Healthy Living Strategies Kuel Category Expert: Diana Devi
Stress is such an important topic today. Stress damages our ability to fight off infection and impacts how quickly we age. Our goal is to age in a vital way. Not to put our aging on fast-forward!
Let’s focus on how stress ages our bodies and how we can begin to reverse it! The best part about these three tools? You can do them in five minutes or less! Yes they are vital to reversing the accelerated aging that stress is causing.
Five minutes or less!
You have all seen it. You encounter someone you have not seen for weeks or even months, and they look 10 years older than when you saw them last. She may have been going through a long horrible divorce or caring for a loved one that is critical ill. She has spent all of her time caring for others and no time on herself. Yes, we all know that “self-care” is important, and I have clients that have said if they hear the term “self-care” one more time they are going to run in the opposite direction!
What am I talking about?
The vital caring for yourself that I am conveying is critical to stop stress related aging. It is recognizing when you have stress, understanding what it does to your body, and finally what it is that you can do to reverse it.
Do any of the following sound familiar to you? Here are three examples that I am sharing with you. When I asked my clients if they felt stressed they said “no”. However, after we started to talk about what was going on, they were able to recognize how stress was impacting their behavior.
“I felt numb. Not better, just numb.”
Binge Watching Netflix Or Any Other Media. I found that this was something that I was doing after COVID first hit. I was looking for a release. The Great British Baking Show was it. I would watch two or three episodes (though I had seen them before). I eat very little sugar and I am gluten intolerance. Most, if not all of the foods baked on the show, I can not or will not eat. So why was I watching it? Yes, the sense of community is great; but after two or three episodes I felt numb. Not better, just numb. My brain was trying to release stress in a way that was not helpful.
Binge Eating. One of my clients decided it would be healthier for her to bake cookies from scratch. She planned to place three cookies in each baggie and put them in the freezer so she would not overeat. She would make the cookies small and with good ingredients. After baking them, she started to divide the cookies into groups of three. Much to her surprise during the baking process she had eaten a dozen cookies! She did not remember eating them: she didn’t savor the taste, she just felt sick. After discussing what was going on in her life, she noted she had a very difficult day the day before. She was worried about how she was going to handle all the stressful changes. Her response was not helpful and actually made her feel worse.
Scenario Three :
“She did not even remember ordering any of these items.”
Binge Shopping. Another client went to the door only to discover five packages at her doorstep. She had been on the internet a couple of days earlier shopping. Once she opened the packages, she realized she would not wear or use anything she bought. She did not even remember ordering any of these items. Awake in the middle of the night and not able to go back to sleep, she hopped on the internet. All the things were on sale, but not what she wanted. She returned all of the items.
Do any of these sound familiar to you? If so, you might be using these types of activities to cope with stress.
What stress does to your body.
Some stress is good. For example the stress you have before an important meeting: it is pressure mixed with excitement, followed by the happy feeling you have after it is over and you know that you have done well. The stress is there and then it is gone. Another example is the stress on you body when you lift weights. You break down muscle tissue to rebuild stronger healthy muscles.
The stress that ages your body your body is different. Stress that is continuous, never gives your body the opportunity to Repair, Restore and Revitalize. This is the stress that is the Silent Aging Machine.
An easy way to understand this is when your body has the time to relax, it can clean out and repair itself. It needs a time to repair the damage that has been done throughout the day through normal wear and tear, as well as to get rid of chemicals or toxins we have accumulated.
This is the time your body needs to rebuild the tissue that makes your skin plump and beautiful.Your body needs this time to bathe your brain so you can think clearly.
Without the opportunity to Restore Repair and Revitalize, toxins accumulate in your body. You can think of it as your internal garbage can being full and overflowing. When you have the time to rest, your body empties your internal garbage can.
What happens when your internal garbage can is full and it is not emptied? Inflammation sets into your body. It means puffiness around your eyes, sagging skin, and adding fat around your belly. In other words your body’s aging is on fast forward.
Three Simple Ways To Begin Reversing The Silent Aging Machine:
it is a beautiful word, especially if you are wearing a mask. Inhale through your nose for four counts, hold your breath for one count then exhale for eight counts. You can do anywhere anytime. Do this a couple of times per day or when you feel stressed. Notice how your body feels afterwards! Amazing that something so easy and quick can make such a difference.
Ho hum – we have all heard this before. Drink more water. Something that you may not know that I learned from my esthetician is that you can see if someone is dehydrated by the wrinkles on their face!
Start with hot water first thing in the morning and evening. Four ounces is enough. Hot water improves digestion, relieves congestion, and promotes relaxation. This will begin flushing out toxins that stop our natural Repair, Restore and Revitalize process.
We all know that we need sleep. But, did you know what its impact on aging? Did you know your body acts the same when it is sleep deprived as it does when you are drunk? In other words, lack of sleep impacts how you think, the amount of pain you feel, and can even make depression worse and finally adds to your wrinkles!
When it comes to aging, your body uses sleep to reset everything! It cleans out toxins, in your body it repairs your skin and other tissues. The Repair, Restore and Revitalize process is accelerated during you sleep..
“three simple ways to decrease your stress level.”
One way to get better sleep is to turn off all devices including TV, phone, laptops etc at least one hour before bedtime. The blue light from the device tells your brain it’s daytime and time for you to be awake.
An easy way to remember is to set an alarm on your phone as a time when all devices need to be turned off. You can easily set a repeating daily alarm on most smart phones.
These are three simple ways to decrease your stress level. Turn off stress as it is the Silent Aging Machine, all in less than less than five minutes per day.
About the Author:
Diana is an empowerment coach for women over 50, building on her 30 years of experience as a clinical pharmacist and as an Argentine tango dancer. Diana’s goal is to help her clients become a W.H.I.P. “A Woman, who is Hot, Intelligent and in her Prime at EVERY age. When Diana is not working with clients or on the dance floor she is training her cats, CleoCatra ( an Egyptian Mau) and D’Artagnan (a Savannah) while patiently waiting for the day she can travel around the world to dance tango again. You can checkout Diana on her website: An Ageless Life.