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Robert Crayhon
Consultant to Bee-Alive

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Beat Stress Before It Beats You

By Bee-Alive, Inc. Can you imagine what your life would be like without any stress? Unfortunately, stress is a fact of life. It's something every one of us has to deal with, everyday of our lives. It's all around us, from job pressures to family situations. From road rage to the nightly news -- we can't escape stress. As society becomes more fast-paced, our lives become even more stressful. A life without stress? Well, we may have to wait until we get to our Father's house to experience that kind of bliss. For now, our houses are filled with stress. And while it's foolish to think you can escape stress, it's vitally important for your health to learn how to manage the stress in your life.

Stress can jeopardize our health. Surveys show that 43 percent of adults suffer from adverse health effects due to stress. Stress can deplete our bodies of B vitamins, which are essential for our nervous system. It can also reduce the absorption of nutrients in our system from the foods we eat and the supplements we take. When you say you're feeling "stressed out," it's more than just an emotional thing. It's affecting your body in more ways than you can imagine.

But there is good news. There are some very practical steps we can take to fight back -- to beat stress… before it beats us! Try incorporating these simple steps into your lifestyle, so your body is better prepared to handle the stress of everyday life:

1. Get adequate sleep. It's been proven that sleep really helps to reduce stress. It restores the body and mind, and helps us maintain our mental and physical health. Studies have shown that "people who get seven to eight hours of sleep each night enjoy better health and live longer than people who get less sleep." (Mid-Columbia Medical Center, Oregon) According to Dr. David Posen, in the Canadian Journal of Continuing Medical Education, "chronically stressed patients almost always suffer from fatigue. Fatigue makes us less able to cope well with stressful situations. These dynamics can create a vicious cycle. When distressed patients get more sleep, they feel better and are more resilient and adaptable in dealing with day-to-day events." Don't discount the old-fashioned notion of a good night's sleep! It's doing more for your health than you know.

2. Eat a balanced diet for nutritional defense. As mentioned earlier, stress can deplete our bodies of B vitamins and reduce the absorption of vital nutrients. So it's important to make sure our diets are nutritionally balanced. The manner in which one experiences or responds to stressful events depends as much on diet as it does on coping skills. Eating the right foods and maintaining a balanced diet can help reduce stress and promote higher energy. Also, try to make your meal times calm and relaxed. Eating on the go usually leads to poorer food choices and a rushed atmosphere that only contribute to greater stress.

3. Enhance your diet with quality supplements. In addition to eating a balanced diet, supplements are important for overall health and nutrition. Taking supplements is a great way to support your nervous system, which is at greater risk during times of stress. For greater support of the nervous system, science has shown that B12 is the primary nutrient because it promotes nerve cell activity in the body.* And the Food and Nutrition Board recommends that people over the age of 51, whose absorption may not be quite as good as it used to be, supplement their diets with a B12 vitamin or fortified food products.

4. Avoid or limit caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that actually generates a stress reaction in the body. (Dr. David Posen, Canadian Journal of Continuing Medical Education) People who lower or eliminate intake of caffeine report feeling more relaxed, less nervous, with more energy and improved sleeping patterns. Next time you want that cup of coffee… make it a decaf!

5. Exercise regularly. Exercise is key to stress reduction! According to Dr. David Posen, "Nothing beats aerobic exercise as a way of draining off stress energy." It's generally recommended that we engage in some form of aerobic activity for at least 20 minutes, three times per week. If you're not exercising, find an activity that works best for you and get started!

6. Enjoy simple pleasures. Sometimes, it's the little things that really count. It's amazing how therapeutic simple pleasures can be in reducing stress. Take a walk around a lake. Play with your kids. Read a book. Make the time in your schedule to do some of the simple things that bring you joy!

7. Pray. Last on our list… but by no means the least important! There are so many reasons to pray. Stress relief is just one benefit of a praying lifestyle. God's Word is full of admonitions to pray (1 Th. 5:17, Ja. 5:13, Ph. 4:6). And now, science is catching up! In 1997, it was reported that at least thirty of the top medical schools in the United States offer teaching programs on the subject of faith and the role of prayer in the healing process. According to Dr. Herbert Benson, president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, 60 percent of physician visits are due to stress-related illnesses that can be remedied or improved with the physiologically soothing effects of prayer.

We'll never eliminate stress from our lives -- at least not until we get to heaven! And these lifestyle tips can be very beneficial but only if you do them consistently. Even if that's not possible, it's important to supplement your diet every day with a high quality B12 supplement.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. As with any natural product, individual results will vary.

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