What Can You Do About Your Stress?

This little video by Dr. Mike Evans packs a big punch. Stress is one of our modern scourges, and as it turns out, there are a few simple things that we can do to leave it mostly behind us. Small changes can indeed make a giant difference in our lives. Did you know that up to 70% of visits to the doctor are stress related? It increases our risks of heart attacks, depression and anxiety, and a poorer quality of life. The pharmaceutical companies do not have a cure. The commonly used SSRI class of antidepressants, for example, is no better than placebo in multiple studies for mild to moderate depression.

But what can help? As it turns out, changing our thinking is the key to managing our stress. The good news is that this can be learned. We can have a big impact on our lives by changing our thinking style by:

  • Cultivating positive thought patterns, or reframing the habitually negative ones
  • Choosing where to put our attention
  • Maintaining a focus on the big picture of our lives
  • Being in the present moment!

Virtually all diseases have better outcomes if we manage our stress well. Check out this video by Dr. Mike Evans for some inspirational and scientific details:

5 Hot Flash Remedies

Menopause can be a challenging time for many women and hot flashes are one of the most troubling symptoms. They can be embarrassing in public or at work, and they often disrupt sleep which makes all of live harder.

There are many small changes that can have big effects on hot flashes. Here are just a few:

Manage Your Stress
Our high adrenaline lifestyle may be why we have a much greater incidence of hot flashes than in other parts of the world. Find a daily method to bring calmness and relaxation that works for you. Breathing exercises can be particularly effect, like “paced breathing” where you count to 5 on the in breath, pause, and count to 5 on the out breath, making in and out the same length of time. Do this for a minimum of 3 breaths at a time, anytime and throughout your day, and notice how your body relaxes more and more with each time you practice.

Ground Flax Seed
This little seed is full of great nutrition and fiber. One small study showed a reduction of hot flashes by 50% with 2 tablespoons of flax seed taken daily. Start at about ½ Tb daily and increase the amount over a week or 2 to the full 2 Tbs. Add it to cereal, salads, or a smoothie. You can sprinkle it on almost any food.

Moderate Exercise
The benefits of daily exercise are remarkable, reducing risks of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, and osteoporosis. Moderate daily exercise may also reduce hot flashes. Be careful, for some women, overly vigorous exercise may increase them, so pay close attention to your body.

Maca
This “super food” of the Andes was shown in a small study to reduce hot flashes. It may also have many other fantastic benefits for menopause including helping with sleep, concentration, energy, vaginal dryness, and regulating adrenal function. It is generally considered safe since it’s been eaten as a food for millennia, and the dose studied was 2 grams of the dried root daily. Add the powdered form to your daily smoothie or it can be taken in a capsule as a standardized extract of 500 mg daily. As with all herbs, check with your health care provide when taking it, and always have herb holidays.

Bioflavonoids
Rutin, hesperidin and quercetin are common bioflavonoids, well known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Hesperidin is found abundantly in citrus, particularly the peel. An old study from the 1960’s showed relief from hot flashes with the combination of 900 mg hesperidin, 300 mg hesperidin methylchalocone, and 1200 mg of vitamin C daily for four weeks. It can be found in citrus bioflavonoid supplements. You can also get these powerful nutrients by adding lemon or orange slices (including the peel) to your smoothie.