbs, refined sugar known to be the cause of chronic inflammation, additives, hormones or pesticides, and non-G.M.O.
2. Avoiding stimulants : Limiting alcohol or stimulants especially before bedtime.
3. Exercise and spending time in Nature : Ensuring regular exercise every day to help stabilize the cortisol levels by the release of endorphins or happy hormones, manage mood, and detox the body through sweating. Make time for hobbies, such as gardening, reading a book, or listening to music.