Key Steps to Managing Stress for Optimal Health

Key Steps to Managing Stress for Optimal Health

Key Steps to Managing Stress for Optimal Health

By Stephanie Mandel, Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Certified Emotion Code and Body Code Practitioner, Certified Mind Body Spirit Release Practitioner

As holistic health practitioners, when a person comes to us with health issues they want to address, we are always curious not just about their physical self care, but also how they care for themselves mentally and emotionally, particularly how they handle stress. And in order to effectively manage stress, we must first recognize that it exists. I am often surprised by how common it is for people living a busy modern life to be unaware of the level of stress they face daily, and how that stress impacts their physical health.

Recognizing the stress in your life

Most of us have been conditioned to accept a fast-paced, high-demand life that we don’t see it as stressful — we see it as normal. Without some major life crisis, most of us don’t view our lives as stressful. But the truth is, the pace of simply living — work, taking care of a family, distraction from technology, on and on — is stressful! And that’s not a bad thing — we just have to be able to acknowledge it, and then discover and use tools to ride those waves and stay as grounded and balanced as possible in the process. 

Stress is a normal and natural part of life; we just need to recognize how our minds and bodies are meeting our daily challenges, and provide ourselves with the necessary support so we stay healthy. 

Some signs that you might more stressed than you think:

  • Find it hard to sit still or rest
  • Constant need for distraction or “business” (scrolling social media, etc.)
  • Frequently irritable
  • Frequently sick 
  • Poor sleep
  • Often tired 
  • Often thirsty 
  • Craving salty foods
  • Bloating and gassiness, especially in the afternoons

Ways you can better manage your stress

Learning effective stress management techniques is an important aspect of maintaining your overall well-being and quality of life.

Take excellent physical care of yourself

Your ability to handle stress stems first from a strong body: 

  • Aim for 7.5+ hours of sleep
  • Move your body every day for at least 30 minutes - walk, stretch, dance, lift weights, find a routine you enjoy so you can stick with it
  • Stay hydrated with pure water and electrolytes
  • Eat a primarily anti-inflammatory, whole-foods diet 

Practicing mindfulness

One effective way to manage stress is through the practice of mindfulness, which involves bringing one's attention to the present moment and accepting it without judgment. This can be done through activities such as:

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing (e.g., the 4-7-8 breath - inhale for 4 counts, hold for 7, exhale for 8, repeat for a minute or more)
  • Yoga

Engaging in mindfulness practices creates awareness of your thought patterns and reactions to stress, and can give you a greater sense of control over your emotions and responses to challenges.

Setting boundaries

While stress is part of life, it can be beneficial to find ways to reduce it. This may involve setting boundaries by:

  • Saying no to unnecessary commitments
  • Learning to delegate tasks
  • Minimizing your exposure to people who drain your energy

Proactive fun and joy

Knowing what you brings you joy and making time for it, even a few minutes a day, is absolutely fundamental to reducing stress and enjoying your life. This will be personal to you; some ideas include:

  • Listening to music that makes you happy
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Creating art in any way - you don’t have to think you’re “good”! Collage, paint-by-number, coloring books - it all counts as long as you enjoy it
  • Journaling - simply set a timer for 5-10 minutes and free-write whatever floats through your mind - you’ll be surprised at what you learn about yourself 
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Spend time in nature 
  • Write a nice email/text/card to someone you love 

A quick, effective stress relief technique: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), aka “Tapping

This is a profound and easy tool to quickly release stress, and has the power to release deeper traumas and emotional baggage as well. 

EFT combines tapping on nine acupressure points on the body, in a sequence, while speaking a simple mantra to yourself (out loud or in your head) about the stress at hand, or the painful memory you want to release. Tapping on the nine points opens a direct channel to your subconscious mind, effectively rewiring how your mind and body respond to the stress or memory.

Learn more about tapping here, and if you’re interested in learning how to apply tapping to your life, call our office to schedule a personalized tapping session. 

When the source of stress or anxiety is unclear

Have you ever felt uneasy or anxious, and you weren’t sure why? Or perhaps you’ve always tended toward anxiousness with no clear explanation. Or, maybe you suspect that your physical symptoms (fatigue, headaches, pain etc.) have emotional or energetic aspect. That’s where energy healing can come in very handy, because you don’t have to know why you’re feeling a certain way in order to get relief. 

Techniques like Emotion and Body Code, Reiki and Mind Body Spirit Release allow for the practitioner to speak with you briefly, and then explore what is impacting you on an energetic level. Imbalances that arise in these healing sessions are often subconscious, perhaps memories from early life that have been forgotten or suppressed, or events so early on in life that you couldn’t possibly remember them, but still impacted your nervous system long-term. 

These sessions can also identify and address generational or inherited traumas and imbalances, and help to release these in a way that often brings profound relief and a fresh perspective on life’s challenges. The actual release and rebalancing techniques depend on the method and practitioner. Read our articles on each technique to learn more, or book a session to see for yourself. (212-989-9828 extension 2)

A few helpful supplements

Certain herbs and nutrients can be extremely helpful in the process of rebalancing our body’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Some of my go-to’s include (please note, dose and applicability will vary by individual - consult your practitioner for personalized guidance):

  • 200 mg of Zen - this combination of L-theanine (a calming amino acid found in green tea) and GABA is beloved by our staff and patients alike; it provides a calm, focused energy wonderful for feeling more relaxed both day and night. 
  • Cortisol Manager - in the early stages of rebalancing your response to stress, cortisol levels can run high, impacting our ability to relax and sleep deeply. We often recommend taking 1-2 capsules at dinner for a relaxed evening and deep restful sleep.
  • Magnesium Glycinate - there are many different forms of magnesium, a key cofactor for over 400 chemical reactions in the body, and they each have a unique impact on the body; magnesium glycinate is one of the best-absorbed forms and one of the most effective to help the muscles and nervous system relax.
  • Relax-Tone - this homeopathic calming remedy is wonderful for sensitive individuals; homeopathics help the body return to homeostasis and are extremely gentle.

I hope this information gives you a new perspective on how to lovingly observe the amount of stress in your life, how you respond to it, and ways to better support yourself as you ride those waves. Wishing you peace, joy and ease as you move forward!


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.