When it comes to following a natural thyroid treatment protocol, probably the biggest challenge for most people is eating well. However, while many people realize the importance of eating well, most people don’t do enough to manage their stress levels. And a big reason for this is because most people don’t block out the time to manage their stress. And since stress is a big factor in many people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions, it is essential for everyone with these conditions to block out some time to work on their stress handling skills ON A DAILY BASIS.
I’ve spoken about the importance of stress management in the past, and I’m sure this won’t be the last time I discuss this topic. The reason I bring it up on a frequent basis is because I’ve seen people follow a natural treatment protocol and eat well, take good quality supplements, improve other aspects of their health, and yet not receive optimal results because they didn’t do a good job of managing their stress levels. Obviously there is only so much one can do to reduce the stress levels in their life. But even though many people are unable to modify the amount of stress they’re exposed to on a daily basis, just about everybody can improve their stress handling skills.
How Much Time Should You Dedicate Each Day To Stress Management?
You might wonder how much time you need to block out each day to work on your stress handling skills. This will vary from person to person, as someone who deals with a great amount of stress on a daily basis will probably need to dedicate more time to managing their stress when compared with someone who doesn’t deal with as much stress. Another factor to consider is one’s personality type. Most people are familiar with Type A and B personalities, with a Type A personality typically being more “hard driving and competitive”, whereas a Type B personality is associated with being more “laid back”. There are more than just these two personality types, and my goal isn’t to discuss these in this post, but I just want to point out that someone who has a “laid back” personality usually won’t be affected as much from the stress as some other personality types, and thus probably won’t need to spend as much time managing their stress.
The problem is that some people aren’t aware of the type of personality they have. For example, some people might think they have a laid back attitude, but they really are more of a Type A personality. As a result, they might not think that chronic stress is having an impact on them, even if it is a big factor with regards to their health. So before you make the assumption that you don’t need to spend any time managing your stress because you have more of a Type B personality, you might want to carefully evaluate yourself, and perhaps even get the opinion of some family members and friends to help determine whether or not you really do have a “laid back” personality.
Regardless of the personality type or the amount of stress one deals with on a daily basis, in my opinion everyone should block out at least 10 to 15 minutes per day to work on stress management. And those who deal with a good amount of stress each day and/or have more of a Type A personality will need to block out even more time to improve their stress handling skills. These people might need to block out anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes a day to focus on their stress handling skills.
What If You Simply Don’t Have The Time To Manage Your Stress?
For many people it is a challenge to block out the time to manage their stress. For example, some people will wake up early to go to work, won’t get home until the evening, and after eating dinner and spending time with the family they don’t have much time to relax for a few minutes, let alone take some time to manage their stress. Another example might involve a stay-at-home mom who has a few young children, and blocking out time in this case can also be a challenge. And even if she could block out some time, there is no guarantee that it would be uninterrupted time.
While it might be a challenge for some people to block out 30 to 60 minutes each day for stress management, most people can find at least 10 to 15 minutes per day to work on this. It might mean waking up 10 to 15 minutes earlier, although if someone deals with a great amount of stress I think it’s more beneficial to either 1) work on stress management in the middle or end of the day, or 2) break up the stress management “sessions”. For example, an ideal situation would be to dedicate 10 to 15 minutes in the morning to improving your stress handling skills, and then do this again in the afternoon, and then right before going to bed. I realize this isn’t practical for some people, but doing this will help to start your day with a lesser amount of stress, and then if you have a stressful day it will allow you to spend some time during the day to work on this. Then by working on your stress handling skills right before going to bed it will help you to end the day with a reduced amount of stress, which can help greatly for those who have a difficult time falling and/or staying asleep.
As I’ve discussed in other blog posts and articles, the adrenal glands are essential when it comes to managing stress. Cortisol is known as the “stress handling hormone”, and while eating well and taking certain supplements can benefit the adrenal glands, the best way to keep your adrenal glands healthy and strong is by becoming an expert in managing your stress. This is just as important as eating well, and perhaps even more important. After all, we’re all going to deal with chronic stress, although some people will deal with a greater amount of stress than others. In addition, you never know when an acute stress situation will present itself, and those who continuously work on improving their stress handling skills will be in a much better position to handle these situations when they do come along. Whether it’s a trauma, an unexpected death of a friend or family member, or another acute stress situation, this is something that everyone faces during their lifetime. And while our adrenals are equipped to handle these acute stress situations, many times these situations lead to prolonged, chronic stress, which our adrenals were not designed to handle.
What Can You Do To Better Handle The Stress?
For information on how to improve your stress handling skills I will refer you to an article I wrote in the past entitled “7 Stress Management Tips To Help Restore Your Thyroid Health“. There of course are other things you can do for stress management which I didn’t list in the article. The first three tips I give in this article are to 1) be aware of the impact stress has on your health, 2) eat a healthy diet, and 3) exercise regularly. Doing these three things alone can help greatly when it comes to managing the stress. But for many people this isn’t enough, and since many people underestimate their stress handling skills I think it’s a good idea to do other things to help manage their stress.
For example, you can block out 10 to 15 minutes one or more times each day and do some deep breathing and meditation. If you don’t have experience with this then you might want to check out the website www.getsomeheadspace.com, as they offer ten free ten-minute meditation lessons. May people aren’t familiar with biofeedback as a form of stress management, but this can also be a great way to improve your stress handling skills. For more information on this I recommend visiting www.HeartMath.com, as they have videos you can watch to better understand how this might be able to help you.
In summary, managing one’s stress can be a big challenge when following a natural treatment protocol. Many people have poor stress handling skills, and it is important to block out some time each day to work on stress management. At the minimum you should block out 10 to 15 minutes each day to focus on this, although some people will need to dedicate more time on improving their stress handling skills. The amount of time you need to spend on this will depend on how much stress you deal with on a daily basis, as well as your personality type.