The opposite of peace is stress. Stress can negatively impact our health, interfering with sleep, digestion, and blood flow. It can also keep us so distracted that we forget to pay attention to making healthy choices.
Stress is the number one acid producer in the body! Too much acid causes inflammation! Too much inflammation can lead to chronic health issues, including a weakened immune system and faulty digestion!
Some healthy lifestyle practices to help you manage stress:
Practice positive thinking: “—Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8. Add to this gratitude, forgiveness, and laughter (it really is the best medicine)!
Practice deep breathing several times throughout the day, especially when you feel tense or under pressure. Before you eat a meal, take a few deep breaths to prepare your body for digestion. Between bites, put your food or fork down, and take another deep breath before the next bite.
Stretch to help relieve muscle tension and to create more flexibility in your arteries and around your heart.
Drink enough water–dehydration can stress your body.
Exercise is a proven stress reliever. Make time in your daily schedule–at least 20 to 30 minutes.
Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that has been found to have positive effects on anxiety. Chamomile tea has also been studied for its ability to relieve anxiety.
Sleep at least seven or eight hours a night to give your body time to repair and recharge, ready to handle the next day’s stress!
Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce stress. Wild-caught fish, like mackerel, tuna, sardines, and salmon, are good sources, and grass-fed beef has more omega-3 fatty acids than corn-fed. Raw nuts and seeds also contain these good fats.
Some foods that help the brain produce the feel-good hormone, serotonin, are bananas, oatmeal, and turkey (raised without antibiotics and packaged without nitrates/nitrites).
Reduce or eliminate foods that promote inflammation and stress, like refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, most refined vegetable oils, too much meat, dairy, and sodium, white flour, white rice, packaged foods that contain artificial colors, flavors, MSG, and preservatives. Eat more fresh and less processed!
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Healthy Lifestyle Coach, CNC, CNHP
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.