5+1 ways to BEAT Sress

Stress. A word on everyone’s lips in almost every minute of everyday. Outrageously positive people are not affected by it though OR they dare not admit it then suffer a burnout eventually.

Different people has different response to stress. Some like to lay back. Some go for more action orientated activities. Some just sleep it off (although I do not have that privilege.. the more I sleep the more tired I get…but I love to sleep.)

To the point. How to beat stress then? This is for people out there who has tried various methods and are just looking into more options.

Before…the 5+1 ways you should already consider to

BEAT STRESS.

Before that, let’s delve into some bio-chemistry. When the body is stressed, it releases much cortisol from the adrenal glands ( just above the kidneys) to cope with it. In prehistoric times, the only time cortisol is produce by the body is when a caveman is chased by a saber toothed tiger! But in modern times, cortisol production of the body is at a all time high! Why?

Pollution, free radicals, radiation, datelines, traffic jams, your spouse?, bosses are all forms of modern time saber tooth tigers. But unlike the caveman they use up the cortisol by running away for his dear life. Do you remember running away from your boss when he drilled you for a job not done well? Get the point?

Cortisol not used by the body becomes destructive to the body, giving rise to inflammation and in the long run if kept unchecked various illnesses crop up, like cancer for example. Do you know that the history of cancer in the royal family in Japan is due to chronic stress?

So what’s the trick here?

We will keep it simple here. We will flank this stress thing from both side. Left jab and right hook then it’s down for good.

Left jab = Control cortisol levels

Right hook = Increases endorphin production

Let’s begin with the 5+1 ways to beat the hell out of

STRESS.

#1 Breathing Exercise

Take a breather. Breathing exercise requires concentration. Concentrate on your breathing. It will seem hard at first. You will find your mind drifting back to the problem but practice makes perfect.

How? When you inhale, expand your stomach area. Inhale for 4 seconds. Then exhale thru your mouth, make a little pout and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat ten times. If you don’t feel better already, relax and repeat one more round.

Outcome : More stable frame of mind. Able to make more conscious and rational decision in response to the situation (in scientific terms, the opposite is called amydala hijack).

Hey, this works when your blood pressure gets too high too!

Word of caution! In situations when you are in a heated argument. Do the opposite. Exhale then inhale. I am afraid if you inhale first you might hold it for too long and release the carbon dioxide in a explosion with expletive added. J

#2 Have a drink

Yey! You heard it right… go for a drink…any drink … responsibly.

Recommended drinks …

English tea, chamomile tea, green tea – antioxidants to reduce the free radicals.

Ginseng tea – Oriental way to de-stress and strengthen your body systems

Cocoa – the best food drug is chocolate, if you can’t eat ‘em, drink ‘em

Red wine – Get the kick of holding the wine glass elegantly and its heart healthy too!

and for you guys out there … BEER! – Cheers!

For this to work, drinking is not enough. Remember drinking alone makes Jack a dull boy. Invite friends! You need to talk and ramble to keep your mind off things.

Take care though, different partners require different topics… do not make the mistake of off loading your anger and troubles on another person…save them your woes.

Like a Bushism saying goes “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” – do that and your friend would be happy to reject your invitation.

Recommended topics for different relationships

Ex school mate – Old times, your life vs theirs, gossip of other ex school mates

Colleague – about that ignorant superior, about other colleagues, about other departments, other silly stuff

Boss? – about the marketing strategy?

Pub buddies – men and women issues.

Life partner, spouse – Your next holiday, the children

Your pet dog – Talk, talk, talk, it will lick you then yawn and sleep on your lap.

Evil? I know. What the hell you need to beat stress don’t you?

Remember DRINK responsibly.

#3 Self-Hypnosis

Tried and tested way with lots of evidence to back it up.

If you have not tried it before, take up a 3 day retreat course in it. Learn once and use it for life. Normally you can look it up in courses teaching NLP or EQ.

Buy a CD with sounds of nature like chirping of birds in the forest, streaming water with relaxing tones. Locked yourself up in a room, asked not to be disturbed for the next 30 minutes. Turn up the stereo. Volume to your liking. Close your eyes. Do the breathing exercise while relaxing your neck and shoulder. Just let yourself slum or you can sleep through it. Imagine yourself in that natural spot. Create a mental picture of the landscape. The greens. The crisp air. The gentle wind. Relax. Feel the healing energy of nature coursing down on you starting form the head slowly moving downwards to your very toes. If you have certain conditions like heart problems let the healing energy stay there for a while longer, acknowledging that it is being healed by the energy and it will get well soon. Relax. Be mindful of the breathing. If it lapses don’t fuss about it. Let your natural self take its course. At the end of the music, before you open your eyes spend some time by reminding yourself that you are grateful for what life has given you, give thanks to your Creator, spread your love to those around you. Open your eyes. Smile.

Alright you get the mental picture of it? If not, go for a retreat or course, the experience will stick to you forever.

Sounds too time consuming? Or even weird? Then you need other forms of self-hypnosis. I call it the SELF DENIAL METHOD FOR MODERN PEOPLE. Not in this post though. Will post it later. Stay tuned.

#4 Sex

From where I come from it is still a taboo to speak of it openly. I am from the modern thinking side of the society though.

First for some bio-chemistry, do you know why we feel better after exercise or a good laugh? A chemical known as endorphins is released by our brain into the bloodstream and this gives rise to feeling of happiness!! It’s known as the happy hormone!

And do you know when this hormone is released at its most? When you hit ORGASM! You heard it right, that great relief feeling you get and that shudder that comes after it, is pure primal satisfaction! Works for a quickie too!

Of course it takes two hands to clap. Satisfying one without another is no fun. Experiment what the other likes, what makes, then give and ye shall receive.

Don’t get naughty ideas though. I am in all support for one guy, one partner relationship. No hanky panky. But then again it’s your life. But remember, RUBBER FIRST! J

#5 Sauna

Got some money to spare? Pamper yourself then to a spa retreat. Relax and unwind as the masseur untie the knots in your muscles. Smell the invigorating aroma from various flower essence.

But before that, do an endorphin releasing stuff. A secret so well kept that many do it half heartedly and some even avoid it to go to the next room full of steam! You are right! The sauna! The Pandora Box of Endorphin Release!

The heat in the room is actually far infrared rays (FIR), and FIR has been studied so extensively that conventional medicine now acknowledges its usage in physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Main benefits of FIR are increasing micro-circulation, removal of toxins through sweat glands and relaxation.

It has been studied that FIR can mimic the effects of endorphin release similar to swimming. Hence it’s nickname ‘Happy Rays’.

The only downside to conventional saunas is that you are in a room full of heat. Oxygen is low and is not for those with a weak heart. So it is recommended that you look for a FIR sauna system that uses proprietary technology like ceramic semi conductors or ceramic panels that emits 4~14 micron of FIR for maximum health benefits.

I personally prefer the portable sauna though. Although you look like an ancient time criminal with the head jutting out of a box, it beats sitting in a stuffy small space anytime.

# +1

Get off your couch and Exercise!!!!!

Exercise = Sweat + Tired + Feeling good + Muscle ache and growth – Stress – Toxins

Unfortunately for the modern lifestyle, exercise has to take the backseat as we go around attending more urgent matters.

NO TIME… is the #1 excuse on the billboard. But does exercise really take that much time? Many tend to think so. When they think of exercise, running on treadmills for hours on end, going to the gym for classes, comes to mind. The truth is, exercise if done efficiently takes only 12 minutes of your time per day!

You read it right! 12 minutes! Don’t you have 12 minutes to spare in the morning, afternoon or evening? I wager if you have not been exercising those 12 minutes was spent on the couch with eyes fixated on the television.

This 12 minutes regimen I am suggesting can be done in the comfort of your home with no fancy equipment at all! Put your body to good use! That’s right, bodyweight exercises! There is loads of tips right off the Net that you can apply straight away. The only commitment here is ACTION everyday!

And you know what? Exercise improves your health physically and sexually too!

For more on bodyweight exercise, please visit this post.

Well…till next….happy beating stress at its own game!

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The Good Old ‘C’

Vitamin C is the most common form of nutrient known to many. Parents give it to their kids to help strengthen their immune system. Young adults take it as supplementation to their regular diet. Older folks might pop one or two when they catch a cold. Some like me, used to take 1000mg twice a day (I am not now… read on to find out why?). So what is the real deal with Vitamin C?


‘The story of vitamin C began centuries ago with accounts of a disease called scurvy. The ailment causes muscle weakness, lethargy, poor wound healing, and bleeding from the gums and under the skin. Scurvy was rampant around the world for centuries, and documents dating back before the time of Christ describe the disease. Ships’ logs tell of its widespread occurrence among sailors in the 16th century.

History books report that scurvy was a common problem among the troops during the American Civil War. And records of Antarctic explorers recount how Captain Robert Scott and his team succumbed to the malady in 1912.

Almost as old as reports of the disease are reports of successful ways to treat it: green salads, fruits, vegetables, pickled cabbage, small onions, and an ale made of such things as wormwood, horseradish, and mustard seed. In the 1530s, French explorer Jacques Cartier told how the natives of Newfoundland cured the mysterious disease by giving his men an extract prepared from the green shoots of an evergreen tree, which the men then called the “arbor vitae” or tree of life .

However, the disease was still the “scourge of the navy” 200 years later, when the British physician James Lind singled out a cure for scurvy. Believing that acidic materials relieved symptoms of the illness, Lind tried six different substances on six groups of scurvy-stricken men. He gave them all the standard shipboard diet, but to one pair of men in each of the six groups he gave a different test substance. One pair received a solution of sulfuric acid each day; another, cider; and a third, sea water. The fourth pair received vinegar, and the fifth took a daily combination of garlic, mustard seed, balsam of Peru, and gum myrrh. The sixth pair in the experiment received two oranges and a lemon each day-lucky them.

Lind found that the men who ate citrus fruit improved rapidly; one returned to duty after only six days. The sailors who drank the cider showed slight improvement after two weeks, but none of the others improved.

Although Lind published the results of his experiment, 50 years passed before the British navy finally added lime juice to its sailors’ diets. And it wasn’t until 1932 that researchers isolated the vitamin itself. At the time, it carried the name hexuronic acid. Later, scientists renamed it ascorbic (meaning “without scurvy”) acid.’

http://health.howstuffworks.com/what-is-vitaminc.htm


Main benefits of Vitamin C

Protects enzymes involved in cholesterol metabolism and immune function.

Aids in absorption of iron and calcium.

Anti-oxidant, protects cell’s DNA from damage and mutation.

Could prevent cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and aging.

Works with Vitamin E for more powerful antioxidant property.

Protects the cardiovascular system.

Cofactor in the formation and repair of collagen, promotes faster healing of wounds.

Promotes development of bones and teeth.

Aids in amino acid metabolism and synthesis of hormones.

In our daily life, vitamin C is easily lost during the process of elimination, sneezing, sleeping and talking. Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, it is easily lost when vegetables are soaked in water; vitamin C is heat sensitive, it is lost once again when cooking time is prolonged or in high temperatures; vitamin C oxidize easily in the air, when greens and fruits are stored over a longer period, again vitamin C is lost. In fact it start losing its nutrients the moment it is plucked from its source.

It is not easy to ensure our daily intake to include adequate fruits and we can’t ensure that vitamin C can be obtained from the food we eat. Hence, Vitamin C needs to be supplemented everyday!

BEWARE!

When taking Vitamin C supplementation, orange pills comes to mind in reference to synthetic Vitamin C. More informed consumers might look for high dose Vitamin C ~ 1000mg and stuff. Below are 5 truth you should know about these synthetic Vitamin Cs

(used to consume them, thinking better synthetic than nothing, but have since stopped)

1) Synthetic Vitamin C requires flavoring agent to disguise the sour taste of ascorbic acid.

2) Synthetic Vitamin C, contains only a fraction of Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid cannot be utilized in the body unless the missing parts (co factors) are present, the body will draw on its own stores to make up the differences, so that the whole vitamin may be present.

3) Most synthetic Vitamin C contains 50% L-isomer (can be fully utilized by the human body, then again you need the co-factors) and 50% D-isomer Ascorbic Acid ( cannot be utilized by the body)

4) Most synthetic Vitamin C, produced from cornstarch, was never ‘alive’ or part of anything ‘ alive’.

5) Overdosing on Vitamin C could cause flushing, headache, frequent urination, lower abdomen spasms, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

So the first choice in source of Vitamin C should be from fruits (citrus). Which is picked straight from the trees.

Second would be local fruits in the market, preferably organic produce. Local because most energy and nutrients in the fruits are still intact (minimal loss)

Third choice would be concentrated dried raw fruit made from rapid freeze drying method. As this technology enables the nutrient and enzyme content of fruits to be locked in powder form. With this wonderful technology we can consume the nutrients of different types of fruits without actually consuming the fruits itself.

Not convincing enough? Read what Dr. Ben Kim has to say on synthetic vitamin C. I personally recommend that you subscribe to his newsletter at http://www.drbenkim.com

Here are some facts that you won’t find advertised on most of the vitamin supplements at your local vitamin store:

  • The majority of commercial vitamin supplements are made up of synthetic vitamins
  • Synthetic vitamins do not perform the same functions in your body as vitamins found naturally in whole food
  • Many synthetic vitamins deplete your body of other nutrients and tax your kidneys before being excreted through your urine

If you want a comprehensive understanding of what vitamins are and what they do in your body, it would be best to take a full course in biochemistry. Do you remember all of those molecular formulas and chemical reactions that you studied in your high school chemistry class? Biochemistry is really just an extension of chemistry, with an emphasis on the thousands of chemical reactions that occur in your body on a moment-to-moment basis.

Anyone who studies biochemistry learns that vitamins do not exist as single components that act on their own. Vitamins are made up of several different components – enzymes, co-enzymes, and co-factors– that must work together to produce their intended biologic effects.

Vitamins that are found naturally in whole foods come with all of their necessary components. The majority of vitamins that are sold in pharmacies, grocery stores, and vitamin shops are synthetic vitamins, which are only isolated portions of the vitamins that occur naturally in food.

A good example is vitamin C. If you take a look at a variety of vitamin C supplements, you will find that the majority of them contain only ascorbic acid or a compound called ascorbate, which is a less acidic form of acorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is NOT vitamin C. It represents the outer ring that serves as a protective shell for the entire vitamin C complex, much like an orange peel that serves as a protective shell for an orange. Real vitamin C found in whole foods like fruits and vegetables contain the following components:

  • Rutin
  • Bioflavonoids (vitamin P)
  • Factor K
  • Factor J
  • Factor P
  • Tyrosinase
  • Ascorbinogen
  • Ascorbic Acid

When you take only ascorbic acid found in your synthetic vitamin C tablet or powder, your body must gather all of the other components of the full vitamin C complex from your body’s tissues in order to make use of it. In the event that your body does not have adequate reserves of the other components, ascorbic acid itself does not provide any of the health benefits that the full vitamin C complex does. After circulating through your system, the unused ascorbic acid is eliminated through your urine.

Just like vitamin C, almost all other vitamins that we know of offer their full health benefits when they are in the presence of a number of enzymes, co-enzymes, co-factors, and even minerals. For example, Vitamin D may have as many as twelve different active components, while vitamin P has at least five different components. The mineral copper is needed for full vitamin C activity, while vitamin E works closely with the mineral selenium to provide its health promoting, anti-oxidative effect.

Clearly, it is best to get your vitamins from whole foods because whole foods provide complete vitamins rather than fractions of them. In many cases, whole foods also provide the minerals that are necessary for optimal vitamin activity. For example, sunflower seeds are an excellent whole food source of vitamin E and the mineral selenium, both of which need each other to offer their full health benefits.

How do you know if the vitamins on your kitchen counter are from whole foods or if they are synthetic?

If the list of ingredients includes an actual vitamin like Vitamin C” rather than an actual food that contains natural vitamin C like “acerola cherry powder”, you can bet that it is a synthetic vitamin.

If you choose to use nutritional supplements, it is in your best interest to use only those products that list actual foods as their ingredients rather than synthetic and isolated vitamins. While some synthetic and isolated vitamins have been shown to provide minimal health benefits, on the whole, most of them cause more harm than good and you are far better off spending your money on whole foods.

It is important to note that the principles in this article are just as relevant and applicable to minerals and mineral supplements.

Who should consider Vitamin C supplementation?

a) Those on diet which consists of mainly processed and wholly cooked foods.

b) Those who consumed little quantity of fruits and vegetables.

c) Those with weak immune systems. (catching colds every now and then).

d) Those with Anemia, Osteoporosis, Arthritis, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, High blood sugar.

e) Those at risk of heart disease and stroke.

f) Those working at stressful environments because the adrenal glands needs sufficient Vitamin C to fight off toxins resulting from high oxidation in the blood.

g) Smokers, one cigarette can use up a whopping 25mg of Vitamin C. RDA set for Vitamin C is 60mg. that’s a quarter loss for every stick.

h) Alcohol drinkers because alcohol can dilute ascorbic acid in Vitamin C and is excreted through our urine.

i) Children because most eat excessive refined and processed foods and little whole foods or fruits. Vitamin C boosts their immune system too.

j) Choosy eaters and those who has a habit of skipping breakfast.