We are living in a tsunami of stress. The people who walk into my office on a daily basis – busy successful New Yorkers with full lives and a lot going on – look to the world like they have it all. But more often than not they are deeply stressed out.
They are not alone. In 2011 alone, nearly 75 million unique prescriptions were written for Xanax and Ativan, two anti-anxiety medications, in the United States, indicating our country has a serious problem with stress.
And from what I see day-to-day, almost every single one of us is stressed on some level from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed.
Ask yourself these questions and see if the answers surprise you.
Are you “on” all time? Are you tired on a regular basis? Do you feel like your head is spinning just getting things done? Or that you just don’t have enough time, or space, to eat the way you want to, exercise the way you know you should, or actually take the time out to fully relax?
This way of living has become the new normal. From the expectations of our jobs, to the constant addictive call of our smartphones, to the rabbit hole that is social media, we are all affected.
The problem is that this new normal is unsustainable, especially when you layer on our unique personal stressors – the things life throws our way. A sick family member; an irritating colleague at work; a move; a financial crisis.
Our bodies are not designed to be chronically stressed. Stress like this leads to hormonal imbalances like elevated cortisol and estrogen-dominance, causing us to gain weight, break out, have trouble sleeping, and have irregular painful periods. Stress like this causes us to feel exhausted and crowded by our lives. Stress can even be the trigger for the onset of serious diseases like Ulcerative Colitis.
Stress also drives us to eat more sugar and carbs, the exact foods that give us a dopamine surge that temporarily cuts through the brain fog , for a minute, but leaves us crashing, bloated, and irritable the next.
This problem is so prevalent that I partnered with my friends at MindBodyGreen to give you the ultimate course on stress, a video course that you can stream from your phone or your laptop anywhere, that gives you the specific, proven tools that you need to change your relationship with stress forever.
The course is called The Stress Solution and it launches this Friday June 26th at 3pm on Mind Body Green.
And for a taste of the simple stress cures we go into in detail in the course…
PBP stands for Plant Based Paleo , and it’s the nutrition philosophy we subscribe to at Parsley Health. It means having lots of greens, clean protein , and healthy fat on every plate. If you want an in depth lesson in how to eat PBP sign up for our Health Coaching Membership – in 6 45 minute personalized sessions our expert Parsley coaches will teach you how to eat, shop, cook, and order out at restaurants, to eat this way all the time. The PBP diet has been proven to lower inflammatory stress in the brain and the body.
Find a go-to, do-it-anywhere move that is calming, soothing, and stress relieving. Not the crazy boot camp class that makes you feel behind the ball from the first minute. Not that fancy fitness class across town you always feel guilty for missing. Just learn one simple routine you can do in your underwear, on the floor, without any gear, any time, at home, that moves stressful energy through your body and out, instead of leaving it to stagnate in your tissues and cause disease. In my video course I teach you a simple yoga routine anyone can do anywhere that can be just this go-to move that relieves your stress.
One simple breathing exercise has been shown to activate the parasympathetic (think rest, digest, and heal) side of the nervous system and to quiet the sympathetic (think fight or flight) side of the nervous system. The most important thing is to make sure your exhale is longer than your inhale. I teach a couple of variations of this breath in my course and have a great article on it on MindBodyGreen too. Next time you’re anxious or can’t sleep try it for just 3 minutes! It will rock your world I promise.
I worked really hard on this course and I know it will help a lot of people have less stressful, happier, healthier lives. I hope you will check it out and spread the word!
Dr. Robin Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.