We all have stress in our day-to-day lives, however, too many people are living in a state of chronic stress. This negatively impacts your health and longevity and you may not realize that! So today’s episode is focused on teaching you the ways in which chronic stress is negatively impacting your health, so you can choose to balance out your stress. I’ve also provided 10 tools you can use to balance out your stress and hopefully motivated you to take action, right away. After all, what you do today really does impact your health and longevity.
Your Guided Health Journey Membership
Health Kickstart Program: https://yourguidedhealthjourney.com/health-kick-start-detox/
About the Host:
Melissa is an Integrative Health Practitioner and Master Practitioner in NLP and Timeline Therapy and a Board Designated Hypnotherapy Teacher Trainer, helping people get to the root cause of their health issues and then get lasting results. Melissa neither diagnoses nor cures but helps bring your body back into balance by helping discover your “toxic load” and then removing the toxins. Melissa offers functional medicine lab testing that helps you “see inside” to know exactly what is going on, and then provides a personalized wellness protocol using natural herbs and supplements. Melissa’s business is 100% virtual – the lab tests are mailed directly to your home and she specializes in holding your hand and guiding the way to healing so that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.
Melissa is the winner of the 2021 & 2022 Quality Care Award by Business From The Heart and is also the recipient of the Alignable “Local Business Person of the Year “Award 2022 for Whistler.
Melissa has been featured at a number of Health & Wellness Summits, such as the Health, Wealth & Wisdom Summit, The Power To Profit Summit, The Feel Fan-freaking-tas-tic Summit, the Aim Higher Summit and many more! She has also guested on over 60 different podcasts teaching people about the importance of prioritizing our health and how to get get started.
Thanks for listening!
If you know somebody who would benefit from this message, or would be an awesome addition to our community, please share it using the social media buttons on this page.
Do you have some feedback or questions about this episode? Leave a note in the comment section below!
Subscribe to the podcast!
If you would like to get automatic updates of new podcast episodes, you can subscribe on the podcast app on your mobile device.
Leave us a review!
We appreciate every bit of feedback to make this a value-adding part of your day. Ratings and reviews from our listeners not only help us improve, but also help others find us in their podcast app. If you have a minute, an honest review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes goes a long way! Thank You!!
Imagine getting up every day full of energy is if you were in your 20s. Again, what would that be like?Melissa Deally:
What would that be worth to you? What is your health worth to you? Think about it. Your health isn't everything. But without it, everything else is nothing. And yet too many of us are taking it for granted until something goes wrong. No one wakes up hoping to be diagnosed with the disease or chronic illness. And yet, we've never been taught how to be proactive in our health through our school system, or public health. As a registered health coach and integrative health practitioner, I believe it is time this information is made available to everyone. Combining new knowledge around your health and the ability to do my functional medicine lab tests in the comfort of your own home will allow you to optimize your health for today in all your tomorrow's don't wait for your wake up call.Melissa Deally:
Welcome back to another episode of The don't wait for your wake up call podcast. I am Melissa Deally, your host and today I want to talk to you about the underlying root cause what is the underlying root cause of any health health issue? Before we dive into that, though, I just want to share a testimonial that I received recently that says I've worked with Melissa in several capacities now and she excels at the mall. My husband and I worked with her on some health issues and cleansing. She was compassionate and understanding and most of all provided the flexibility he needed to get through. Recently I've studied hypnotherapy with her she is a gentle and effective teacher and mentor, helping each person in the class to master the skills and mindset needed to become board certified hypnotherapist I plan to continue my learning journey with her. John Andrus from Louisiana, thank you very much for sending in that testimonial, John. And now back to root cause. So the root getting to the root cause is a topic that you hear a lot about in functional medicine. And it's trying to get to the bottom of what is triggering your health issue. And there can be a myriad of different things triggering your health issue, but one that is very common to all of them. And that is stress. And so that's the focus of today's episode. Now, I have talked about stress before back in 2021 In my early episodes, and it's such an important topic that I want to come back to it today, because I've got new listeners, and we all have to hear things more than once and I'm just approaching it from a slightly different point of view this time as well. So stress can have significant effects on your health and longevity. When you experience stress, your body goes into fight or flight response, releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. While this response is helpful in short bursts, chronic or long term stress can have detrimental effects on various aspects of your health and well being. Here are some ways in which stress can impact your health and longevity. I don't share these with you to be all doom and gloom about it but rather because I believe when you understand how stress is impacting your health, you are then able to make better choices. You don't know what you don't know. So until now, you may not have realized how stress has been impacting your health, you've just known that you were stressed. However, so is everyone else in life. So you accept it as normal. And now that you're listening to this podcast and learning how stress negatively impacts your health, you will be more motivated to actually take action to reduce your stress. And that is my motivation in sharing this information with you. So first of all cardiovascular health. Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure, increased heart rate and elevated cholesterol levels. Over time these factors can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, heart disease and strokes. And these are the number one and number three causes of mortality in North America right now with number two being cancer. The second way stress can impact your health is it impacts your immune system, stress weakens the immune system making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses. It can also exacerbate existing autoimmune conditions, allergies and inflammatory diseases. prolonged stress may impair the body's ability to heal and re recover from illness. And we do know that the body does not heal in a stressed out state, it needs to be in the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest state in order to be able to heal. stress impacts your mental health, it can have profound impact on mental health leading to anxiety, depression and other mood disorders. It can interfere with your sleep patterns disrupt your ability to concentrate and make decisions and decrease your overall quality of life. Persistent stress may increase the risk of developed developing more severe mental health conditions over time. We all saw this through the recent pandemic, it was a very stressful time for everyone, our lives got turned upside down. And we could no longer do all the things that we wanted to do when we wanted to do them. And there was all of these restrictions. And that caused stress. And then on top of that was the fact that we were in social distancing. And you know, many people were living alone. And that's very isolating, and that the stress of that, combined with the restrictions just exacerbated the number of mental mental health issues that we're dealing with today. Another impact of stress is on our digestive system. Stress can affect your digestive system leading to issues like indigestion, stomach ulcers, acid reflux, IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, because it can alter our gut microbiota. So those are the microbes in our gut and disrupt the normal functioning of our digestive tract, it can cause an imbalance our gut, wants to live symbiotically with us imbalance helping us to digest our food, break it down and get the nutrients into our cells for the energy that we need to get through our day. But high stress kills off that balance, and it will kill off the good gut bacteria and allow the bad gut bacteria to flourish, creating an imbalance in our gut and then our digestive system doesn't function properly, and we have all of these other issues start to develop. And this can also cause changes in appetite, which can lead to weight gain, or loss. stress impacts our aging and our longevity. Chronic stress may accelerate the aging process and nobody wants that and potentially shorten our lifespan. Again, nobody wants that the constant release of stress hormones can have negative effects at the cellular level, including oxidative stress and inflammation, which can contribute to cellular damage and age related diseases. I consider oxidative stress to be like the rust that you might get on the exhaust pipe of your car. What's happening inside our body is we're getting this oxidation of our organs. And we need to be eating more antioxidants. To help counter that effect, we need to be lowering our stress to help counter that effect. You don't want rust on the exhaust pipe of your car, you don't want oxidation to be happening to the organs inside your body, and then shortening your lifespan as a result. Stress can trigger hormonal imbalances. And I've talked about this on this podcast many times before. And what can happen is we end up in an estrogen dominant state which can then slow the thyroid Hello weight gain among other symptoms, as well as it puts us at risk of type two diabetes as this can trigger blood sugar imbalances. And it can even lead us down the path of breast cancer to again, none of which anybody wants. But we just don't realize how interconnected we are and how stress is having this effect on our body and our health as we go about our daily lives. Stress can lead to respiratory conditions. It's been associated with the worsening of respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD. While stress may not directly cause these conditions, it can trigger or intensify symptoms leading to exacerbations. So smoking and vaping can also cause COPD. And interestingly enough, it is the number five killer on list of top 10 mortalities in North America right now. lifestyle factors So stress can also influence lifestyle behaviors that impact health and longevity. So some individuals may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking or drug abuse, which can further compromise their well being and decrease their longevity.Melissa Deally:
So according to the UN American Psychological Association stress is a factor in many health problems and it is estimated that up to 80% of doctor's visits visits may be attributed to stress related issues. These issues can range from mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression to physical conditions like we've discussed above cardio of vacuum vascular diseases, gastrointestinal problems, chronic pain, it's worth noting that stress may not always be the sole cause of these doctor's visits, as there can be underlying conditions or comorbidities involved. Additionally, stress can exacerbate existing health conditions leading individuals to seek medical care. Now, that's 80%. I've had doctors tell me that they think it's as high as 90% of doctor's visits are triggered, or exacerbated by the stress in our lives. And I've also been told that 60% of dis ease in the body is triggered by stress. So when we know stress is such a problem, what more can we be doing to assist people in their daily lives, in order to be able to counter their stress, we will always have stress, it needs to be in balance. So if you know you're going to have a more stressful day, what can you be doing to balance that out at the end of your day, or even the day before? This is really important to think about think of it like illegal scale, when the stress goes up, you also need to bring up your coping mechanisms in order to help balance out your stress. So there are several effective strategies to help lower stress levels, it's important to find techniques that work best for you that you enjoy. This is not something that should be a make work project that you feel you have to do, this is something that should bring you joy, and you want to be able to integrate them into your daily routine. And the way that I found to do this was literally to put it into my calendar and make that time for me in my calendar first. And then after that my clients can book in family activities can go in, et cetera, et cetera. But I just block every morning an hour of time for me to do something for me, whether it's get out on my paddleboard, whether it's do a workout, whether it's go for a walk, whether it's go outside and breathe. Those are the things I love to do. What do you love to do. And here are some great widely recognized methods for reducing stress that I'm going to share with you. And like I said, you don't have to do all of them, just pick one or two that you can do. And then add them into your calendar in 15 minute increments, because I know you're going to tell me you're busy, you have no time. But if you add them in in 15 minute increments, you get up 15 minutes earlier, you maybe you take 15 minutes of your lunch break, that you can start to find time in your calendar to do this, spend 15 minutes less time on social media, 15 minutes less time watching television, and you'll find an hour of time in your day, it just might be in for 15 minute increments. And you'll notice that as you start to do this in a dedicated way that you will notice you feel calmer, that your stress levels coming down, that you're more tolerant of others, that you're not flying off the handle. And you'll also notice that you're better able to focus because when we're in a stress state, our ability to focus is not there, because we've got all these things pinging in our head, and we're not getting anything done. But when we can focus we get things done at work more effectively, which means it takes less time to get things done. And guess what that does, that creates more time for you to engage in more stress reducing activities. And this really is important because taking care of you is the most important thing you can do. You can't look after your family, your loved ones, if you're on your deathbed, you have to first take care of you serve from a full cup rather than an empty cup in order to be able to look after everybody else in your life. And this was new to me. When I got into health coaching. I learned for the very first time that self care is not selfish. And that was a huge aha. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. If you don't, who's going to no one else. And so I made a mantra. Self Care is the most selfless act because it allows you to show up and give the world the best of you instead of what's left of you. If you're enjoying my content and someone that wants to step into being proactive in your health and learning more, I We'd love to invite you to join my membership community. There's a link in the show notes for only 1999 a month, you get access to all of my content. And there's a lot as well as weekly calls that you can come and get your health questions answered. It's truly priceless. I'd love to see you join the community, check out the link in the show notes. And so with that, I want to share some options for you. These are merely options, you might think of other things that you enjoy. And again, you don't have to do all of them, just pick one or two, put some time in your calendar. Each and every day, just start with 15 minutes a day for the first week. And then build on that. And notice over the time of a month, two months, how much better you're feeling in your body. And know that you are impacting your long term health, your longevity by choosing to do this now. Because when you have a strong healthy immune system, because stress hasn't broken it down, you are less likely to get sick in the first place. So let's dive in to these activities. First of all, exercise, engaging in regular physical exercise is a powerful way to reduce stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosting chemicals. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or dancing. Turn on your favorite music and dance like nobody's watching. You don't have to go to a gym, this can be done outdoors in your neighborhood, it doesn't have to cost anything, just do what you enjoy. Number two relaxation techniques. And there are so many of these. But some common ones to help calm the mind and reduce your stress are deep breathing exercises. And again, I've talked about these many times on this show, I have a particular technique I love called 557 breathing, where you inhale for five, you hold your breath for five, you exhale for seven, and you do 10 cycles of that. And that will trick your brain into going huh, I thought I was stressed out. But I'm breathing like a safe person, I must be safe. And it will switch you out of your fight or flight and into your parasympathetic nervous system. You can do that before eating because it's the rest and digest state it will turn on digestion as well and help your body better digest your meal. You can also engage in meditation. And there's lots of free apps that you can use to have some guided meditation and help you get started if that's new to you, progressive muscle relaxation. Again, free apps you can find online and that's where you just simply get really present with your body. And you start at the top of your head, you work all the way down to your toes, and you gently just talk yourself through relaxing all of the muscles in your forehead, and then your eyebrows and your eyes and your cheeks and around your mouth and in your neck and you work your way all the way down to your toes. As you feel your muscles relax. And as a result you your entire body relaxes and guided imagery, which is also used in hypnosis, these are all very effective methods.Melissa Deally:
So these practices promote relaxation, of course, but they also help improve your focus and provide a sense of calm. And that is because when you are going through ping, ping, ping, ping and that stressed out state, you are not able to focus well. But when you calm your mental body, you will improve your focus.Melissa Deally:
The third one is mindfulness and meditation. So mindfulness involves being fully present in the current moment and non judgmentally, acknowledging one's thoughts and feelings. Regular mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce stress and improve overall well being. There are again numerous apps and guided meditation resources available to assist beginners. And when we step into non judgmentally, acknowledging our thoughts and our feelings, allowing them to flow through us, instead of squashing them down and not wanting to feel them. That also improves our health and longevity. Because when we squash those feelings down over years, they build up and become toxic. Whereas when we just say I'm feeling this, it's okay to feel this. I have a right to feel this. I'm going to just feel it until I don't feel it anymore because it's flowing through me. It only takes 90 seconds for an emotion to have a chemical response in our Body is us dwelling on it that makes it last so much longer and build the stress around that feeling.Melissa Deally:
Number four social support. Connecting with loved ones, friends or support groups can provide emotional support and help alleviate stress. Sharing your feelings and experiences with others can provide a fresh perspective, empathy, and a sense of belonging. We humans were never meant to do life alone, we are supposed to live in community with the support of other like minded people. And so tap into that, especially if you're feeling highly stressed, and you need support. Sometimes we feel like we can't ask someone for support. And yet, we all want to give. So if you don't allow yourself to receive, you're blocking that energy cycle of the giving and receiving in order for you to be able to receive someone else has to give in order for you to be able to give someone else has to receive. So if you're that person that's always give give giving than other people are receiving. But if you are not the person that's receiving, and then able to ask for help, then you're disallowing other people from being able to give and guess what people like to give, they like to help. And so all you need to do is ask and people will help. The next one is time management. poor time management can lead to increased stress, prioritize your tasks, set realistic goals of completing them, and break them into manageable steps. Creating a schedule or a to do list can help you stay organized and reduce feelings of overwhelm. When you try to keep it all in your head. It just gets to be too much, especially when you're stressed because then you can't focus and you're like I got to do this and then paying you're over here and you've forgotten what that was. And now you're wasting energy trying to hold on to it all.Melissa Deally:
Make a schedule, write it down. It's all there to help keep you organized. And you may not get it all done today. That's okay. tomorrow's a new day. And you can come back and continue working on your list. I'm sure that if you put this into action, you will find that you get a lot more done than you thought you could when you're keeping it all in your head. Number six is a healthy lifestyle. So prioritizing self care by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, good nutrition and adequate rest can better equip your body to handle stress. The more sleep we get, the more we can handle the daily stresses that are thrown at us think about it in your life. If you're feeling tired and something stressful comes up are you quick to get cranky and anger and feel irritated. Whereas if you're well rested, does it just kind of wash over you like water off a duck's back. You know it to be true. We all need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. And if you're not getting that, what shifts can you make in your life in order to be able to give yourself that additional rest so you can better handle the stress. Find hobbies and leisure activities. engaging in activities you can enjoy will distract you from the stress and provide a sense of fulfillment. Pursue hobbies, engage in creative outlets read listen to music or spend more time in nature. And that is my favorites. Spending time in nature is when we get out in nature and we walk we're naturally breathing more. Nature has such a calming effect on our nervous system. So it will naturally drop us out of chronic flight and into our parasympathetic nervous system. Not to mention the wind is blowing dirt and microbes onto our skin that get into our bodies that are made for a healthy gut. And if you've ever spent any time in nature, you'll notice that you just notice that sense of calm and you also have that sense of awe and wonder the beauty of Mother Nature is you enjoy the scenery all around you. So get out in nature, it is incredibly helpful at lowering your stress levels.Melissa Deally:
Next is cognitive techniques. So challenge negative thinking patterns and replace them with positive and realistic thoughts practice self compassion, and remind yourself of your strengths and achievements. How often are we beating ourselves up? We have 70,000 thoughts inside our head every single day. How many of them are lifting you up telling you how amazing you are? How you are going to achieve everything you set your mind on. Not many You write. So often they're telling you, you're not good enough, you're not smart enough, you're not pretty enough, you can't do that. And they're bringing you down. Those are all the toxic thoughts that I help people release using timeline therapy. But you can just start creating awareness around the toxic thoughts that you have on a daily basis. Some of them are deeply buried in our unconscious mind. And from when we were a child, and those are the ones I help release. But you can just start changing your fresh thoughts coming in and not allow those negative ones and reframe them, you hear the negative one and go, nope, that's not true. I know that's not true. I am amazing, I am incredible, I can do whatever I set my mind to. I saw a post recently on social media that I absolutely loved. And it was a little kid, like maybe a three year old, just skipping along the shore of the lake, and there was a dock out into the water. So in nature, a sunny day, beautiful scenery. And it popped up with a caption saying, for personal reasons, I choose to be successful at everything I do. And I just thought that was wonderful. And we can all say that to ourselves. And at three years old, you probably did. But do you still say it today. And if you don't start saying it again, because you can consider keeping a gratitude journal to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This is really powerful, too. I started my gratitude journal over five years ago. And in the first six months, I noticed the shift. Because I knew every night I was going to write in my journal, the things that I was grateful for that day. So it had my mind focusing on the good, so that I could have something to write down, whereas our minds are pre programmed to focus on the bad to keep us safe. But in today's world, we don't have to worry about that we're not going to have lions and tigers attacking us. We have homes to live in, we have food to eat, we have clothing to wear. So let's stop focusing on the negative. And let's transition to focusing on the positive. So what are you grateful for today,Melissa Deally:
write three things. And some days initially, maybe you won't find three things. Because you're looking to heart,Melissa Deally:
you could just write that you're grateful. For the day, you're grateful for your home your warm, comfy bed, you're grateful for the sound of the rain outside your window, because it's been dry, and you don't want forest fires and you want it to rain, whatever it is, find what you're grateful for, and write that down before you go to bed. And if you do it before you go to bed, the last thing you feed your unconscious mind before you go to bed is what it will work on all night long. So you're now putting your brain to sleep on happy thoughts, which means you'll have a more restorative sleep, which means you are better able to cope with the stress the following day throws at you. You also want to set boundaries. And again, practice self care. I cannot say that enough. So learn to say no, when you feel overwhelmed, and set healthy boundaries in your personal and professional life. Prioritize self care activities that rejuvenate and replenish your energy. So often we use the words yes and no backwards, and we say yes to everybody else. And each time we do that, we're saying no to us. And what we really need to start doing is we need to start saying no to other people so that we can say yes to us. So we have time for us to be able to prioritize our self care activities. And it doesn't mean you say no to everything, you just get a little bit more critical around what you're saying yes to. And instead of saying yes, right off the bat, you give yourself a little bit of a window and say, thanks for asking,Melissa Deally:
let me get back to you after I check my calendar. And that gives you that space. And then you can start thinking hmm, is this something I really want to do? Do I have the time the money and the energy to do this? And if you do, that's great. And then you want to ask yourself, but do I want to because just because you have the time, the money and the energy to do something doesn't mean you want to do. And if you do want to that's great. You can go back to that person now and say yes, I would love to do that. Thanks for asking. You might want to set some boundaries around that though around the length of time that you need to be there volunteering or whatever it is that you're doing to make sure that you're really clear on that. And let them know the hours you are available, which may not be all of the hours they want youMelissa Deally:
if you don't have the time, money or energy, or if you do but you don't even want to do this. It's okay to say no. And for those of you who say yes, all the time. It takes practice to say no and I challenge my clients to Do this all the time. And I had to learn this myself. And the first time I said no to someone, my brain was like, What are you doing? You know, you could do this with your eyes closed or your hands tied behind your back. Why are you saying no?Melissa Deally:
I was tucked back to my brain? I said, I'm saying no, because I need to practice learning to say no. And this is a perfect opportunity to practice it. And I did, and I walked away. And my brain was so confused. But I felt good, because I said, No. And that meant I said yes to myself. And no is a complete sentence. You don't have to justify why you are saying no, you can simply say, No, I'm sorry, I'm not able to do that. Or you can simply say, No, thank you. You don't have to give any added justification. And then lastly, I just want to say, seek professional help when it comes to managing your stress. If your stress becomes overwhelming or persist, despite your efforts, do seek support, we can run labs to see where your hormones are at where your vitamin levels are at where your adrenals are at where your minerals are at. so that together we can bring your body back into balance, while holding you accountable to creating new lifestyle habits that support your health and longevity. The work needs to be done by you, nobody can do it for you. But when you take the responsibility, when you decide that you are worth it, that your health is worth it, that you have lots to do in this lifetime, and you want to live vitally right to the end and you want to have longevity, then you can start choosing todayMelissa Deally:
to bring your stress levels back into balance through any of these tools that I've recommended. And if you feel like you want some extra support, please do reach out, because this is what I help with my clients with over and over again. Why? Because over and over again, it comes up as being an underlying root cause of whatever chronic illness or other health condition they are struggling with.Melissa Deally:
So remember that managing stress is an ongoing process. It's something you are going to do every day for the rest of your life. And that what works for one person may not work for another. It's essential to explore different techniques and approaches to find the ones that resonate with you and make a positive impact on your well being. So my question to you is, what is your health worth to you? Every day that you put off prioritizing it, you are allowing it to decline. Don't become another statistic, receiving some diagnosis and wishing you done things differently. Start doing things differently. Now, it doesn't have to be hard, especially when you seek the support you need in order to get started. So thank you for tuning into this episode. I hope there's something that you can take away I would love to hear from you. What one or two things are you going to do? In order to balance out your stress? Please email me and let me know at Melissa at your guided health journey.com. And as always, thank you to my audience for listening. I'll be back next week with a new episode. And if this episode resonated with you, please share it with others that you know need to hear it as well. Thank you.