During the month of February, we are going to provide you with simple tips to help you make small healthy changes.
We think health changes should be small so that you have time to concentrate on them. We also believe that making small changes helps you stick to them. By the time you have mastered one tip and made it a daily habit, you’ll be ready for the next.
Last week we talked about dietary changes with simple food swaps. This week we’ll discuss simple lifestyle changes that help you deal with stress.
ONE SMALL HEALTHY CHANGE Tip #2: Change the Way You Respond to Stress
You can’t always control what happens to you. But you can control how you react to those situations.
Stress becomes dangerous when it gets inside our body and causes damage to the immune system. In addition, stress can make us do crazy things in attempt to self-soothe, including smoke, drink, and overeat.
Example #1: Learn to Walk Away (If You Can!)
When stress presents itself, learn to walk away or remove yourself from the situation. If you are fighting with your partner or need a breather from whatever you are doing, excuse yourself to another room to regain composure.
Obviously, you can’t walk away from your boss in the middle of a conversation. So if you can’t physically leave the situation, try escaping mentally. This could be done by quieting meditating or repeating a word that helps you relax over and over again. Taking a few deep breaths in and out may also help. In most cases, you can even do these things discreetly without anyone else knowing.
Example #2: Pack a Healthy Lunch
What does food have to do with stress? The answer in short: everything!
There are situations in which food can be stressful. If you are a known emotional eater, you may feel anxious at meal times. When confronted on the spot, such as at a delicious restaurant, it can be easy to give into temptation and order a not-so-healthy meal, especially if you’ve had a stressful day.
But if you have your lunch packed, you avoid stress in two ways. First, you don’t have to worry about what you are going to eat because you already have food packed. And second, you take away the opportunity to indulge in a less healthy meal.
Example #3: Keep Yourself Busy (Especially Your Hands!)
Stress can make us do unhealthy things to our body in order to cope. Smoking and drinking are among those unhealthy life habits.
It’s extra important to keep yourself busy when you feel the urge to smoke or drink coming on. Happy hour is a great place to have a smoke and drink after a stressful day at work. So instead of commiserating with your co-workers at the bar, ask them to join you at the gym. Or if it’s a nice day, go for a walk.
If you need to keep your hands busy, try carrying water with you at all times. A straw works great too. You can chew on it and use it to sip your water, which keeps your mouth and hands busy without polluting your body with smoke.
Take it one step further and carry your water around in the Biocera AHA Water Bottle, which is designed to turn your tap water into alkaline water with extra hydrogen for stress fighting power. *Not all products that alkalise water also release molecular hydrogen which has many incredible benefits to health as can be seen on The Molecular Hydrogen Foundation website under the ‘studies’ section.
If staying busy doesn’t seem to work, find healthy replacements for your vices. Iced black tea is a wonderful alternative to beer. It even resembles the same color. Additionally, you get the added benefit of tea polyphenols, which have been associated with a decrease in cancer.
Example #4: Check Your pH Levels
This falls under the category of keeping yourself busy. However, checking your pH levels not only gives you something to do several times per day; it also helps you check to see how you are responding to stress.
If you are dehydrated, eating poorly due to stress or have any type of chronic inflammation going on in your body, pH strips will generally be a good indication that something is wrong.
You can check your pH levels by investigating in pH test strips. They can be used by checking your saliva or urine.
To check the pH of your saliva, wait two hours after your last meal. Then wet the pH strip with your saliva and match it to the color chart on the box that the strips came in. Optimal pH levels are 6.7-7.0 and a lower reading means that you are lacking alkaline reserves. This could be an indication of stress.
For checking urine, you will place the pH strip in the urine stream, shake off the access fluid and then wait 15 seconds before comparing your reading. Be sure to test your first and second urine of the day and record the average to see how alkaline your body was during sleep.
Did we inspire you to make one small healthy change today? If so, we would love to hear from you! Visit our Facebook page and share which #onesmallhealthychange you will be making!