The human body is generally designed and equipped to handle the normal everyday stresses, but if mismanaged, the natural stress response can sometimes get out of balance. This imbalance may lead to the person being prone to an array of other disorders, such as headache, upset stomach, chest pain, insomnia, fatigue, moodiness, and a generally weak immune system.
Celebrated naturopathic doctor, Dr. Donielle “Doni” Wilson, author of The Stress Remedy – Master Your Body’s Synergy & Optimize Your Health, who visited the Philippines last February to help address stress management with all-natural store Healthy Options, explained how chronic stress has been the root of virtually all disorders that we experience especially as we grow older and get busier. She met with the media to discuss how human stress response is the dynamic interaction between the body, mind, emotions, life events, environment, and history. If the interaction gets too high or too low, the level of cortisol, the hormone that helps the body respond to stress, regulate blood sugar, and fight infections, suffers as well.
Certain additional factors, such as pollution, not having proper diet and exercise, as well as not getting brain breaks in between work, and most especially not enough sleep (it’s emphasized that people need at least seven hours) in a day, all aggravate the imbalance and if left untreated can cause far more serious, longterm illnesses.
In Metro Manila specifically, where traffic is constant and work can extend up to 10-12 hours a day, Filipinos are more prone to getting more stressed than usual, and sometimes this develops even worse habits that serve as quasi-coping mechanisms, such as overeating, smoking, drinking, and sleeping late. Dr. Wilson suggests being more conscious about how you manage yourself by developing healthier practices in response to stress. Natural diet, cardio, ample sleep, supplements, and even staying off your smartphones for a while are a few “stress remedies” she recommends. When asked whether long vacations work, she says that shorter breaks are more advisable, going back to the importance of sleep, which is the time your body recovers from all the stress you had in a day.
Regardless of how you will let your body restore itself, Dr. Wilson explains that it’s all about taking and staying in charge: of your lifestyle and even your attitude towards dealing with problems. To quote her book, “Which choice is right for you? That depends on your individual temperament, the current state of your health, and your life circumstances. The important thing is you understand what your body needs and then feel empowered to take charge of the process of change at your own pace.”