This is How to Handle Stress, According to Nutritionist and Author Dr. Doni Wilson

Perhaps a right amount of stress is necessary to stay productive at work but too much can have an opposite effect. Isn’t that the question though? When is enough enough? That remains to be an unanswerable question.

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ALSO READ: 8 Effective Ways to Destress, the Way

Healthy Options, in partnership with and Philippine Star, sponsored a seminar on “The Stress Remedy” featuring naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, and author Dr. Doni Wilson. A number of health enthusiasts, press representatives, young professionals, and the young-at-heart enthusiastically participated in the seminar. Sticking to the theme of destressing, Healthy Options provided canapes and tarts for the guests at the stress-free environment of the Garden Ballroom, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel on February 22nd.

Healthy Options and Dr. Doni Wilson gave away a number of stress-remedy kits to lucky participants and at the end of the Healthy Options Talk 2018, guests were given a chance to have their copies of the best-selling book ‘The Stress Remedy’ signed.

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A Naturopathic doctor who extensively studied the elements that trigger stress, and a reputable best-selling author of the book ‘The Stress Remedy,’ Dr. Doni Wilson answered a number of questions involving stress:

How can we stay healthy while stressed when it happens to us everyday?

Inspired by her experience in midwifery, Dr. Doni’s research explored how stress affects giving birth, which led to her discovery that the human body is built to deal with stress. Dr. Doni said it all depends on modifying stress exposure. She emphasized that the one contributor to stress is cortisol, a hormone that affects digestion, the immune system, and the nervous system and other hormones present in the body. Controlling the level of cortisol may mean being able to control one’s stress. Meditating, journaling, talking to friends, and taking ashwagandha are some ways on how people can decrease cortisol.

Dr. Doni also shared some tips on how to Master the Synergy: to remove stressors. to restore and rebalance, and to build resilience.

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Can you make up for the lack of sleep?

The recommended amount of sleep is from 7.5 to 9 hours. Expressing her concern for the Filipinos’ lack of sleep, Dr. Doni shared that setting a reminder for bedtime is so much better than setting an alarm to wake up. Along with a darkened room, this helps the body relax and triggers the brain to produce melatonin which regulates our sleep.

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How to encourage people to take a break?

As some only learn to take a break when they experience health issues, Dr.

Doni encouraged the participants to take microbreaks e.g. standing and stretching from a sitting position, drinking a cup of tea, or practicing deep breathing. Short breaks, according to research, are known for boosting creativity and productivity.

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As for diet and fitness regimen?

“Eat only what you can digest. Eat half meals!” is Dr. Doni’s suggestion for those who experience indigestion when stressed. Since “our bodies don’t have good options for extra food,” and stress can also affect the stomach walls triggering a “leaky gut,” she mentioned that the stomach can digest food better in small amounts. Taking time chewing one’s food is a good way to de-stress and avoid putting so much strain on the stomach. 

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As for her recommended fitness regimen, she gave the following tips:

  1. Pick something you enjoy. Exercise must be enjoyable as you are doing something for your body.
  2. Start simple. A 5-minute regular work out is better than a one-hour gym class in one month.
  3. Do cardio and strength-training. Cardio is not the only exercise in town. A bit of strength-training appropriate to one’s body type is also a must.
  4. Notice how you feel after exercise. Overexertion also stresses the body so moderation is the key. 

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While putting emphasis on the fact stress affects people in different ways, Dr. Doni said what matters most at the end of the day is listening to our bodies. “Small stress remedies can do wonders” as long as we acknowledge stress and pay attention to it. After all, as she said, “We don’t want to stress about de-stressing.”

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How about you? How do you de-stress? Let us know in the comments!