With the holiday season now behind us and with 2015 just beginning, itâs time to start to recuperate from the most stressful time of the year. But even with the holidays now passed, itâs back to the regular schedule and the stresses and demands of regular day-to-day life.
Adrenal fatigue, digestive problems, depleted immunity, and chronic pain are all common health problems associated with the festive season and stress.
Long-term stress can also increase cholesterol and blood pressure, destroy brain cells, and lead to health problems like skin conditions (such as eczema), breathing problems, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and cancer.
But before you can treat your stress, you need to know and understand whatâs really causing it.
Why Are You Really Stressed?
Have you ever considered why disease or health conditions develop from stress? When you are stressed, hormones are released from the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis; the adrenal glands release adrenaline and other hormones, such as cortisol. The adrenals also become enlarged from the overstimulation of the pituitary gland.
In other words, your brain and your body need to desperately slow down. Greater amounts of acid are secreted into the digestive system, which increases the acidity of fluids in the body, such as urine and saliva.
As a result, your body is very acidic and you are like a volcano ready to burst with molten hot lava. There is an excess of carbon dioxide and carbonic acid in your blood. If you tested the pH level of your saliva or urine with pH strips, you probably would get an acidic score well below seven. Anything above seven is considered alkaline, and the optimal range of urine pH is considered between 6.5 and 7.5.
High stress levels and negative emotions can lead to an acidic pH. Other factors that make your body acidic include toxins, immune system reactions, and acid-forming foods.
What are acid-forming foods? Many holiday favorites are acid-forming foods, such as baked goods, fried foods, processed foods, dairy products, coffee, most grains, and alcohol.
Whatâs the Solution to a Stressed Body?
So you are overstressedâwhat do you do? Priority number one is to create greater alkalinity within your body. I like to follow the rule 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic; however, as a general guideline for an ideal alkaline-acidic balance, consider these tips:
- Eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks
- Consume green smoothies daily with a variety of green vegetablesâspinach, dandelion greens, and kale are all good choices
- Eat more alkalizing grains, including quinoa, amaranth, and wild rice
- Drink plenty of water; keep in mind that mineral water is very alkaline-forming
- Herbal tea is also a good choice, as it is also very alkalizing
- For salad dressings,replace balsamic vinegar with apple cider vinegar (itâs more alkalizing)
- Avoid sugar, which is very acidic, and opt for molasses when necessary as it is the most alkaline sweetener
Also Read : The Natural Herb That Fights Stress
What Else Can Relieve Your Body of Stress?
Take time for yourself. Some things that help me relieve stress include a walk in the park, a relaxing massage, a restorative yoga class, meditation, or a floatation therapy session. The ultimate goal is to create a more peaceful and serene environmentâboth outside and inside your body!
Sources for Todayâs Article:
Lipski, E., Digestive Wellness: Strengthen the Immune System and Prevent Disease Through Healthy Digestion (New York: McGraw Hill, 2012), 179â187.
Murray, M., et al., The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (New York: Atria Paperback, 2012), 204â205.
âAcid-Alkaline Balance and its Importance to Your Health,â Burton Goldberg website; http://www.burtongoldberg.com/page84.html, last accessed November 26, 2014.