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5 Proven Stress-Relieving Techniques

"Physical, work, technology stress: these all contribute to increasing inflammation... Even a positive event can add to your inflammation load and put extra strain on your health."

We have been talking about Dr. Nancy Lin's new program to help you lower inflammation naturally. Today we’ll be addressing the 5 top proven stress-relieving techniques you can do anywhere.

This is all part of Dr. Nancy's series on the new Medit-American Diet and Lifestyle.

Video Highlights

  • 00:55: The new program takes the best parts of the Mediterranean Diet and updates it to include new food science and inflammation reducing foods
  • 01:33: Why the Old Mediterranean Diet Falls Short for Americans
  • 02:35: A quick history of the new program
  • 03:30: The old program just isn't practical in 2019
  • 04:11: Today, the attack on the body has numerous sources, not just diet
  • 05:08: High levels of daily stress contributes to increasing inflammation levels
  • 07:02: Optimal wellness through lowering your daily inflammatory load is our mantra and goal
  • 08:59: Top daily stress reducers overview
  • 09:00: Stress reducer 1: physical activity
  • 11:02: Stress reducer 2: deep breathing for relaxation
  • 12:00: Simple breathing technique demonstration
  • 14:09: Stress reducer 3: connect with others
  • 15:38: Stress reducer 4: stretching or yoga
  • 16:17: Simple yoga poses demonstration
  • 24:51: Stress reducer 5: adequate, quality, sleep

A quick history of the new program

For about two decades, nutritionists and healthcare experts have been recommending the Mediterranean diet. And while it was a good template for nutritionists, it wasn't complete enough. Parts of it were either pro-inflammatory, or impractical in today's world. Additionally, it was missing some key elements that are needed to lower inflammation.

Essentially, it was an early 20th century lifestyle that just isn't practical for people today. Taking advantage of the old Mediterranean Diet & Lifestyle and updating it allowed us to add what was needed to help you overcome the heavy inflammatory load that comes from our modern lives.

Today, the attack on the bodies comes from a number of different sources, in addition to poor diet, such as:

  • Environmental Toxins: the accumulation of chemical toxins from heavy metals, solvents, automobile pollutants, and more that we're exposed to daily, which wreak havoc on our immune systems and cause major inflammation
  • High levels of daily stress: Physical stress, work stress, technology issues, emotional stress... these all contribute to increasing your inflammatory load and put extra strain on your health. Even positive things like weddings and travel arrangements can add to this stress. 

We want to give you the tools to better manage the stress of your life. The new Medit-American Lifestyle is much more comprehensive and practical than the old plan, and better addresses the challenges of your life, while providing what you need to help you reach your ultimate goal. Optimal wellness through lowering your daily inflammatory load is our mantra! 

Four steps to achieving optimal mental and physical health

  1. Eat based on a simple, anti-inflammatory diet with great tasting foods that are accessible to everyone
  2. Proven stress-reduction techniques
  3. Daily Body Movement
  4. Clean supplementation to fill in the gaps

Today we're focusing on step 2!

Proven Stress Reduction Techniques

Physical Activity

You need to expend some energy, frequently. Movement is a great stress reliever. It pumps up your endorphins, and feel-good chemicals that enhance your sense of wellbeing. Exercise in particular can refocus your mind on your body's movement, which improves your mood and helps the days irritations dissipate. Consider walking, jogging, gardening, biking, swimming, weight-lifting, or any other activity that gets you active and moving (if you can do it outdoors, even better! 

Deep breathing

Your breathe is a powerful tool! Breathing right can ease stress and make you feel less anxious. Simple breathing exercises can make a huge difference if you make them part of your regular routine, and they only take a few minutes each time. The power of breath is often overlooked. Most people take short, shallow breaths, or if they're upset or stressed, they hold their breath. Shallow breathing can make you feel anxious, and drain energy.

Try lying on your back, sitting on the floor, or sitting in a chair. Make sure, if you're lying down, your neck is supported. Breathe in through your nose and let your belly fill with air. Then breathe out, also through the nose. Place one hand on your belly, and the other on your chest so you can feel the difference in the rise and fall. You want to feel your belly rise first, not your chest. Repeat this three or four times. You will notice that your body has slowed down a little bit. Do this once or twice per day to relax and de-stress.

Connect with others

When you're stressed or irritable, your instinct may be to isolate yourself. Instead, reach out to family or friends and make social connections. Spending physical time together face to face is best, if possible. Try to have one or more positive social connections each week. This is a key element in the Mediterranean lifestyle. If it's over a leisurely, healthy anti-inflammatory meal, all the better! Healthy social interactions lower your inflammatory load, lower your blood pressure, help your immune system, and help you live longer! For best results, leave the electronics behind and be present. Connect with your family and friends.

Update: In light of the COVID-19 crisis, physical time with friends may not be possible, so it's even more important to take advantage of opportunities to call, or video chat!

Try stretching or yoga

Yoga can do wonders to help you relax and manage stress and anxiety. Yoga is a series of postures and controlled breathing put together, which is becoming more popular for stress-relief worldwide. Dr. Nancy demonstrates several simple yoga techniques in today's video to get you started. You can do this at home using apps or free demonstrations online, or find a local class!

Get adequate, quality, sleep

The toxic inflammatory load sleep deprivation brings can be hard to overcome. It's incredibly important to get quality sleep at night for a healthy and enjoyable next day. Put down the electronic devices hours before bed, and set yourself up for a good night's rest.

We'll talk more about the other steps involved in the new program in the coming days. 

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