As the holiday season goes into full swing many of us take on too much and experience that unwanted stress.   The American Medical Association states that Americans are under stress 97% of the time!  And, in fact, they also contend that 100% of all degenerative disease is directly related to the stress in our bodies!

I just read a disturbing fact in one of my favorite books, You Staying Young by Dr. Oz and Dr. Roisen ~ Did you know that our belly is a stress barometer? They state “When our ancestors faced periods of famine, they stored fat in their bellies with an organ called the omentum. We do the same thing: When we face chronic stress, we eat more food than we need, and we store it in our omentum for quick access to energy. The sterioids released by the HPA (hhypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal) axis are also sucked up by the omentum and help grow it as big as the muscles on a weight lifter who is dabbling in similar chemicals! That process proves to be damaging because the toxins from our omentum fat are pumped directly into surrounding organs. But it also offers a tangible way to gauge our stress levels: The bigger our beliies, the bigger our burden!” Who knew?

So how do we break the cycle of eating when we are stressed, not exercising and feeling depressed about being fat and lazy? We know we need to change but the motivation is simply not there. Dr. Oz suggests that instead of waiting for motivation to change our actions, do something to stimulate motivation (like taking a ten-minute walk or doing stretches at your desk). He claims that if we find that if we actually act out something healthy, the willingness then follows. I think it also helps to set a reminder on our smartphone to take breaks throughout the day. When the alarm rings, do a few laps around the house or office before returning to our tasks. Sounds like a plan! Especially when studies show that being sedentary for more than 3 hours a day can decrease our life expectancy by 2 years!

Another tip Dr. Oz added was that we treat depression like it’s a broken leg because it is every bit as much of a physical problem as any other health issue. We do need those therapists and support groups as well. One of Dr. Oz’s suggestions I particularly liked was do a nightly gratitude journal. He says to write down one or more things every day that you appreciate. The action helps puts your stressors in perspective. I also like to use a to-do list to keep track of all the responsibilities I have. It creates less stress on me to do this than to try to fill my brain with it all and I get such satisfaction when I cross each completed task off my list!

In the nutrition industry, kava is a popular herb for stress; however, it causes drowsiness as a side effect.  Recently several instances of liver toxicity in kava users have been reported.  So what is a good choice for a supplement to help with stress?  How about one that not only decreases our response to cortisol (and thereby reduces our response to stress), but also increases nutrient levels known to help us adapt to stress?

The product I am referring to has L-0theanine, a unique free-form amino acid found in green tea that increases alpha-wave activity thereby producing mental and physical relaxation without inducing drowsiness.

In addition to relaxation, research suggests that L-theanine may have application in lowering blood pressure, improving learning performance, heightening mental acuity, promoting concentration, acting as a caffeine antagonist, and supporting the immune system among other positive benefits with no downside.

It also includes the strong anti-stress properties of ashwagandha root extract which diminishes both mental and physical stress and exhaustion.  It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine.  Its unique properties, while being an energy tonic like ginseng, are uniquely more beneficial for calming the mind and counteracting stress and anxiety.

Beta-sitosterol, also found in this product,  is the major phytosterol in most plants and appears to boost immune function by blunting the response of cortisol, which is naturally produced during stress.

And finally, Tyrosine, an important amino acid that is related to our feeling of well-being.  A deficiency may result in depression and a reduced ability to cope with stress.  Studies have indicated a marked increase in the ability to deal with stress, as well as improved endurance to anxiety and stress under fatigue when supplementing with tyrosine.

Imagine…a product that not only relieves your stress and the bad effect on your body but also will also increase your alertness and give you more energy!  Interested?

Go here for information about this product.  (Right now it is being offered free on Day One of 12 Days of  Surprises with an online purchase of $150 or more of Shaklee products ~ free shipping as well! Go here to learn about the 12 Days of Surprises).

There are lots of ways we can de-stress ourselves; these are but a few. What do you do?

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