5 Stress-Busting Tips to Help You Make 2014 a Year Full of Health and Wellness

19289611Feeling stressed? Stressed out? Overwhelmed? Who … you?!? If stress is zapping your power and keeping you from enjoying your days & living life to the fullest, you need to check out these amazing tips from Dr. Doni Wilson. Then, tune in for this episode of Power Up Living where we talk with Dr. Doni about mastering the stress remedy for optimal health in 2014. ‘See’ you there! ~Kelly

By Dr. Doni Wilson

In the thick of 2014 goal setting, THE STRESS REMEDY is a vital companion for people who contend with everyday stress. Following, Dr. Doni is sharing five of her top stress-busting tips to help you make 2014 a year full of health and wellness.

 

2014 Stress Remedy Tip #1: Put Self-Love & Nourishment at the Forefront

In THE STRESS REMEDY, Dr. Doni helps us see the warning signs of when too much stress creates excess cortisol (a primary stress hormone) and how to tackle these conditions by carving out essential time for YOU.

For example, she helps us identify stress symptoms — including worry and anxiety about life, feeling overwhelmed, being emotional, to physical symptoms such as digestive distress, headaches, and more.  She explains it is possible to get your body back in synch with simple remedies to take care of yourself.  Here are a few self-love approaches that have been scientifically proven to lower the stress hormone cortisol:

  • Taking time to plan and prioritize your day in the morning
  • Take an all natural calming product, such as TheaNAQ or Endoplus spra
  • Enjoying a cup of green tea
  • Scheduling a massage
  • Taking a hot shower or bubble bath
  • Curling up under a cozy winter blanket with a good book
  • Put on your favorite “feel good” music
  • Setting a reminder to eat every 3-4 hours and including protein with every meal
  • Supporting adrenal health by getting enough sleep (see Stress Remedy #2)

 

2014 Stress Remedy Tip #2: Heal Adrenal Stress with a Good Night’s Sleep 

Here are things you can do to ensure a good night of rest:

  • Plan on getting 7.5-9 hours of sleep.
  • Use the hour before bed for less stimulating activities (turn off the TV and iPad)
  • Lower the lights because they stimulate hormones that keep you alert
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and large amounts of food in the evening
  • Support your body to lower cortisol with a product such as Stress-FIC TM by Aveda. It is made with organic lavender and sage, and comes as a location, bath salt, and oil. Lavender has been shown to lower cortisol levels
  • Use an app such as sleep cycle to track your sleep

You’ll know that you got enough sleep when you wake up without an alarm and feel rested.

 

2014 Stress Remedy Tip #3: Choose Foods that Help Your Body Rebound from Indulging

It is not mandatory to give up your favorite foods entirely, but in order to help your brain cells recover from stress in the most efficient way, Dr. Doni recommends incorporating these super foods every day:

  • Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts—help maintain healthy cortisol levels
  • Fatty fish: wild salmon, mackerel and sardines—prevent cortisol from rising
  • Berries: strawberries, blueberries and cranberries—help maintain healthy cortisol levels
  • Leafy greens: spinach, kale, chard and more—contain magnesium, which helps muscles relax, and calcium, which is calming
  • Dark Chocolate: even one ounce a day for two weeks is linked to decreased levels of cortisol!
  • High-fiber carbs: oatmeal, quinoa—increases serotonin for longer periods of time than refined carbs

 

2014 Stress Remedy Tip #4: Don’t Hibernate! Spend Time Outdoors to Lower Stress 

Instead of going straight home after sitting for hours at a desk, get creative and take advantage of wintertime nature during this beautiful time of year:

  • Enjoy the snow by building a snowman with the kids, having a snowball fight, or make snow angels.
  • Pick a favorite winter pastime in your local area such as sledding, ice skating, collecting pine cones, etc.
  • Take a leisurely stroll through your local park; head out on a photo excursion to take pictures of the winter landscape.
  • If you’re feeling more adventurous, think about planning an active vacation and go snow tubing or skiing.

Moving more has been known to lower stress and bring all of the body’s core systems back into balance. Simply spending time in nature has been shown to decrease cortisol, boost endorphins and oxytocin, relax muscles, and improve mood.

 

2014 Stress Remedy Tip #5: Pick a Favorite Soothing Ritual, and Stick to It

Below are some of Dr. Doni’s favorite rituals:

  • Keep a Gratitude Journal One of the most valuable, yet underrated stress-busting activities is practicing gratitude. While it may seem too simple to believe that merely feeling thankful can make you healthier, research has proven it to be the case.
  • Set aside 5-10 minutes every day to being fully present Another extraordinarily effective way to rebalance your stress response is to fully experience emotion, which is known to stimulate both the hormones and the neurotransmitters that lower stress. Being more emotional after the holidays is completely normal, and research shows that “talking it out” and fully acknowledging them is critical to our health.
  • Do something that makes you laugh! Studies show that laughter can lower your cortisol levels while raising your endorphins and oxytocin, relaxing your muscles, and improving your mood. For example, a 1989 study published in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences linked “mirthful laughter” with decreased cortisol levels.
  • Writing in a journal is also a terrific way to balance your stress response. A study published in Psychotherapy Research found that people in therapy who wrote about their emotions had less anxiety and fewer symptoms of depression than a control group of patients that did no writing. The journal-writers also made better progress in therapy.

 

Dr. Doni Headshot

Dr. Donielle (Doni) Wilson, a nationally celebrated naturopathic doctor, teaches women, men and children how to make life-changing differences to improve their health using natural approaches.

Suffering from environmental and food allergies herself, Dr. Doni was inspired to create a specialized approach to food sensitivities and “eating for health” – The Hamptons Cleanse – a popular, gluten-free nutritional regimen that reduces inflammation, heals leaky gut (a digestive issue that leads to food sensitivities), supports detoxification and weight loss, and brings the body back to a state of optimal health.

Dr. Doni Book CoverIn her new book, THE STRESS REMEDY, Dr. Doni discusses how and why we experience stress, its impact on health and wellbeing, and offers expert guidance on how to reduce stress and reclaim optimal health.

Dr. Doni graduated from Bastyr University and is a naturopathic doctor, certified professional midwife, and certified nutrition specialist. Dr. Doni is frequently called upon to discuss her approaches and her research related to stress in the media, as well as at both public and professional events.

She was awarded the New York Association of Naturopathic Doctors (NYANP) Naturopathic Doctor of the Year award and is well-respected in her field for serving as the President and Executive Director of the NYANP for the past ten years.  She continues to play an instrumental role, leading the effort to license naturopathic medicine in New York State.

About the author, Kelly

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