According to the Huffington Post, “A little bit of stress is good for us, in that it provides energy and keeps us aware of everything going on in our lives. But even though stress is a daily occurrence for all of us, it’s important to keep it in check. When left to its own devices, it can lead to or exacerbate a number of health problems, from heart disease, to acne, to obesity, to depression and anxiety.”
Tomorrow, April 16th, is National Stress Awareness Day and April is National Stress Awareness Month. Most of us don’t need a special day, much less an entire month, to know we deal with stress all too often in our lives. However, the Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit health education organization, creators of this special day/month, wanted to raise awareness of the effects of stress as well as techniques and coping methods to offset it. HRN notes, “Chronic stress takes a more significant toll on your body than acute stress does. It can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, increase vulnerability to anxiety and depression, contribute to infertility, and hasten the aging process. ”
So, how can we counteract stress? The Mayo Clinic suggests yoga! An article from MayoClinic.org states, “Yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve heart function. And almost anyone can do it.” and “Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.” Additionally, a 2012 UCLA study found that daily yoga and meditation (for as few as 12 minutes a day!) lowered stress levels by reducing the body’s mechanisms that respond to stress triggers.
At Sunrise Yoga Studio, we offer yoga classes every day of the week and we offer specialty classes such as Meditation and Restorative Yoga each month. So don’t stress . . . just come do yoga! And, eat chocolate (Yes, for real! The Institute for Natural Healing says, “Researchers in Switzerland found that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate per day for two weeks can reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can mess with healthy hormone function. It also increases inflammation and can raise blood pressure. So next time you throw your feet up to relax, bring some dark chocolate with you. You’ll get double the cortisol-lowering benefit.”)
Yoga and chocolate . . . what could be better?