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Stress Can Be a Wrecking Ball To Your Body, Mind, and Spirit – Grab Your Yoga Clocks & Meditation Chime Timers and Practice Being Mindful

Reduce Stress...

Reduce Stress...

We don’t need researchers to tell us that stress is rampant in the US. But in its 2009 Stress in America study, the American Psychological Association found that 24 percent of adults are experiencing high levels of tension—and 42 percent of us were more stressed out last year than the previous year. And it’s not just because of the recession, traffic jams, and rat-a-tat pace of grim news headlines—it’s how we handle the challenges of daily life. “Western cultures are more and more isolating to the individual, and families are moving far distances from each other, so we’re increasingly in the position to manage our stress in isolation,” says Jill Evenson, ND, president of the Wisconsin Naturopathic Physicians Association. “We are faced with so many decisions and choices that we must engage in the short-term stress response frequently, and there is little opportunity for things to return to the state of rest.”

Over time, these short-term stress responses can pile up to produce a state that New York City’s Roberta Lee, MD, author of The SuperStress Solution (Random House, 2010), calls “superstress”—a chronic illness that taxes nearly every part of your body, from your decision-making processes to your bones, liver, and cells. “You get headaches, your libido drops, your memory goes, and you’re excessively tired,” says Lee, listing some of the more common stress symptoms.

Even more serious, stress can wreak havoc on your cardiovascular and immune systems. “Stress, by far, is one of the biggest things that gets in the way of your health,” says Michael Smith, ND, of the Carolinas Natural Health Center in North Carolina. “And most of us don’t realize just how stressed we really are.”

Experts shed light on stress

Experts shed light on stress

Here, experts shed light on that fight and what you can do to win the stress battle naturally.

Breathe. “It can be as simple as three long breaths while sitting at your desk,” says Smith. “That oxygen is going to help nourish your body—your muscles and organs—and provide stress relief.” Slow, relaxed breathing calms the autonomic nervous system, producing more energy, better immune function, and lower blood pressure. Start aiming for 25 deep breaths a day; whenever you notice the clock tick forward to another hour, take three long breaths.

Move more (even a little bit). “Even though exercise stresses, or challenges, your body, it does so in a nourishing way,” says Evenson, explaining that exercise lowers levels of norepinephrine/epinephrine (adrenaline), helping turn off the sense of alarm you get when these chemicals are present. Your lungs also receive more oxygen, the muscles get nutrients, and the immune system “cleans house,” thanks to muscle contractions that move lymphatic fluid back to the organs of elimination, helping your digestive system and metabolism. But you don’t have to grumble through a lifeless exercise routine at the gym. “My personal favorite is dancing,” says Evenson. Also, try parking in the farthest spot from the grocery store or office door to increase how many steps you take per day. Or set a goal of doing 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups each day. Start with 25 of each exercise (perform push-ups with your knees on the floor, if necessary) and add 5 more of each every day to help reach that goal.

Try yoga and meditation. Numerous studies have shown that yoga, meditation, and other mind-body techniques can relieve stress. Massachusetts researchers from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine recently found that yoga, meditation, and similar therapies such as repeated prayer actually change the way our genes behave in response to stress.

Our Yoga Clocks & Meditation Chime Timers feature a long-resonating acoustic chime that brings the meditation session to a gradual close, preserving the environment of stillness while also acting as an effective time signal. (Now & Zen, $124.95)

Yoga Clocks & Meditation Chime Timers

Yoga Clocks & Meditation Chime Timers

adapted from Natural Solutions Magazine, 5/2010 by – Sarah Tuff

Now & Zen’s Yoga Clock & Meditation Chime Timer Store

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Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

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