I just recently heard that April 16th was National Stress Awareness Day…I wonder if April 15th being the dreaded tax deadline has anything to do with the date for this stress-related holiday!

We are all so stressed these days. And when you’re stressed, the stress hormone cortisol starts to rise…and hang around. When this happens, protein is released from storage and turned into sugar – it is supposed to be a good thing, to help your body have the immediate surge it needs to spring into action.

In caveman times, it would help a person survive the tiger attack.

But now our bodies get all pumped up to fight the tiger…but there isn’t a tiger! Only commute traffic, kids’ homework, juggling work with your family, etc. So all of that fat (your muscles) is released, and turned into sugar…which causes insulin to be released.

Then the insulin triggers the extra sugar to be converted into fat because there isn’t a tiger to fight! And most of that fat gets stored on your waist.

And then there’s the brain fog because your body is amped up waiting for the tiger!

So managing stress is key to your health (and sanity!).

Here are 5 Stress Management tips that you can implement today!

Intentional deep breathing and positivity

If you’ve followed me for any period of time, you know that I am a certified practitioner for the HeartMath® process. Go to their site, www.HeartMath.org, to learn more about their system. It involves breathing techniques and focusing on positive emotions to lower cortisol and create a sense of well-being and calm. It is science-based and there is a good deal of research on their site should you wish to review it! It really works for me. I encourage you to try it and stick with it for a few days.

Disconnect in order to reconnect

Turn off some of those electronics, especially the news and social media. Did you ever stop to think about what people did before they could be constantly tethered to their iPhone? Maybe they talked to one another! Or worked out in the garden. Or went for a walk. I strongly believe that we are overly bombarded with negative information…absolutely tragic information in many cases.

And while that is the reality sometimes, we don’t have to live in that mode during every free moment of our lives. Positivity is so important for our health and managing stress. And sharing positivity with someone in your family or community is also uplifting and further lowers that cortisol!

Connect with the outdoors

And reconnect with nature while you are at it, too. There is science behind the benefits of things like earthing (walking barefoot to connect with the earth), forest bathing (walking in the forest while truly being mindful of the forest’s sounds, smells, textures…using all of your senses), taking Fido for a walk (good exercise and pets are such great therapy), and eating a picnic outdoors (yes! As long as it is a healthy picnic, there is something about eating outdoors on a beautiful day). I love going for a walk or bike-ride, especially if I can grab a family member to join in. And I am a big yoga enthusiast in any case, but there is something truly wonderful about doing yoga (or any exercise) outdoors.

ANYONE can go for a short walk outdoors. You will be amazed at how good it feels and how it will lower your stress.

Quit the sugar!

I just can’t tell you how important it is to reduce your sugar intake. And not just the white sugar…but all types, such as honey, maple syrup, agave…they all cause your blood sugar to wreak havoc on your health. You should also reduce your intake of high sugar fruits (bananas is a big one). When you need to sweeten things up, use low glycemic alternatives like stevia, luo han, Lakanto, or erythritol.

Did you know that about 50% of all of the clients that I see have a blood sugar issue as a root problem for their negative health symptoms! Yikes!

Get off the gluten!

Gluten is bad for you for so many reasons. It causes your adrenals to be stressed; it causes brain fog, belly fat, and digestive issues; and it can lead to autoimmune diseases… and frankly, when your body is reacting to gluten with all of those symptoms you are going to be irritable and feel overwhelmed.

I always tell clients, “just try it for a few weeks”…for about 75% of the people I’ve worked with, removing gluten from the diet lifts them from their brain fog in just a week.

So there are 5 things you can do to feel less stressed…

What will you try first?

I talk a lot more about stress reduction techniques and hormone balancing strategies in my intensive 3 day conference, Spring Into Vitality…where I review techniques that YOU CAN DO to be your own inner healer! Order and take at home lab tests, interpret them, identify your specific hormone imbalances and identify (and heal) key stressed areas of your body!