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5 T


Affordable Women’s Health Tips for Thriving this Summer

by Lorin Parrish

here is one commonly over- looked factor that is linked to the six leading causes of death

in America (accidents, psoriasis of the liver, suicide, coronary heart disease, cancer and lung disease). Do you know what it is? Stress.

Simple as that. When you’re con- stantly under pressure, overwhelmed, anxious and worried the effects can add up to something dangerous. With 80 percent of all illnesses in America being stress-related, our modern life takes its toll. Today over 100 million Americans are suffering from some kind of stress- related problem. Fortunately, there are easy and

affordable ways to relieve stress in your life, and I am passionate about the fol- lowing five practices:

Hydration Dehydration is sneaky. It’s not always

convenient to drink as much water as we need in our busy lives, but dehydra- tion eventually leads to an increased heart rate, nausea, fatigue and head- aches. Studies have shown that being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol (a major stress hormone) levels, but when you remain hydrated you can reduce the physiological responses to stress. Eighty-five percent of your brain tissue is water, and when don’t give your body the fluids it needs, you put stress on both your body and your mind. Start by drinking water regularly throughout the day. This is especially important in New Mexico—the driest state in the country. Pro tips: Start out the day by filling up six glass bottles of water equaling 1.5 gallons and finish them throughout the day. This is an easy way to ensure you get enough water daily. Add ingre- dients such as chlorophyll (oxidizes the

blood), peppermint oil (good for diges- tion, the respiratory system, headaches and stress) and lemon essential oil (boosts the immune system, stress and insomnia). Sip your water throughout the day

and avoid guzzling as that disturbs digestion and absorption.


Deep Breathing Often women feel this has to be a big time commitment in the midst of their already too busy life. Even three minutes of deep, quiet breath-

ing profoundly affects one’s health. These three minutes can “inform” one’s normal breathing patterns throughout the day and even during sleep. Deep breathing and/or meditating oxygenates the blood, which wakes up the brain, relaxes muscles and quiets the mind, resulting in your decision-making and actions coming from a deeper, more thoughtful place.


Meditation A meditation practice is all about

working consciously with our breath to unify our mind/body connection. The more integrated this union is, the more our emotions and stress calm down and orient into perspective. Over time we leave the flight or fight battle and enter a life of discernment and thoughtful choices. Breaking the wheel of cause and effect (stress, reactive actions), our life balances and our stress becomes manageable. To begin a meditation practice can be as simple as counting to 10 over and over again. One inhalation, two exhala- tion, and so on, for even a few minutes and may eventually lead to 30 to 60 minutes. Each time the mind wanders from this simple counting practice just start simple and yet the results are profound on stress reduction.


Exercise Exercise can decrease stress hor- mones like cortisol and increase endorphins (your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals), giving your mood a natu- ral boost. Any consistent, challenging aerobic exercise gives you this same experience (Vinyasa yoga, swimming, dancing, running, biking, etc.) when practiced for a minimum of 30 continu- ous minutes.

natural awakenings

May 2013


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