A Story About Stress: How Movement & Being Present Melts Away Stress Hormones

How Movement & Being Present Melts Away Stress Hormones

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At Mitigate Stress, we operate all of our stress-reducing and stress-recovery techniques based on four pillars. Our pillars are Nourish, Environment, Movement, and Spiritual & Mental. 

It’s not just the stress that is the problem; it’s the reaction. HOW we react to stress can, most definitely, negatively impact our health more than the initial stress itself. 

When it comes to mitigating stress, we often lean into a supplement, a pill, a drink, a smoke, junk food, maybe some form of media, loud music, binge-watching YouTube, social media, a T.V. show, you get the idea. Any of these types and varieties of things often become utilized initially as our default reaction to a physical, chemical, or emotional, and most definitely a spiritual form of stress. These are common methods that can be observed as a means of removing or distracting ourselves from the present moment. 

Many of our reactions feel natural and have subtly developed over time, habitually. We are not saying these are inherently bad things in and of themselves; rather, they are ineffective at reducing stress hormone build-up. 

Pillar #1 – Nourish

So much of the alternative (x2) health community suggests that we opt for more fuel, basically increasing our overall macro and micronutrient intake when dealing with stressful times or events, whether they are more chronic or acute by nature. This is a no-brainer, and yes, we can definitely take some magnesium bicarbonate, a magnesium chloride foot bath as a supplementary boost alongside shilajit, zeolite, and other various forms of bioavailable trace minerals and macro minerals, all of which we sell and affiliate. 😉

Adding more fuel is a great start, but we must take it further; the last thing we want to suggest is distracting your attention with electronic entertainment (social media, etc.). One thing to note is that if you opt for supplementation, observe and take note of any symptoms. It will definitely vary based on context and individuality; some people do better without supplementation during times of stress.

If you are dealing with large amounts of stress, then yes, definitely focus on your nutrition, especially if you are behind the 8-ball on sleep, bioavailable nutrient intake, and calories, ALL of the macronutrients for that matter. Listen to your body and what ratio of macronutrients it craves more of, and be sure to walk after your meals as well. Are you craving more carbohydrates or fats? Be sure to include all 3 macronutrients (carbs/fats/pro). Keep your protein always no more than 20%, maximum 30%. Everyone will vary based on their needs, the type of protein they consume, and whether it was overcooked/cauterized or not plays a role in utilizable protein. 

Keep most if not all of your fats raw and preferably saturated, whether that be raw coconut cream (organic fresh pressed), raw grass-fed butter, sour cream, heavy cream, raw cacao butter (organic), and some organic stone-pressed olive oil (monounsaturated, the spicier, the better). We recommend making the lubrication formula from Aajonus Vonderplanitz’s We Want To Live. This is a staple in our daily regimen, absolutely satiating and delicious. The flavor profile is a combination of tart and sweet, like a lemon/lime meringue pineapple flavor. 

Keep the carbs as local roots (such as well-cooked organic potatoes, avoiding the skin) and preferably local fruits. Organic unripe pineapple (higher enzyme) and papaya are also great when paired with raw cream.

If you don’t know already, we have a hydration guide being developed and released via our newsletter. Be sure to sign-up for free; we post fresh content every week that is extremely easy to follow along with and interpret via exclusive videos and information sent directly to your email inbox. We are working hard to put all of the information on our website to be released soon. 

Our guide is especially important if you are trying to hydrate, dump large amounts of stress, and improve circulation, mobility, strength, length, and height. Week 1 started with standing postural correctives, how to stand better, and exploring various spinal shapes and concepts. In week 2, we did the hinge corrective to lengthen and activate our posterior chain, making it more hydrated, longer, more engaged, and more ready. Every new week continues on the previous, adding more tools to your toolbox, so to speak. Check it out because it’s free, at least for now. 

I’m mentioning this because movement is one of the top methods we should immediately resort to after an extremely stressful event or timeline of events. Before we get to that, though, let’s discuss more things you can and should opt for during and after these high-stress times.

We already discussed the nourishment side, which is 1 of 4 of our Mitigate Stress Hydration Pillars, but we also have three more pillars. 

Pillar #2 – Environment

The environment around us plays a big role in adding stressors to our bodies and our lives. Whether the things around us add stress or how we interact with it, this pillar is important to pay attention to. When you are experiencing stress, you need to avoid electronics and trying to distract yourself with them (i.e., scrolling mindlessly through social media or binge-watching a show). Also, avoid EMF on top of the electronics, meaning don’t lay, rest, or be anywhere near:

  • an outlet or circuit board
  • a cell tower or wifi (wi-fry) router
  • dense amounts of radio signals and other various toxic frequencies
  • man-made blue light from artificially lit screens, devices, and unnatural lighting; opt for outdoor lighting, get outdoors, or at least open a window.

You will also want to avoid or minimize the use of:

  • Air Pods and other Bluetooth earbuds
  • any iWatch, phone, tablet, or device using wifi or Bluetooth
  • an electric vehicle for some time (these have high EMF ratings, especially at charging stations) 

Often, the environment is a catalyst for stress.

All of these are EMF “stress bombs.” You don’t want these non-native frequencies. Instead, you need to bathe in native, naturally harmonizing frequencies only entirely found in nature, our natural environment. 

It takes roughly 40 minutes to discharge EMF from the human body while standing on concrete barefoot and 20 minutes submerged in water (preferably filtered and clean, like the ocean). Take a barefoot forest walk, a walk in the woods or on the sand, and submerge yourself in the ocean (if it’s safe, of course, because the last thing you want to do is to submerge during high tide or shark season). Basically, avoid the harmful EMF, get immersed in nature, take a break from man-made blue light, and opt for natural outdoor lighting and healthy, fresh air. The natural environment is a major way to mitigate our artificial environment’s stresses that harm us. 

You will know that you are extra stressed when you are urinating too frequently and too much. This often indicates an overly acidic state, and the kidneys start to release more bicarbonates to neutralize the acidity, which can cause us to pee out minerals and nutrients. Anxiety, high reactivity, snappy responses, greasy/flushed skin, dry mouth/dehydration, dark or puffy under eyes, tired eyes, and just an overall exhausted state/appearance can also be a clear sign of low energy/high stress which is often followed up with a crash. The thing is, sometimes a nap is not practical and/or sometimes not even possible. 

My Personal Experience

What I really wanted to talk about today is the stressful experience I had recently after having to chase my dog, who decided to run in the middle of the flipping road and play a little game with me. I yelled louder than I ever had, fearing that the dumbo would be hit by oncoming traffic on a very busy, public road where I live. 

I was getting ready for Church and let him out for a few seconds. Long story short, he’s a pup and should have been on an extended leash or at least 100% supervision. He’s been going to the neighbors quite often and made a few new friends, but he decided to run into the dude’s yard and right onto the road. Wow. I will admit I lost it. 

Do all the rebuilding, healing techniques, and whatever, but some events trigger people differently and cause us to overreact poorly. I was very upset with him, and as I walked him home, I kept saying with disappointment and frustration, “NO, BAD DOG, BAD BOY, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??.” 

I took him inside and decided just to let him nap, and well, I tried to do that as well. My wife was kind enough to hand me our amazing magnesium bicarbonate formula, which worked well to cut the initial stress response, but I needed something more. Again, it had been years since I experienced something this stressful and worrisome, where I freaked out in fear. 

I then went to my breathing techniques and slowed it down – breathing only through the nose, expanding my ribs, chest (not neck), and stomach. My mind was fixated on “problem solving.” My brain was still so stuck on what I needed to do to prevent him from consistently going too close to the road. Obviously, a fence would help, or just an extended leash and walking him even more. 

The breathing did help; I slowed it down and practiced the Buteyko Breathing Method; we practice it from time to time, and I highly recommend you do so as well. It helped; I really enjoy practicing this method, especially during a walk or run. It can be euphoric and intensely relaxing if done correctly and focused. Still, though, this stress was much higher than I was used to. This public road is no joke. People practically fly on it!

I needed something more.

I considered a glass of organic Meade; absolutely delicious, but it was a little too early to get tipsy with some alcohol, even though it’s a clean form of alcohol. And though I tried, I couldn’t nap; the breathing was great, but not really grabbing the stress by the horns and submitting it like I wanted to. 

I walked outside barefoot, and it got even better. I went into the forest, and it improved even more so. I had some caffeine, which Nathan and I both consume very sparingly; it definitely compounded some stress, but not too bad. I had a delicious and nourishing smoothie known as the lubrication fat formula prior to all of this, and that gave me a buffer/shield from the stress. My wife picked up some food from our local organic restaurant, which was delicious and needed. 

I still had lingering anxiety, though. I’m detailing this because some people ignore these stress signals and feedback mechanisms, letting them linger without taking care of them for days, weeks, and sometimes their whole life. We have to be aware of the physical and mental state we are in constantly; we have to remain present even during stressful times.

Pillar #3 – Movement, and Pillar #4 – Being Present Spiritually and Mentally

Even though I did quite a bit to counter my stress response, like covering my nutrition, fats, and minerals early on, trying to nap, going outside, grounding myself, and eating that delicious meal my wife brought home, I still needed more. I decided to go for a walk in the woods. We always advocate that everyone go for a walk after their meals (balances blood sugar/hormones/digestion) and try to do their daily walks at least 1-3x per day, preferably 30-90 minutes (2-5+ Miles) of walking in total, daily. 

Now that I was outside in the woods with my dog and his girlfriend (Nathan’s dog), I took a brisk walk around the property. I said some prayers of gratitude, the Jesus Prayer, and did my best to be present in the moment. I changed my perspective from earlier, viewed the event simply as a learning experience, and decided I would take action toward a logical solution. I shifted my focus and intention toward the tension that I was holding in my chest, abs, neck, hands, jaw, face, as well as my heart. I focused on releasing and calmly letting go of the unnecessary tension I caused myself. The movement seemed to be the only remedy for shaking these “nerves” out, so to speak.

Walking is a Powerhouse Tool For Mitigating Tons of Stress

During my walk, I was able to be very present. I consider walks as a form of meditation. Walking allows us to be present quite easily, sometimes, if we allow it. The twisting of the spine, the pendulum-esque swinging of the arms, and the stretching/grabbing of the ground via the legs are all incredibly therapeutic in and of themselves and offer profound benefits on a systemic level. 

So many things are positively affected physically, chemically, and emotionally just from walking alone. Walking is great because, during each walk, we reciprocate and twist our body back and forth, stimulating our entire nervous system and organs while increasing circulation, drainage and recovering our body from head to toe. Oftentimes when we experience a high-level amount of stress, we stiffen up, which restricts blood flow and drainage pathways, and that is everything. 

The healing effects of walking, especially when combined with a natural environment without distractions, really encourage us to be more present. It sets us up for success with less stress. I could finally view my stressful experience as a lesson from God, most likely for my benefit, and very much possibly as a test, and most definitely a warning. Funny, when I tried to nap, it helped, I rested a bit, but I was unable to calm my mind down. 

The combination of the environment, the movement, and the prayer/mental shift finally started peeling away those compounded, thick layers of stress that I could not shake. The combination literally began melting my stress to the point that I almost never experienced it. Stress hormones get built up and need movement to be released.

The alternative health community promotes healing with lots of dense nutritional calories, relaxing therapies, bio hacks, and very light, gentle movement. We agree with many of these approaches, but, and this is very important, we have to understand that some people have higher levels of stress hormones stuck in their bodies that must be released via movement and exercise with sufficient intensity. It doesn’t always have to be 1 hour; it could be 15-20 minutes of intense exercise (done safely, of course), but some may need that entire hour. Just avoid overdoing it; consistency is much more essential than intensity, especially when starting out. A pretty high percentage of the population produces excessive amounts of stress hormones that must be utilized by activity.

Check out this excerpt from Aajonus Vonderplanitz, Ph.D.: 

“Many people think that because I do not exercise, I am against exercise. Contrarily, I am an avid advocate of activity and exercise. I call them worry circles [circles around the irises, seen during iridology] to remind people that if they are not active enough, they will utilize those hormones in anxiety, worrying about anything or everything. There are two doors from which to choose: Activity or Anxiety. Which do you choose? People who produce activity hormones and do not utilize them in activity, whether regimented exercise or busy everyday activity, often are never satisfied for more than moments, are easily irritated or impatient, and usually cannot make relationships balanced enough to be happy, especially intimate relationships.” (excerpt from essay Exercise; the Good, Bad and Beautiful ).

Here’s another one from his book: 

“If you don’t spend those hormones in physical activity, you’ll spend them in anxiety and anger. It causes ticks, nervousness, anxiety of all sorts. I can’t tell without photographing your eyes to see how many activity rings [circles around the irises] you have but I can tell by skin you’ve had high activity hormones your whole life. If you are debilitated, you don’t have the joy of utilizing your hormones for physical expression. You’re utilizing them on your bad health. Because your hormones are 60-80% fat, your body will use them to chelate poisons if you don’t eat enough fat.” (Source: https://www.wewant2live.com/anxiety-and-exercise-from-aajonus/)

Movement and exercise are essential if you want to melt stress away, especially combined with the right environment, like on my walk in the woods. I was also skipping, going down into a squat, playing with the dogs, jogging, a little sprinting uphill, then back to walking. When I would slow down, I could focus on peaceful prayers of gratitude while soaking up and adoring the beauty of creation around me. What a combination! 

I reiterate this because this combination was the only thing that made a huge, noticeable impact and literally submitted my lingering and pestering stress. I needed movement, exercise, presence, and prayer. I hope this article gives you the right tools for your toolbox to apply not only daily but also when you are challenged with tougher times.

We talked about movement. Let’s discuss more about being present and shifting our mindset. 

The following few excerpts are taken from several catechism classes we have attended; we have a link that we shared, so you can watch them too if you are interested. This is from the words of our Spiritual Father Patrick:

He (God) is intimately present in the most profound way beyond anything we could imagine. He goes outside himself and gives existence to other beings. How does God create, he didn’t begin with any raw materials, he exists, he’s the Uncreated.”

There is no rush, no hurry, relax, cherish and enjoy the experience, enjoy wherever you are, be present where you are, because that is where GOD is. GOD IS only in the PRESENT, we can only meet him right now, even in the midst of suffering, if we have to go through it, we have to meet Christ right in that moment, we cannot extract ourselves to some other place, that is imaginary, we can’t exist in the future or the past, speaking to us guiding us in the present moment. Listen to the prayers, let them go in your heart. Like soup, it takes time to absorb the flavors and medleys.” 

The best parts are his food analogies. 

“He (God) is infinitely (not measurable cannot be crossed by distance) beyond and transcendentally other than everything else, this is what Holy means. God is the ultimate other. He is imminitely present, he is everything but remote.”

“Man struggles to deal with the problem of how God can be completely other and totally, absolutely, infinitely other and at the same time imminently present, existentially present. That problem, I don’t know how solvable it is philosophically or rationally.”

“The Holy Spirit is always present to those who have humble hearts, who want to know the Truth, who have humility.”

These next few quotes were taken from https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/sermons/2018/living-in-the-present:

We can only meet God in the present moment. This is an area where God chooses to place limits on His own power. We choose whether or not to live in the present moment. Because we can encounter God only in that present moment, whenever we live in the past or in the future, we place ourselves beyond His reach.” 

“From Metropolitan KALLISTOS to the teachings of people like the good Archmandrite I realize that I need to understand this more fully and learn how to practice it more consistently. This has become a major part of my spiritual practice (as long as I remember to do it, that is). Here is another basic truth. We must live in the present because that is all there is. There is only now. If we stop and examine what is going on in our heads most of the time, we will find that our minds are busy weaving stories about what happened to us in the past and what may happen in the future, moving often between regret and anxiety. The mind is good at this. Unless we actually direct the mind to be present, it rarely is. Most of the time we are caught in a dream. We are sleep-walking. We don’t often experience life in real time.”

“Here’s an interesting thought. It has been suggested that there really is only one present moment rather than a succession of present moments one after another and that that one moment extends into eternity. We don’t have time to explore that now, but it sure is compelling. Whether that is true or not, how we live in this moment will definitely affect how we live in the next. By simply paying attention, our lives could improve quite a bit.”

“Being awake and aware is a great thing. Being unaware might even be dangerous! Have you ever been driving down the road and stop at a red light only to realize that you don’t remember how you got from Mystic Ave to the intersection of Harvard St? It’s a little scary if you think about it. We space out so often! Or we tell ourselves stories which are (I hate to tell you), always wrong! Trust me in this. Always.”

Our Spiritual Father Patrick has to remind us of many important spiritual principles constantly; one of the most important ones is simply to go slow and steady, to focus on stability and consistency, instead of always trying to be radical, which is actually an act of pride. This is where prayer, our breath, environment, nature, and movement come in. All of these things help us to be less radical, but sometimes we simply just have to choose and change the way we react as well. That’s the hard work.

Actions to Take

Let’s organize some action items on stress, perhaps in order of importance:

  1. Prayer, Being Present, Calm & Shifting our Mindset/How We React
  2. Movement, Exercise, Mechanical Stimulation
  3. Environment, Forest Bathing, Ocean/Beach, Fresh Air, Grounding
  4. Slow Breathing, Expansion & Posture
  5. Nourishment & Hydration
  6. Supplementation: Magnesium, Minerals.

Moral of the Story

When you can’t seem to shake that stress, just go outside, get in nature, go for a long walk, slow your breathing down, let go of technology and release those stress hormones. Twist, move, play, run, climb, tire yourself out, and then nourish, hydrate, nap, sleep, rest, and repeat. Focus on being calm and present, slow your mind down, pray, and shift to gratitude and humility.

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