Subdue Stress Without Rx Drugs
Try them, they work, and with the money you save at the drug store, you can buy Real food and have lots of money to spare.
Most of us are keenly aware of the opioid epidemic in the US, but now as the opioid prescriptions decline physicians are Rx’ing benzos to treat stress and anxiety.
The number of deaths involving benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium increased 8X from Ys 1999 to 2016, and the number of benzodiazepine prescriptions increased 67% from Ys 1996 to 2013.
This is National Stress Awareness month and experts say it is time we examine how to manage stress and anxiety in our lives without resorting to Rx drugs.
Stress can be deadly according to the American Psychological Association.
Stress is linked to the 6 leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.
More than 75% of physician’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
“But because of the economics of our modern medicine, doctors no longer have the time to sit and listen to their patients and find out the root cause of their stress,” a renowned clinical psychologist and professor at Columbia University said recently. “They are quick to write a prescription for sedatives but deny their patients the crucial right to get things off their chest. Just talking about a problem can often help resolve the situation.”
The doctor says that social media has accelerated our feelings of stress, and in fact, 44% of Americans feel they are more stressed today than they were 5 years ago.
“We are constantly connected and yet we don’t communicate,” notes Kuriansky. “Our messages are short and superficial.”
Further, the executive director of the American Institute of Stress says that drugs actually exacerbate our stress response.
“For a long time, we’ve leaned on drugs designed to speed us up to get more done or push through the pain and anxiety to get though another day,” she says. “But no matter how much we try to hack the human system, the nervous system continues to take a beating as we become more and more frazzled.
“We live in a world that is constantly connected, desperate to be in the loop but find it impossible to keep up. We are more irritable and agitated than ever before, lashing out at fellow drivers on the road and snapping at our loved ones. This situation is not caused by a mood disorder but by our constant need to be jacked up on stimulants and unable to relax even when we have a moment to catch our breath.”
And stress “is more contagious than the flu, spreading through an e-Mail, a text message or even one’s favorite characters on a screen.”
While healthy natural alternatives may not be as cool a chill pill and may take longer to be effective, they offer radical differences.
“There are no side effects and rather than putting a Band-Aid on a wound that continues to fester under the surface, mind-body techniques that train the brain to develop new skills enable lasting changes,” says the author of Stressaholic: 5 Steps to Transform Your Relationship with Stress.
Below are some suggestions that work, as follows:
- Breath work. This is by the most important technique to reduce stress and soothe the parasympathetic nervous system. Research has shown that breathing at a pace of about 6 breaths per minute, inhaling to a count of 5 and exhaling to a count of 5 is optimal for engaging the relaxation response, it works.
- Exercise more. Turn off the TV and take a walk outside. Mood-lifting chemicals in your brain start to circulate the longer we walk, the heart strengthens and your metabolism revs up for up to 48 hours afterward.
- Listen to soothing music. I am firm advocate of the power of relaxing or inspiring music to soothe body, mind and soul. Go to UTube, the selection is huge.
- Lend a helping hand. Helping others can be an excellent and effective way to reduce your stress.
- Sleep longer. Practice good sleep hygiene to help your body regenerate. Go to bed at the same time and turn off all electronics an hour before bedtime.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Eating Real food and shunning processed foods and sugar can help you shed those extra pounds that put stress on your body. You may even reduce your blood pressure or diabetes medication.
- Hug often. Many believe in the power of a hug to heal and reduce stress. Research has verified that the simple act of reaching out and hugging another person slows down the heart rate, reduces high blood pressure, and even helps you recover from illness.
- Laugh. Laughter is a great stress reliever so try and tune into TV comedies instead of dramas or socialize more to lighten up. Socialization can be helpful to reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness caused by stress.
- Last, not least Meditation, here is what I have to say about it.
Again, try them, they work, and with the money you save at the drug store, you can buy Real food and have lots of money to spare.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively, Breathe…