Most people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can do a better job of managing the stress in their lives. While this holds true for most people in general, and not just those with an autoimmune hypothyroid disorder, the fact remains that stress can be one of the causes behind this condition. And if it isn’t the cause of your disorder, then without question it can make your condition worse if you don’t do a good job of handling it.
What you need to realize is that our bodies were not designed to handle chronic stress, but instead was meant to deal with acute stress situations. So what happens is when a person has chronic stress (which seems to describe most of us in this society), this in turn can weaken the immune system, and can also have a negative effect on other areas of the body, such as the adrenal glands. This compromised immune system or stressed adrenal glands can ultimately lead to the formation of an autoimmune condition, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
So the goal here is to give you twelve stress management tips that can help restore your health back to normal, prevent your condition from becoming worse, and/or reduce the likelihood of developing other conditions in the future. This might sound too good to be true. But when you understand that chronic stress is not something your body was designed to handle AND that there a number of things you need to do to manage the stress in your life, you’ll realize that following the advice I’m about to give can do wonders when it comes to your health.
Here Are The 12 Stress Management Tips:
Tip #1: Try to keep a positive attitude most of the time. While a positive attitude alone isn’t enough to manage your stress, having one can definitely help. Obviously nobody can be positive 100% of the time. But many people seem to always carry a negative attitude with them, which definitely won’t help you cope with the stress in your life.
Tip #2: Begin a regular exercise program. You want to engage in some type of cardiovascular activity at least 3-4 times each week, ideally for at least 30 minutes each time. This can include taking a walk outside or on a treadmill, going on the elliptical machine or stationary bike, or anything else that will make you sweat a little. I realize some people with autoimmune disorders might not have the energy to exercise. If this describes you, even 20 to 30 minutes of walking will be beneficial. Besides engaging in cardiovascular exercise, other activities that can help you to manage stress include yoga and Pilates.
Tip #3: Eat healthier foods. Most of us can do a much better job of incorporating healthier foods into our diets. I don’t expect anyone who has been eating poorly to immediately give up all of the “bad foods” they love. But even making small changes in what you eat can have a big impact on your health.
Tip #4: Drink plenty of purified water each day. Many sources suggest that you should drink at least eight tall glasses of water each day. The problem with this is that everyone has different needs based on their weight, and so I recommend that you should drink half of your body weight in ounces. So for example, if you weigh 140 pounds, then you would want to drink at least 70 ounces of water each day. And please don’t drink tap water, as you really should be drinking purified water.
Tip #5: Take quality nutritional supplements. Since most of us don’t eat a perfect diet, it’s important to take some quality nutritional supplements on a daily basis. At the very least you should take a quality multi-mineral vitamin and fatty acid each day. There are a lot of poor-absorbing supplements being sold, and so you do need to be careful. I personally recommend whole food supplements to my patients, rather than the synthetic vitamins that are sold by most retailers.
Tip #6: Get at least 8 hours of quality sleep each night. I know this might seem difficult to do, especially if you need to wake up early for work. And once again, some people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis will have difficulty falling to sleep and/or will wake up in the middle of the night. So until they get this problem addressed then it admittedly will be difficult for them to get eight hours of quality sleep on a regular basis. Often times sleep problems are caused by stressed out adrenal glands, which most endocrinologists and medical doctors don’t address.
Tip #7: Avoid environmental toxins as much as possible. While it’s not possible to avoid these completely, you need to realize that these toxins really do affect our health. I’m not going to discuss everything you can do to avoid these toxins, but I will tell you two things you can do to that will help you in the long term. First of all, install a filter in your shower that removes chlorine, as this can really help boost your energy levels. Second, stop buying household cleaners with harsh chemicals, and instead get some natural household cleaners at your local health food store.
Tip #8: Make love more often. Having sex increases the endorphins in your body, which also will help you to manage stress. So make love with your partner more often.
Tip #9: Get a monthly massage. Schedule an appointment with a licensed massage therapist and treat yourself to a monthly massage. Massage therapy is not just about stress management, as there are many other benefits as well. But one of the big benefits of massage therapy is that it can help to relieve stress.
Tip #10: Consider seeing a chiropractor. Okay, I’m admittedly a little bit biased here, being that I have a chiropractic background. But since spinal adjustments help to balance out the nervous system, receiving them from a chiropractor can also help to relieve stress. Like massage therapy, there are so many other benefits when it comes to chiropractic.
Tip #11: Talk to someone. Sometimes speaking with someone can help relieve your stress. This doesn’t necessarily mean talking with a counselor, although in some cases this can be helpful. But even talking with a good friend, family member, or acquaintance can really help.
Tip #12: Don’t take life so seriously. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take certain aspects of your life seriously. But on the other hand, many of us let things stress out that really shouldn’t. Write down a list of some of the things that cause stress in your life, and then take a look at these tips I have just given you, and determine how you can apply this advice to those things that stress you out on a regular basis.
For example, if you have a job that stresses you out, then perhaps you need to change your attitude (or change your job!). Or it might be that you’re not eating well and/or not getting enough sleep. These lifestyle changes won’t get rid of the stress in your life, but will help you better manage it. If your spouse is stressing you out, then perhaps counseling is the answer for you.
So here you have it, as if you follow at least 75% of these tips (9 of 12), including all of the first six I listed, you will do wonders in managing your stress. This admittedly is an incomplete list, as there are other things you can do to manage your stress. But these are some of the more important ones that can truly help to restore your health, and help you to maintain your health.