How to Define a Holistic Approach to Stress Management and Ways It Can Benefit You

Holistic stress management can empower anyone who suffers from chronic stress. The techniques used help the individual in developing insight into their thought process and behaviour, which in turn aid in managing potential triggers.

Types of Stress

  • Mental: worry, anxiety, perfectionism,
  • Emotional: fear, anger, guilt, shame
  • Physical: lack of sleep, poor nutrition, severe physical exertion
  • Psycho-spiritual: life challenges, difficult relationships, lack of spiritual alignment

 
When we experience stress, the adrenal glands (on top of the kidneys) release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Chronic release of these hormones may lead to various health issues such as frequent colds, digestive issues, hormone imbalances in women, blood pressure issues, impaired thyroid function, imbalanced blood sugar levels, heart disease, and more. 
 
The good news is that while we can’t completely eliminate stress from our lives, there are many things we can do to keep it at bay. Following a holistic approach will enable you to keep various forms of stress in check. 
 
Not sure what we mean by holistic stress management? A holistic approach means looking at the person as a whole and considering their emotional, physical, social, and spiritual well-being. Below are steps you can take to manage your stress holistically. 
 

Keep your body hydrated

Drink six to eight glasses of water daily for hydration and adrenal health. Lower your caffeine and alcohol intake as they are adrenal stressors. Instead, reach for calming herbal teas and green veggie juices (fruit juices spike blood sugar levels).
 

Eat Protein-Rich Meals

Eating meals rich in protein regularly is essential for balancing blood sugar levels, which in turn, reduces adrenal stress. Quality protein sources include beans (lentils and kidney beans), algae including chlorella and spirulina, nuts and seeds, hemp and rice protein powder (works well in smoothies), wild mackerel and goats cheese. 
 

Include Omega 3 Fats in your Diet

Sufficient omega 3 fats are essential for reducing stress. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) play an important role in helping with brain behaviour and adrenal health. Rich food sources include sardines, wild salmon, blue-green algae, flax seeds and sprouted chia. Supplements include fish oil and algae oil (vegan).
 

Exercise Regularly

Exercise plays a vital role in overall fitness and stress reduction. Exercising for as little as 20 minutes per day can greatly impact how you handle daily challenges. Try dancing, yoga, interval training or power walking in nature. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you move your body regularly.
 

Incorporate Meditation into your daily routine

A good way to reduce adrenal stress and the mind and body as a whole is to make time for daily meditation. Meditation helps you to focus your attention on breathing or mantras while organising jumbling thoughts. Daily meditation for as little as 10 minutes can have profound effects on stress reduction and management. 
 
Not sure where to start with holistic stress management? Book your free sessional at Integrative Coaching today!