STRESS can be a big factor in whether a person gets sick or not. Recognize this, and do something about it before you’re confronted with a combo one-two punch of having major stress in your life PLUS being sick! Here are some very tried-and-true stress lowering strategies:

  1. Avoid stressful people. Minimize contact and communication with these people. If the stressful person is a required part of your life (family member, boss, etc.) keep good, but minimal communication in place. Cutting off all communication with these people will often cause greater stress. When you do talk to them, avoid any confrontation and talk about pleasant or mundane subjects. Remember: if you fight with these people, YOU lose automatically because you’ll be stressed out!
  2. Avoid reading the newspaper, watching the news on TV or listening to it on the radio. Does this sound extreme? If so, do an experiment. Stop the news for one week. Then resume normal news consumption the following week. Compare how you felt on week 1 with how you felt on week 2. Decide whether or not you want to stop your exposure to the news.
  3. Take walks around your neighborhood or near where you work as often as possible. Walk until you feel alive and refreshed and are interested in the world again.
  4. Minimize non-prescription drugs as much as possible. Drugs work by “insulating” you to a degree from the real world. This can result in what appears to be stress-reduction, but as you come off the drug the stress will be much greater than if you hadn’t taken the drug in the first place. Net effect: MORE stress. The less drugs you can take (alcohol, pain killers, sleep medications, etc.) the less overall stress you’ll experience even though it may appear otherwise. There are exceptions, of course, such as severe acute problems. But this is true for most situations where a person would use typical over-the-counter or recreational medications.
  5. Sleep is critical to help the body handle stress. If you can sleep, DO IT! Make the time to go to bed at a decent hour so you get enough sleep. The more stress you’re under the more sleep you need.
  6. “Exercise” is probably the wrong description for using the physical motion of your body to handle stress. A better word would be MOTION. Your body really likes motion, and is stressed by a lack of motion. You don’t have to raise your heart rate to a certain point, sweat or have sore muscles. In fact, unless you’re already doing a strenuous exercise program it’s not necessarily a good thing to start one if you’re under a lot of stress. Instead, park farther away and walk. Take the stairs. Clean out your closets. DO something physical that makes you happy, but also gets your body moving. Do this frequently, daily if at all possible.
  7. TALK! Communication is very therapeutic. Make a list of people you enjoy talking to but haven’t heard from in a long time. Call them up. Increase the frequency that you chat with friends. Meet people and talk some more.

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There are a couple great homeopathic products you can use to help your body deal with stress. They are from a company called Energetix. The products are Field of Flowers and Rescue Calm. If you are a patient with us, ask your practitioner to test your body and see if it would like either one of these products to help you cope with stress.