A woman curled up and relaxed

Stress Busters

Do we really understand what stress is? We’ve all had the displeasure of being amongst its presence and we all know what detriment it leads in our lives. I recall a relative stating its true effects when my mom was in the hospital taking her last breath, “This thing of cancer is within all of us, it’s just a matter of when it becomes activated by stress levels.” I found that statement so profound, but kind of true. It’s not to say if you have stress in your life, that you will automatically be plagued with cancer. However, it does leave room for other ailments to step in. So I wanted to shed some light on how we can try for a zen and less complicated existence.

Food to the rescue

There’s nothing like a nice crispy crunch of a favorite fast food, but not every day, and not as often. Let’s face it, we use food as a huge crutch when any form of stress enters into the picture. Food for many makes us feel good or better than we did before eating. There aren’t too many that would be truly gratified with a celery stick unless it included a swipe of some ranch dressing on it. Here’s the problem: using food to resolve a deeper issue can give us another load of deeper problems. We know the difference between good from bad, but sometimes we leave the door open to cheat more often than we should with foods that eventually make our stress even more out of whack and our bodies.

Let’s consider calming foods that actually make stress levels lower:

  • Garlic (seems to make everything better in more ways than one)
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chick peas
  • Chamomile tea

Obviously, you may need to incorporate these into your meal plan with some other foods, but whatever the choice, try avoiding fried foods. I’ve coined my own little breathing method for my students when taking on exercise. It’s called O.A.C, O is for oranges (inhale), A is for apples (exhale), and C is for cherries (full release of the lower gut). Sometimes we go with the motions rather than realizing exactly what we’re doing and the efforts needed to get us through the motion. Breathing is one of those areas where we go with motion but don’t really appreciate the breath. When that level of stress becomes unbearable breathe it through.

Taking a break and signing off

Is exactly correct, to know when to shut the world off is pivotal in the coping mechanism. Though we can’t cut off our illness, we can focus on acts and circumstances when they call to “stress” about it. A great stress buster at that moment comes in the form of music and entertainment. The year 2020, was a rough patch for everyone, and take that pressure with living and coping with cancer. It’s a lot, but I think many can attest to the time out sessions of television, movies (on Netflix), and the grooviest beats of your favorite band.

The time for well-needed Calgon moments is right in this moment.

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it

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