(Totally unformatted copy from Virginia to use either as some sort of wellness tips page that is linked from the services, or maybe as linked to additional services?)
Manage Your Stress
While everyone experiences stress to some degree, the way you respond makes a big difference to your overall well-being. Stress can trigger the body’s response to a perceived threat or danger, known as the fight-or flight response. During this reaction, certain hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are released. This speeds the heart rate, slows digestion, shunts blood flow to major muscle groups, and changes various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength. When the perceived threat is gone, systems are designed to return to normal function. But in cases of chronic stress, the relaxation response doesn’t occur and can cause damage to the body. Schedule time to focus on your needs. By caring for all aspects of yourself, you’ll find that you are able to operate more effectively and efficiently.
The next time you feel stressed, here are four stress relief tips you can try.
Breathe deeply. Just a few minutes of deep breathing can calm you and tame the physiologic stress response, Winner says. While building in a specific time to relax each day is a good idea, one advantage to deep breathing for stress relief is that you can do it anywhere -- at your desk or in your (parked) car, for instance.
Winner recommends that as you breathe out, you relax a specific muscle group. Start with the muscles in your jaw. On the next breath out, relax your shoulders. Move through the different areas of your body until you're feeling calm.
Focus on the moment. When you're stressed, you're probably living in the future or the past. You're worried about what to do next or regretful about something you've already done. To get some stress relief, instead try focusing on what you're doing right now.
"You can calm yourself by bringing yourself back to the present moment," says Winner. "If you're walking, feel the sensation of your legs moving. If you're eating, focus on the taste and the sensation of the food."
Reframe the situation. So you're already running late and then find yourself stuck in terrible traffic. Getting worked up is a natural reaction, but it won't help you at all. Rather than swearing and pounding the steering wheel, get a different perspective. Look at that time as an opportunity -- a few minutes to yourself where you don't have any other obligations.
Keep your problems in perspective. It might seem Pollyannaish, but the next time you're feeling stressed out, think about the things for which you're grateful.
We get stressed when we focus so much on a specific problem that we lose perspective. You need to remind yourself of the basic ways in which you're lucky -- that you have family and friends, that you can see, that you can walk. It can be a surprisingly effective method for stress relief.
Food can be medicine or poison. Eating a whole foods diet rich in colorful berries and vegetables can help protect the body, providing an array of phytonutrients and creating an alkaline environment with bioactive components which act as antioxidents.
Sugar, processed foods, and vegetable oils, on the other hand, have detrimental effects on insulin metabolism and inflammation, ultimately stripping the body of nutrients.
Hormone levels affect the health of every system in the body. Regulatory hormones play critical roles in
determining how bone, muscle, and the cardiovascular system is maintained
throughout life. Peak bone mass typically occurs by the early 20s, for example, but most
of the adult skeleton is replaced about every 10 years.
Calcium Regulating Hormones
Calcitrol (Vitamin D3)
Other Systemic Hormones Regulating Bone
Growth Hormone/Insulin-Like Growth Factor
Numerous studies have found that insufficient sleep increases a person’s risk of developing serious medical conditions, including, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Reducing sleep by just two or three hours per night can have dramatic health consequences. Major restorative functions in the body such as tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis occur almost exclusively during sleep.
While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours to function at their best.