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Stress Relief from Balanced Hormones???

by: Vanessa Dean

Can balanced hormones in men and women help reduce anxiety during these stressful times? Watch this video to see what Dr. Vanessa Dean has to say about this very popular topic.

DID YOU KNOW…
Hormones tie into so many other facets of your health, including your response to stress?

WHY IS STRESS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH?
Stress creates an inflammatory response to the whole body and inflammation is the foundation of disease development. THAT’S RIGHT. Inflammation leads to disease if it is not properly corrected.

Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many other health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

HOW CAN HORMONE THERAPY HELP WITH STRESS?
Testosterone therapy – for men and women – has anti-inflammatory effects on the body? So, if you haven’t done so already, you could consider finding out whether hormone optimization is for you.

Taking steps to manage stress can have many health benefits. In addition to keeping your hormones balanced, here are additional ways to manage stress:

  • MOVE: Exercise regularly. When you think of exercise, it doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and weight lifting for hours or over exerting yourself on the treadmill. Simply incorporating physical activity every day can make a difference, even if that means taking a 20 minute walk. New to yoga? Check out this 5-minute beginner’s flow!
  • BREATHE: Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage.
  • LAUGH: Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins. These are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which promote an overall sense of well-being and reduced stress.
  • LOVE: Spend time with family and friends. If you can’t physically be with them, video chats can ease your stress also. Be sure to communicate anything that is stressing you to a good friend or loved one. The simple act of talking about what is stressing you out can help.
  • GET SOME “ME TIME” Set aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music

Stress & Nuts 

We all know about stress. Everyday something happens in your life that seems stressful. You can find an entire day, week or year consumed by stress. Are you driven mad by NUTS?


Beyond being a huge glutton of our mental time, stress is really unhealthy.

Does stress impact how we age too?

Science and studies seem to indicate it does.
“Chronic stress accelerates premature aging by shortening DNA telomeres.
Telomere length is a marker of both biological and cellular aging. Stressful life experiences in childhood and adulthood have previously been linked to accelerated telomere shortening. Shortened telomeres have been associated with chronic diseases and premature death in previous studies by Dr. Owen Wolkowitz and colleagues at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).(1)

Is All Stress Created Equal?

No, there are physical and emotional stressors and they impact you differently. Their are also instances were we self impose stress on ourself.

“Like most psychological theories, it’s gone through a few changes over the years. Experts had long believed that the Zeigarnik effect was the brain’s way of prompting its owner to finish a task, nagging the mind to wrap up what had been started. But recent research has found that the Zeigarnik effect is a little more specific than that.
“(The) unconscious is asking the conscious mind to make a plan,” write Roy Baumeister and John Tierney in Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. “The unconscious mind apparently can’t do this on its own, so it nags the conscious mind to make a plan with specifics like time, place, and opportunity. Once the plan is formed, the unconscious can stop nagging the conscious mind with reminders.”
Sounds great, right? It’s like a built-in to-do-list, no iPhone note required. But here’s the thing: That constant mental nagging can seriously drain you after a while.”(2)

To Recap “stress comes in two basic flavors, physical and emotional — and both can be especially taxing for older people. The impacts of physical stress are clear. As people reach old age, wounds heal more slowly and colds become harder to shake. A 75-year-old heart can be slow to respond to the demands of exercise. And when an 80-year-old walks into a chilly room, it will take an extra-long time for her body temperature to adjust.

Emotional stress is more subtle, but if it’s chronic, the eventual consequences can be as harmful. At any age, stressed-out brains sound an alarm that releases potentially harmful hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Ideally, the brain turns down the alarm when stress hormones get too high.
Stress hormones provide energy and focus in the short term, but too much stress over too many years can throw a person’s system off-balance. Overloads of stress hormones have been linked to many health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and weakened immune function. For older people already at heightened risk for these illnesses, managing stress is particularly important.

Over time, the brain can slowly lose its skills at regulating hormone levels. As a result, older people who feel worried or anxious tend to produce larger amounts of stress hormones, and the alarm doesn’t shut down as quickly. According to a study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, women are especially susceptible to an overload of stress hormones as they age. The study found that the impact of age on cortisol levels is nearly three times stronger for women than for men.

The flow of stress hormones can be especially hard on older brains in general. According to a report from the University of California at San Francisco, extra cortisol over the years can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s crucial for storing and retrieving memories. Several studies have found that high cortisol goes hand in hand with poor memory, so we might be able to chalk up certain “senior moments” to stress.”(3)

How Can We Combat Stress?

Some studies indicate that having multiple major life events in a year can create advanced aging. So in a case like mine where a parent passed, sick spouse and selling a home does that mean I will age faster?

I don’t think anyone can tell you for sure as aging is associated with many factors like genetics, environment and balanced lifestyle.

You can offset some of the detrimental effects of stress with the help of friends, family, strong support networks, and strategies for coping with stress.

Reduce your NUTS!!

Yes, humor is great for reducing stress so hopefully your smiling now. Nagging Unfinished Tasks (NUT) are all the unfinished things we perceive or think about that just rent space on our brain and have an impact on our stress level.

“Dr. Oz says they are “often very simple to fix but if you never get around to them, NUTs create a subtle underlying angst that can undermine your health.” Author Jack Canfield calls them “messes and incompletes” and says they “rob us of valuable attention units”.
This variety, these Nagging Unfinished Tasks, are most definitely NOT good for us. They cause not only mental stress, but eventual physical stress. Who needs ‘em?!

Well, unfortunately, I bet we all got ‘em. Those hanger-on projects, tasks, and to-do’s that just seem to never go away. They are those uninteresting, challenging, boring, tedious little things we simply don’t want to do.

So how to handle them and move on to and make room for the things we DO want to do?

Here are some ideas:
Use a simple time management principle: “Do it, Delegate it, Delay it, or Dump it”. The moment you’ve got a task in mind to add to your to-do’s, make a decision on what to do with it… right then and there. Maybe it doesn’t even need to go on the list.(4)

Have stress-reducing techniques on hand. Try meditation, humor or exercise. I love taking a drive and listening to music or going for a great foot massage. Find your comfort zone – a place, person or activity that brings you comfort.

Age well – stress less!!

For more guidance on fitness visit: Lifefit.life

For more information on healthy and balanced lifestyles visit: sottopellelifestyle.com

If you just want to have fun and learn about cool people and topics listen to us on Adventures in Aging on iTunes.

(1)https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201404/emotional-distress-can-speed-cellular-aging
(2) https://advice.shinetext.com/articles/the-zeigarnik-effect-is-your-best-new-motivation-hack/
(3)https://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/aging-1/age-health-news-7/aging-and-stress-645997.html
(4)http://www.debbielousberg.com/soapbox-blog/nuts/

Hugging for your Health

Hugging for your Health

We all know that hugs make us happier, but can they really keep you healthy?

As little kids we were told about an apple a day, but can a hug a day really keep the doctor away too?  Recent studies have shown that “hugging protects people who are under stress from the increased risk for colds [that’s] usually associated with stress,” notes study lead author Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. Hugging “is a marker of intimacy and helps generate the feeling that others are there to help in the face of adversity.”

 

Some experts attribute the stress-reducing, health-related benefits of hugging to the release of oxytocin, often called “the bonding hormone” because it promotes attachment in relationships, including between mothers and their newborn babies. Oxytocin is made primarily in the hypothalamus in the brain, and some of it is released into the bloodstream through the pituitary gland. But some of it remains in the brain, where it influences mood, behavior and physiology. How hugging fits in: “When you’re hugging or cuddling with someone, [he or she is] stimulating pressure receptors under your skin in a way that leads to a cascade of events including an increase in vagal activity, which puts you in a relaxed state,” explains psychologist Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine. One theory is that stimulation of the vagus nerve triggers an increase in oxytocin levels.”(1)

Science is proving what our mom’s and even common sense has proven throughout our lives, kindness and love has amazing healing properties. When we feel stressed our bodies suffer, but when we feel that reassurance, support and a simply put gesture of love – it thrives.

I have started an experiment where I am hugging people I love at least 30 seconds a day.  It seems silly, but so far, the results are amazing.  I feel very happy doing it and the person I am hugging seems happier. It’s not a scientific study but does it have to be? Just go ahead and hug someone.

Source:

(1) https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2016-02-03/the-health-benefits-of-hugging