When I started this journey now almost two years ago, a glaring health risk presented itself. It was one thing to loose weight and get myself physically in a better place, it was quite the other trying to understand why I was still so anxious. After meeting with a few friends who are experts in the space of stress management, it was clear to me what the next stage of my life was to become.
Immersing myself into understanding the science behind stress consumed me. Now let me be clear about a few things.
- I am by no means a Yogi now
- I still get stressed and freak out
- My wife thinks I am insane
But what I am – is educated on understanding why my body and mind does what it does and how I can control aspects of it without medication or having a damn heart attack.
If you have followed The Healthy Primate and the journey of the site, you will see three distinct commonalities. I focus on Mind, Body & Soul. This has been done on purpose as you see that was the order I focused on and cataloged in my personal journey to becoming a better person.
- Mind: Understand the ways to reduce stress, increase cognitive thought and being fully aware of your potential.
- Body: If you are overweight and missing physical activity, your mind and systems will respond accordingly. From food, exercise to thoughts and process to make your physical self the best it can be. This will allow the Mind to reach heights un measured before.
- Soul: The center of it all is finding that balance, happiness and reaching your full potential. When the mind is right, you can focus on the body. When the mind & body are right – your inner balance comes into play.
- Bonus: When we are in balance we will have thoughts to reach the things we truly want to do in life. Start that business you been pondering, quit the shit job you have been shlepping to for years, build a healthier relationship with those in your life from friends to family.
The mind is such a complicated technology that we often take for granted. At the core of it all has been my studies on Cortisol as a stressor. The following video is a great explanation of what is happening in your mind when fall under stress for small and long periods of time.
The presentation mentions exercise & meditation as the route to reduce and control cortisol.
- Check out the review we did on the app Headspace for meditation and how 10 minutes a day changes things.
As I journaled 16 months of blood work centered on Cortisol management I recommend a few additional tools that will help tremendously. I cover this in detail in my up coming book that will be released in January 2016.
Why Your Life is Killing You – My Journey to Reducing Stress and Living to Tell About It.
Here are the top three natural supplements that you can take that will reduce your cortisol dramatically. You can get these at your local natural healthy food shop IE Sprouts or online.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha, an exotic Indian herb, has remarkable stress-relieving properties comparable to those of powerful drugs used to treat depression and anxiety. In addition to its excellent protective effects on the nervous system, ashwagandha may be a promising alternative treatment for a variety of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Ashwagandha has powerful antioxidant properties that seek and destroy the free radicals that have been implicated in aging and numerous disease states. Even more remarkable, emerging evidence suggests that ashwagandha has anti-cancer benefits as well. (Source)
- Rhodiola-rosea: Rhodiola significantly reduces the effects of prolonged and minor physical exhaustion that results in fatigue. This is more related to stress and the ‘burnout’ effect, or prolonged but low intensity physical exercise. (Source)
- Kava Kava: Kava has a calming effect, producing brain wave changes similar to changes that occur with calming medicines such as diazepam (Valium, for example). Kava also can prevent convulsions and relax muscles. Although kava is not addictive, its effect may decrease with use. Traditionally prepared as a tea, kava root is also available as a dietary supplement in powder and tincture (extract in alcohol) forms. ( Source )
*As always consult with your Dr. when taking supplements.
In combination of education, understanding and taking action you really can change the outputs and way your mind and body deal and process stress. Thank you as always for reading!
The Healthy Primate