I’m often asked: “If I can only do one thing, and one thing only to improve my health, what should I do?”
My answer is always the same.
There is one simple thing that drastically improves or cures almost all diseases plaguing the Western world today. It lowers blood pressure, improves type 2 diabetes and arthritis, prevents stroke and heart attack, and could completely eliminate ED in men.
And best of all, it doesn’t cost you a dime and is extremely pleasurable.
Now, you might tell me that you are not stressed at all. And I’ll reply that you’re wrong.
Or you could say that yes, there is stress but you can’t get rid of those factors that are causing it. And I’ll tell you, these factors are irrelevant as to how stress affects your health.
You see, a stress reaction is nothing more than an overload of stress hormones in your body. Cortisol and adrenaline are the best-known agents of this, but other hormones also play a key role.
So, there may not be any major stress in your life, but if you live close to a highway, get the flu, run a marathon (or other intense exercises), or even watch a thriller on TV, your stress hormone level is going to spike.
And even if you’re under a huge amount of stress, there is a simple way you can guide your body to lower your stress hormone level, even with these pre-existing stress factors in place.
I’ll explain this clearly in a second but first; how does stress affect your health?
There are four types of stress you’re faced with:
1) Emotional Stress – the most prevalent sources include divorce and the death of a loved one.
2) Mental Stress – when faced with difficult mental tasks. Playing chess or Sudoku are mild versions of mental stress.
3) Sensory Stress – Living near a feedlot (smells) or a railroad crossing (noise).
4) Physical Stress – working out or having high blood pressure are types of physical stress that could spike your stress hormone level. Eating unhealthy food that causes inflammation in your body could also lead to physical stress.
Moderate amounts of stress are essential for our health. When we workout, our bodies release adrenaline to boost our nervous system. Afterward, the adrenaline quickly drops when we relax.
But when you’re under a longer period of stress, like working long hours for a few weeks, your mind orders the release of cortisol. This is the long-term stress hormone and the effects are devastating.
Since cortisol is supposed to be used for dealing with things like starvation or long-lasting attacks by predators, it triggers our fight-or-flight response.
Any function that is not essential at the moment is shut down so that your body can survive on the least amount of energy, and with fight a threat or run away.
One thing that also is drastically reduced in this process is blood flow to the brain. The brain usually takes 25-40% of all your blood but rational thinking is not presumed to be needed to fight a predator. This is the reason that long-term stress is believed to cause Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
Another system that is shut down is your digestive system. No wonder many people who are highly stressed suffer frequent heartburn. Another digestive disease often caused by stress is IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as it is presumed that you don’t need to digest your food while fighting off being eaten by a lion.
Ironically, cortisol makes sure that the food you do digest is turned straight into fat. After all, since you need to be able to survive harsh conditions, you will need body fat. That’s why in order to lose weight, you absolutely must tackle stress hormones.
Cortisol also shuts down a big part of your immune system, making you extremely vulnerable to the common flu, cancers, and other diseases.
The deadliest of all diseases caused by stress is, of course, high blood pressure. Having chronic, dramatic spikes in blood pressure almost inevitably leads to either stroke or heart attack.
Now that was the bad news, here is the good news:
It is relatively easy to reduce the amount of cortisol in your body. You see, your own brain is the organ that orders the release of stress hormones. Nothing else. As such, your brain can stop its release on the spot. All you have to do is ask it…nicely.
The release of cortisol comes from the oldest, most primal part of your brain. It reacts to either the real or the imaginary threat that you perceive you’re under. The roar of a lion or a roar of a Jeep Wrangler is going to be processed in a very similar way.
The good news is that your logical brain is the commander-in-chief. The primal brain will at least somewhat obey its commands. So, if you consciously think and act in a way a relaxed animal/person would do, your stress hormone level will go down.
For example, when under stress, most people stop breathing or breathe rapidly and shallow. So, close your eyes and consciously take ten deep breaths while thinking about something beautiful and you’ll be more relaxed afterwards.
I really like using high blood pressure as a measure of stress hormone level. It almost always goes hand in hand and it’s amazing how quickly blood pressure drops when your stress hormone level goes down.
So, let’s look at a few concrete examples:
1) One study revealed that listening to relaxing classical music for just 10 minutes per day lowers blood pressure by 10 points (systolic) on the average.
2) Repeated studies have shown that going for a walk in nature has amazing relaxing and health benefits, along with drastically lowering blood pressure level.
3) A light workout several times a day has been proven to be more effective in lowering blood pressure than an intense workout a few times a week. That’s because intense workouts can boost cortisol levels, as opposed to the relaxing effect of a light workout.
One thing to keep in mind is that cortisol takes a while to leave your body. You’ll therefore probably not experience great improvements until after at least 24 hours, and since habits are hard to kill, we’re most likely talking a few days or weeks needed to cure any disease permanently.
But there is one method that works better than anything else in lowering blood pressure, reduce stress hormone levels, and improve or cure almost all other diseases.
These are the 3 easy blood pressure exercises I designed to bring my blood pressure below 120/80. Most people reach their goals within a week, but I’ve had clients say their blood pressure returned to normal the very first day. Try these exercises out here and gain optimal health in 2019…