Thursday, October 4, 2007

Is Stress Giving You Wrinkles? 10 Ways to Improve Your Health

How stressed out are you in your daily life?
I just finished reading a report on the impact of stress on our health. I'm committed to better health. How about you? Do you want to be more healthy?

Stress can weaken the immune system, impact our heart, nerves, skin, affect our sleep patterns. Excessively high stress can cause mental disorders, nervousness, anxiety, and other conditions. How is stress affecting you?

I'm convinced that stress is a huge contributor to wrinkles, and increases the impact of age.
To help impact the challenge of wrinkles and lower stress, I've put together a list of the TOP TEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH:

1. Take extra time in how you treat your body. Not just your face, but give extra care to how you treat your whole body. How much do you exercise? I think going for a 45-minute walk at least three times a week, plus daily stretches and yoga, are critical to maintaining good health. In addition, swimming, dance, yoga, and other forms of activity are recommended. Slow down a little and take time to meditate and give back to your body.

2. Get rid of the junk. Okay, this is a multi-subject thing for me. Junk could be viewed as things that block you from being healthy, such as cigarettes or booze. Junk could be candy. Oh, it's just a little candy bar... really? Did you see what they put in it? Start reading labels and then putting the things back on the shelf that don't look healthy to you. I'd rather not eat than eat junk is becoming more and more of a mantra. If you can't quit smoking on your own, try getting a massage, then hypnotherapy. It worked for a friend of mine. If you're blocking your thoughts by reading the paper and watching the news or too much television, either cancel cable or put the t.v. in the garage for a while. While this may seem dramatic at first, eventually you just might find that you don't miss it. When I don't watch television, I have more time to read a good book, write music, and work on articles for AspireNow ( Would you say those things are a better use of my time? I'm not going to decide for you what is junk in your life. Just get real with yourself and make a little list. Then ask yourself: "Are these things in support of my BEST SELF?" If the answer is "no", then when you eliminate these junk things from your life you will be clearing a path for PEAK PERFORMANCE to truly occur. Awesome! Why not start now?

3. Trade or schedule a Massage (face, scalp, back, feet, hands especially) to help you reduce stress and reduce the impact of stress on your body. Massage is very useful to help us lower stress. In addition, I'd add hydrotherapy in a hot tub or hot spa. I personally find this to be one of the top 5 ways I de-stress after a long day. If you haven't treated yourself to a massage and you're going through stress, I'd recommend you schedule a massage with a trained therapist right away.

4. Stay hydrated. Lots of fresh water, preferably from a clean and pure spring, helps you keep moisture and oxygen flowing through your body and skin. My favorite water is TRINITY and CRYSTAL GEYSER. And, nope, neither of them paid me to recommend to you. I'm not a fan of water from the faucet -- especially in municipalities who fluoridate their water (another topic). Make sure you drink extra water when exercising and also if going into a hot-tub or a hot bath, as both dehydrate you. Also, for people who drink a lot of coffee or beer, you'd better match it with water, because coffee dehydrates you. Either that, or quit drinking all that coffee and beer. It just makes you nervous or gives you a gut anyway, right? If you're drinking a lot of soda, you might find that you have skin conditions. Whenever I start having skin conditions, the first thing I look at is what am I drinking? If it's a soda or more a day, you'll likely develop a skin problem, from my experience. My ex-wife, when I first met her, had awful acne like skin under her chin. I remember asking her how she got that, because it was such unusual looking skin. She said, "I dunno. I just got it a couple of years ago. I'd love to get rid of it, it makes me self-conscious." So, I asked her what she ate and drank. She ran through her list of diet and then said, "oh, I love diet coke. I'm an addict. I drink six diet cokes a day." (yikes!) I got her to agree to limit her diet coke intake to no more than 1 a day by cutting down by 1 until she reached 1. She did it, and guess what, her skin cleared up.

5. Commit to the basics (sunblock, foundation, etc.). Okay, that's good for women, but what about for men? I personally use a moisturizer that comes from my sister's company, Skin Strategies, and it has double duty moisturizer and age impact with both peptides and amino acids. Email me if you want to get hooked up with these awesome spa products and I'll send you either to my wonderful friend, Tami or my wonderful sister, Terri. They didn't pay me to say that, either. I think the most important thing to do is to practice good hygiene, clean your hands regularly, and wash with antibacterial soap and water at least two minutes each time. It is amazing how people don't do that even when in highly germ-infected and confined areas like cruise ships.

6. Proper diet. Monique Gilbert ( ), who has helped many people eat healthy, lose weight, and keep it off. I've been looking to do that myself, lately, and following her advice, which is: "Eat foods rich in antioxidants (like vitamins A, C, E and lycopene), omega-3 fatty acids, and folate. Antioxidants fight and neutralize free radicals, which are molecules that damage cells and cause heart disease, cancer and premature aging. Omega-3 fatty acids (a polyunsaturated fat) have anti- inflammatory, cardiovascular-enhancing and immune-regulating properties." I'd rather get that treatment from food than a drug, wouldn't you? Monique continues: "It is helpful in preventing and controlling high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression, inflammatory and auto-immune disorders." All things we'd rather avoid. And ends up with, "Folate prevents age-related cognitive decline, damage to blood vessels and brain cells by lowering homocysteine levels. It also ensures DNA integrity (important as we age and when pregnant) and promotes healthy red blood cells. Excellent food sources for these nutrients are as follows. Antioxidants - pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, grapefruit (red and pink), blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, peppers (red and green), tomatoes, broccoli, sunflower seeds, almonds and olive oil. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - ground flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, soybeans and pumpkin seeds. Folate - dark green leafy vegetables (turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, collard greens, etc.), beans, legumes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, beets and okra." Have you been eating enough greens lately?

7. Laughter. Schedule a comedy show. Watch a comedy. Laugh. I try to laugh hard at least a few times a day. I've made a game out of trying to make other people laugh (and not at anyone else's expense) because I find it makes my own life more enjoyable to hear someone else laugh. I wrote an article on the power of laughter at back when I first launched the website. I equate laughter to "God" energy. If we laugh more, we get more God within us. Hey- if it is true, you certainly can't knock it. All I know is I like funny people and feel better when I'm laughing than when I'm not laughing and super serious.
8. Listen to good music. I've read several other places to include music. Okay. But, they don't say what KIND of music. I find it so amazing to look at the Top 50 Billboard songs today and compare to the Billboard songs from 1950. You might want to consider music that you find RELAXING rather than upbeat or yelling at you. Also, what are the words? If they're singing about being a loser, drinking, getting screwed-over, or other negative topics, you might just want to replace that with more healthy and relaxing music. I've taken to acid-brazilian music lately as it makes me feel more relaxed and happy. One, in particular, is Bebel Gilberto, who has a voice I'd describe in one word as VELVET.

9. Get regular sleep. Notice, I didn't say "get 8 hours of sleep" because frankly, some people don't need that much sleep. I also didn't say when to go to bed or when to get up. We're all different. Just make sure your sleep is as close to the same time each day, and about the same number of hours. If you find yourself yawning throughout the day, you either got TOO MUCH or TOO LITTLE sleep. Modify your schedule until you find yourself feeling optimum and your energy-level restored, then stay with this program. If you're having problems with sleep apnea (a problem typified by snoring) you might not be getting solid sleep or healthy sleep. If this is you, consider seeing a specialist to determine if there are ways to treat the cause of sleep deprivation.

10. Look up, be happy! I recorded a radio show at AspireNow Radio recently on the idea of Mood Boosters. Click NowLive, enter AspireNow into the shows, and you'll find it. Being happy comes mostly from optimistic thinking. As we think, so shall we be. I will add to this that what we put in our brain is often what comes out of our body. If you put "I can do it" thoughts in your head, you probably can. In addition, if you look up, smile, and take time to be happy, you probably will. So, don't worry, be happy!

Eliminate the stress in your life and improve your health and well-being by seeing if these tips don't give you a better, more healthy life.

This article is by Scott Andrews, Founder of AspireNow and Life Coach. Scott is the author of "The Keys To Discovering Your Purpose" audio/e-workbook programs and many articles on the subjects of Life Purpose, Smooth Sailing relationships, and Elegant Simplicity lifestyles. You may reach Scott at or call him directly at (805) 459-6939 to schedule a coaching call directly.

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