In our previous newsletter, mohealth addressed how to manage your mind to prevent stress from setting in. However, there are always times when we do feel stressed and it’s important to strengthen the body to allow it to combat the adverse effects stress has on the body and mental state.
From a physiological perspective, stress is our body’s way of dealing with tough or demanding situations. Stress effects causes our sympathetic nervous system and causes it to go into fight or flight mode. When this happens, our endocrine system releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which give the body an extra boost to either “fight” or “flee”. This is great when we are facing an immediate threat because cortisol reallocates the body’s resources to make more energy available to the brain and large muscle groups in order to accelerate speed and response times. However, this simultaneously takes resources from other systems in the body and we see decreased digestive capacity and a weakening of the immune response. In the short term the body can recover, but when we experience chronic stress, these hormones are released regularly and results in strain on the body and a weakened immune system. As we all know, our world is going through a lot of changes right now and there is a lot of uncertainty a concern. We’ve been feeling this for months at this point and this chronic stress can affect our immune system and overall health. We want to provide our body what it needs to fight the effects of stress and keep the immune system strong.
There are habits you can incorporate into daily life to help you do this.
Eating the Right Foods
Eat warm, nourishing food (steamed or baked veggies, homemade soups and stews, well-cooked grains) for most meals of the day. These types of food are easy to digest to ensure that you are getting the most nutrition from your food to support your immune system. Avoid cold and frozen foods as these douse agni, the digestive fire, and hinder digestion. Check out some of the best foods to help combat stress.
Sounds sleep is vitally important to combating stress, maintaining a balanced mind and body and providing the body the time it needs to repair and rejuvenate. Make an effort to get enough sleep and ensure that you are sleeping soundly. Vata types generally need 8 hours of sleep, Pitta types need about 7 and Kaphas need about 6-7. If you are having trouble falling asleep or sleeping soundly, refer to these tips for sound sleep.
Sometimes the body needs a little support to help in the battle against stress and there are Ayurvedic herbs that can help. Adaptogens are especially effective in combating stress in the body. In a previous newsletter, Adapting to Stress with Adaptogens, mohealth addressed some of the best adaptogens for helping the body counter the effects of stress, including Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Amla, Astragalus and others.
Another great option is Be Serene which is a combination of herbs, including Ayurvedic herbs, that specifically combat stress and anxiety. Be Serene was developed by Dr. Morgan Camp, who I’ve personally worked with and highly recommend. Check out Be Serene to learn more and for a free trial.
Commit to a Daily Routine
The body responds positively to routine, especially in times of stress. Committing to a daily routine gives the nervous system a number of comforting and reassuring reference points throughout each day and helps set the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Ayurvedically, stress causes excess and aggravated Vata energy and routine helps calm and balance it. Create routine by waking, eating and sleeping at generally the same times every day. Include exercise and meditation as part of your daily routine. Establishing morning routines and rituals when you wake help set the tone for the day.
Some suggestions for morning daily rituals upon rising include:
- Drink a glass of water,
- Practice tongue scraping
- Set an intention for the day
- Check in with yourself
- Exercise/practice yoga
Find a daily routine that works for you and stick to it. As always, mohealth is here to help you. Please contact us if you have any questions about finding your daily routine, best health, and sense of peace and calm.
Current Offerings at mohealth
Live Wellness Chats
The last of our series of three live wellness chats is next Wednesday, May 13 at 11am PST. Join mohealth live on Instagram to learn about the importance of the spirit in mind, body, spirit balance.
Reset and Recharge
As we enter into spring, start going outside more again, and adjust to live in this new era, now is the perfect time to reset, recharge and find your balance. Feel better, strengthen your immunity and combat stress with an Ayurvedic whole Self cleanse.
Herbs and spices are an integral part of Ayurveda not only for flavoring food, but also for their many medicinal benefits. Every Sunday mohealth will focus on a different herb or spice and discuss its best uses and benefits. These postings will be on Instagram @mohealthlife and on the mohealth website. Check out the first post here.