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5 Ways to Effectively Reduce Stress

While stress is unavoidable, minimizing stress or reducing it to an acceptable level is a must for health, wellness, longevity, and productivity. Stress leads to numerous physiologic effects. Stress activates our flight or fight nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system. This activation leads to an increased heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, sweating (especially the palms), dilation of the eyes, and muscle tension.

Further increase in our stress level will cause poor concentration, irritability, mood swings, and reduced productivity. An inappropriate stress level also leads to a reduced immune system which affords the body to be more vulnerable to infection and cancers. Still, such stress will cause charged particles known as free radicals to increase in the system. Free radicals contribute to the aging process, vulnerability to infections and various cancers. Substances called antioxidants in foods (such as blueberries and broccoli) and some nutritional supplements fight and neutralize these free radicals.

The number stressors are as numerous as there are people on this planet. Some common stressors include debt, poor time-management, lack of exercise, poor job satisfaction, poor nutrition, and a poor mental disposition or attitude. Here are 5 ways to reduce stress in our lives:

1. Proper time-management: Start the day early/on time. Don't procrastinate start early on school or work projects. Learn to say NO (if you can) to tasks or projects others ask of you when there is clearly insufficient time.

2. Exercise: To maintain vigor, stamina, weight, good blood pressure, and mental clarity exercise is a must. Exercise will lessen muscle tension and regulate breathing and heart rate. Exercise will also fight disease by minimizing free radical production by the body.

3. Proper diet and nutrition supplementation: A diet well balanced in fruit, nuts, and vegetables while minimizing animal protein helps to maintain the body in good working order while sharpening the mind and decreasing stress. Proper nutrition supplements can boost the immune system, improve mental clarity, and help neutralize free radicals by supplying antioxidants. Nutrition supplements can also provide probiotics (good bacteria for the gut) that can support digestion and nutrient absorption.

4. Build your own dream. If you hate your job, do something about. Develop your own business. Start part-time and grow that business into a full time career. Then fire your boss! One type of business that takes little money to begin but gives you the advantage and a system of a big business is direct sales via network marketing or multi-level marketing (MLM). Don't just choose and join any company! Select a company with a good 5 year or more track record with quality and diverse product line or services in an industry that is rapidly growing. Such an industry is health and wellness. To make such a move requires guts, deferred gratification, confidence and the willingness to be a leader. Do your homework. The hardest work you'll ever do is to work for yourself. If you are successful at this, you will declare your time and financial independence.

5. Get out of debt. Having and maintaining debt is like trying to swim with a concrete block around your ankle. Financial stress is mental stress which wears on you every minute of the day. This stress leads to all the physiological issues we just discussed. Get on a budget; cut up the credit cards; use only debit cards; and pay cash for everything you buy (only exception may be buying a house and even then put down a 20% down payment to avoid the private mortgage insurance).
For more information on health, wellness, and building your own dream, visit

Orville Campbell, MD is an internist and nephrologist. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. His expertise include: health and wellness, hypertension, diabetes, vitamin D, and kidney diseases. Dr. Campbell is an entrepreneur. He has owned several businesses and medical practices since finishing Emory University in 1995. He serves on multiple medical advisory boards for several multi-million dollar companies. Dr. Campbell is currently pursuing an MBA degree. He gives back to the community through his church's health and youth ministries and his children and youth mentoring organization called Teaching Kids to Dream, Inc. (My Blog)

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