How Stressed Are You?

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  • We may not realize how much stress affects us.

    The Price of Stress

    When we are stressed our limbic brain takes over, shutting down all body systems which do not help us fight or flee danger. Our digestive, reproductive and immune systems are turned off momentarily to move all our power and energy to our muscles to run or defend ourselves. Once the immediate danger is over, our systems revert back to normal functioning.

    The problem is today our stressors are not momentary physical dangers but a constant bombardment of mental stress. We rush the kids to school. We get frustrated in traffic. Our boss comes down on us about a late project. Stressor after stressor attacks us. Our body is always on high alert. The adrenaline and cortisol never decrease. Our digestive, reproductive and immune systems are not turned back on.  The result is a host of autoimmune, reproductive, and digestive issues.

    Here are a few simple ways to combat stress and heal stress’ effect on our bodies.

    Stress Fighting Foods

    Look to healthy whole foods. When we are stressed, we usually reach for sugar, caffeine, or our guilty pleasure. However, these foods can actually decrease our body’s ability to combat stress. By eating healthy whole foods, especially leafy greens, avocado, seeds, and blueberries, we can stabilize our blood sugar and send calming nourishment to brains, relaxing and clearing our minds.

    Take a Break

    Young healthy woman meditating in the forest

    Try a guided meditation CD. When we are stressed, it is hard for us to slow down. Meditation is very helpful to relieve stress, but difficult to achieve when we are at the height of our stress. A guided meditation recording provides a journey to relaxation engaging our brains and helping us to relax. These recordings can also be used at bedtime to help us get a good night’s rest.

    Essential Oils

    Apply Release essential oils blend to the temples and wrists. These calming oils provide a sense of peace and well-being. They can also help to release anger and frustration.


    Evidence shows a messy space distracts us and keeps us from being able to focus. The thought of organizing one’s home can be stressful in itself. To keep clutter from building, start by being conscious of new clutter you are adding to your space. Instead of just leaving things on the kitchen table, take the few extra moments to put it away in its proper home. If your home is currently overwhelming, you may want to invest in a professional organizer. The stress reduction you receive is well worth the investment.

    Manage Work

    We spend a majority of our day at work. The tension of deadlines, communication conflicts, and our desire to succeed can all lead to increased stress. Check out this previous article to learn how to manage workplace stress.

    Melissa Heisler

    Melissa Heisler is a Stress Reduction Expert. After 10 years managing and directing theatrical productions followed by a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communication and 17 years in corporate marketing, the stress of high pressure, deadline driven jobs led to her own ill health mentally and physically. This started her search for a long-lasting means of approaching each situation with more ease, contentment, and power. Melissa is committed to guiding professionals to improve their health, increase their mental clarity, easily deal with difficult people, and find peace in their current jobs all through reducing their stress levels. Melissa is the host of The Empowerment Show and also a contributing author for the books, Be There Now: Travel Stories From Around the World and Defining Moments: A Gathering of Women’s Journeys. Her first solo book, From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction is being published in 2014. She has also contributed to Experiences of the Light, to be published by Career Press / New Page Books in 2014.

    For more information, please visit

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