During the holidays, for some, it’s a glorious time to spend with loved ones. For others, it’s a trying time. For those going through some emotions, I hope this will provide you with some action steps.
The heart is a universal symbol of emotions. We hear expressions like “my broken heart”or “with a heavy heart” or “my heart can’t bear it,” etc. Studies have, in fact, linked grief, depression, job loss and the like with heart attacks. Stress leads to high blood pressure. Unfortunately, there are also behavioral decisions that propagate poor health such as smoking, overeating, alcohol, and inactivity.
Negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, frustration, depression, fear and so on, prompts the body to release cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones make the heart beat faster, blood vessels narrow, blood pressure rise, and blood sugar elevate. In our hunter/gatherer days, stress hormones turn off once we escaped the predator and our blood pressure and heart rate goes back to normal. In modern society, this elevated stress could continue for hours, days, weeks, months, years, and even decades. Yikes!!! You see how the body fails and we become susceptible to all kinds of diseases. Here are some simple actions to take as we mindful shift away from unnecessary stress:
- Exercise. Aim for 3.5 hours every week if not more. This is huge for me because I can literally feel my stress dissipate.
- Breathe. We, as a society, are terrible breathers. Try yoga and/or meditation. Studies show permanent changes with meditation.
- Break. Step away. For you, what does it mean to live. Definitely not to stress all the time, drown in work, and not have time for breaks, joy, etc. Focusing on gratitude has really helped me.
- Friends. Science show that people with frequent social connections are better able to protect their body against high blood pressure. Friends are important but choose them wisely.
- Diet. Food is medicine, and it also helps dodge mental illnesses. “Without proper diet, medicine is of no use. With proper diet, medicine is of no need.”
I wish you the joyous of holidays. And if others (including yourself) get in the way, I hope you’ll find next steps for living a happier, freer life within your control. Please reach out if you need support.
If you need help understanding nutrition and all the mixed messages out there, give us a call. We will address your stress level, diet, exercise, cravings, emotional eating and overall health and happiness. Start with a free health consultation at www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you. I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle and this is not for everyone. Check out Yelp for other people’s opinion of Happy Food.
~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA