Monday, November 29, 2010

Stress and Anxiety

Holiday season is a supposed to filled with joy, peace, warmth and gratitude but that isn't always the case.   Often around this time people experience an increase in anxiety and stress.  This could be due to  difficult family visits, money worries, work demands or simply not enough rest from overbooked schedules.  If you are feeling the burden of the holidays take some time to reduce your stress and ease anxiety.

  • Maintain your health and fitness regime.  If the gym or walking 3 times a week has been part of your schedule keep it up.  If you don't have a regular exercise plan there is no need to wait until January 1st to start incorporating exercise into your daily life.  Instead of meeting co-workers for cocktails head up to the mountain for a night of snowshoeing.  
  • Avoid grabbing quick snacks and eating more processed, refined foods as they can exacerbate anxiety.  Instead take time to prepare a meal and enjoy it making sure to include high quality protein, whole grains and a variety of fresh vegetables which will help to calm nerves and ease the mind.  Even better invite friends over for a simple potluck so there is less prep, less stress and more time for fun and relaxation.
  • De-stress with an acupuncture session to help rejuvenate your body and mind.  Acupuncture can help you reach a deep state of relaxation to calm the nerves, quiet the mind as well as regain clarity and focus.  Auricular or ear acupuncture has also been shown to be effective in reducing preoperative anxiety.  Although the setting is different the same type of protocol could be used for other anxiety inducing situations.
  •  Incorporate calming activities such as yoga, walking meditation and deep breathing. 
  •  Try herbal teas or supplements for calming the nerves.  Valerian, passionflower, chamomile and even green tea all have calming properties.  I also recommend ling zhi tea and Bach Flower Remedies.  

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