When is the last time you had a good belly laugh? You may have heard that laughter is the best medicine; know why? Laughter releases endorphins—hormones that help to reduce pain and relieve stress. Laughter also works muscles throughout our face and body; we breathe faster and our heart rate goes up which delivers more oxygen to cells throughout the body and burns calories.
Let’s talk stress.
When we’re stressed out, it shows up in our emotions, sleeping and eating patterns, and even social interactions. Sometimes the stressors are on the scene temporarily; and some stressors are just things we have to get used to, like traffic we just can’t avoid. Over time, these things that “stress us out” can lead to potentially severe and chronic byproducts of stress like anxiety, depression or high blood pressure. Some call the symptoms of chronic stress, “adrenal fatigue.” Speaking of adrenal fatigue, we recently talked with Kelly Cappasola on the Forever Young radio show about adrenal fatigue and how DHEA cream Twist 25 can help. You can listen to that show here.
Medical science shows that when the body experiences stress, cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) increases to protect the body with an inflammatory response, a defense mechanism which could be good. But when cortisol levels remain high over days, weeks or months, it can cause us to gain weight, lose energy and drive, and seemingly steal our joy.
If you’re middle age, lacking energy and drive and notice you’re just not the go-getter you were in your twenties, you may be feeling the effects of adrenal fatigue. Ask your doctor to test your cortisol, DHEA and thyroid levels. But if a manageable level of stress just has you down for a spell, try these natural self-help solutions first!
Find Happiness in the Little Things - Laugh
Don’t let the stress take over. Turn stress off. Happy thoughts release endorphins with “blissful moments that can also give your well-being a boost.” We love the 5 steps to more joy from W.H. Auden of United Healthcare Services, Inc. Sometimes it’s the little things like laughter that make a big difference.
Breathe In, Stress Out
When too much energy is being exerted on the body’s response to stress, stop what you’re doing and take a breath. In fact, take several. Focusing on taking deep breaths can help take your mind off the stressors. Try some of these breathing exercises offered by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D.
Studies have shown that practicing yoga or meditation can have great antidepressant effects. Not only excellent for practicing breath control, yoga also helps focus the mind on various muscle groups, improves blood flow and oxygenates cells throughout the body. Stretching also clears toxins from muscle tissue. So if you’re feeling stressed-out, tell your excess cortisol to hit the road with a yoga posture, or just move around and stretch.
Find Balance with DHEA
The body’s most abundant naturally occurring pro-hormone, DHEA, is crucial to counterbalance cortisol levels. Unfortunately, DHEA gradually decreases after age 25, while cortisol levels steadily increase as we age. When the DHEA to cortisol ratio is 10:1, a healthier balance is found. DHEA is the only thing that counterbalances the negative effects of cortisol. Think of Twist 25 DHEA cream as yet another natural stress management solution. So maintain DHEA levels to feel and look your best and help reduce the negative effects cortisol can have.
More Natural Solutions
Erin Chamerlik, of Get Better Wellness Inc., offers some great ideas about stress management on her blog, noting, “the body can perceive stress from food and environmental toxins, nutrient deficiencies, and lack of appropriate sleep ...” She supports the idea of using bioidentical DHEA cream, and also suggests vitamin supplements, and herbal oils that can soothe the soul, relax you, and bring joy to your senses.