I talk about stress a lot on my show — and for good reason! Although there are different types of stress (some are even positive), the type we really need to be paying attention to, as a society, is chronic stress.
Chronic stress is the stress that makes it hard to sleep well, makes it nearly impossible to lose weight, and finds us fighting one cold after another. It’s the stress that can both cause medical conditions and trigger and exacerbate flare-ups from existing conditions. This kind of stress depresses the immune system, alters our moods, and damages our professional and personal relationships. Just as, on the positive side, yoga has been shown to lengthen the protective caps at the ends of our DNA strands called telomeres and keep us more youthful, Chronic ongoing stress can actually change our DNA for the worse.
As a result, Stress is a factor in five out of the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease, and accidents. An estimated 75 percent to 90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress-related issues.
So, how do we live a life without chronic stress?
To help us answer that question, our guest today is Dr. Amir Rashidian is the founder of the Mid-Atlantic Chiropractic Center, where the focus is improving people’s health through drugless solutions. He recently published The StressProof Life
, which documented the real-life stories of his most memorable patients while showing the readers the secret to becoming the kind of person who is able to handle any amount of stress on that journey toward greatness.
Dr. Rashidian calls the book The StressProof Life because he compares the practices within the book to a bulletproof vest — it won’t stop you from getting hit by stress, and you’ll still feel it some, but it’s not going to debilitate or kill you if you know how to live a StressProof Life.
The Simple Seven: How to Live a StressProof Life
Dealing with stress is simple... but complicated. That’s why Dr. Rashidian titles chapter five of the book The Simple Seven.
During the interview, he shares how you can put some of these into practice right now:
- Breathing. Your body has rhythms — heart rhythm, circadian rhythm, circulatory rhythm, hormonal rhythm, etc. — and your breathing rhythm is the easiest to consciously control, which can help you control your fight or flight response. So, if you are feeling stressed, try doing this exercise about 10 times: breathe in for seven seconds and then exhale for 14 seconds.
- Sunlight. When sunlight hits your skin, your body converts the light into cholesterol and vitamin D, which helps prevent everything from heart disease to depression and improves serotonin levels. So, if you’re feeling stressed out, go get 15 minutes in the sun!
- Visualization. There is a physiological response to every thought; our body can’t always distinguish the difference between experiencing something and imagining it vividly. So, you can transform your physical and mental state by taking 60 seconds to visualize what you really want in life.
- Sleep. How you sleep is just as important as how long you sleep. If you are drinking coffee late in the day, staring at your smartphone screen in bed, or doing anything else that stimulates your body, it’s going to hurt the quality of your sleep — and, as a result, your health. And if this happens over a prolonged period, you can hit adrenal fatigue.
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Disclaimer: The activities and research discussed in these podcasts are suggestions only and are only advised to be undertaken following prior consultation with a health or medical professional. Fitness training, nutrition, and other physical pursuits should be tailored to the individual based upon an assessment of their personal needs.
The Rebel Health Coach Podcast is produced by Podcast Masters