We all feel stress at some point. It’s inevitable in the fast-paced world we inhabit.
Stress relief is a multi-billion dollar industry and everyone seems to have an answer.
I am not here to sell you on the latest solution but rather present to you something you’ve probably never even heard about but which has a proven history of stress relief, dating back tens of thousands of years.
It’s not cannabis and it’s not yoga or some ancient meditation technique although all of them have proven to help with stress relief.
But first, before I reveal this ancient technique, let’s look at how dangerous stress is for our health. Once you understand the dangers, you’re not going to take this subject lightly. It’s a big deal, Stress kills.
Stress by the Numbers
|Top Causes of Stress in the U.S.||Factors|
|Job Pressure||Co-Worker Tension, Bosses, Work Overload|
|Money||Loss of Job, Reduced Retirement, Medical Expenses|
|Health||Health Crisis, Terminal or Chronic Illness|
|Relationships||Divorce, Death of Spouse, Arguments with Friends, Loneliness|
|Poor Nutrition||Inadequate Nutrition, Caffeine, Processed Foods, Refined Sugars|
|Media Overload||Television, Radio, Internet, E-Mail, Social Networking|
|Sleep Deprivation||Inability to release adrenaline and other stress hormones|
|U.S. Stress Statistics||Data|
|Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress||77 %|
|Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress||73 %|
|Feel they are living with extreme stress||33 %|
|Feel their stress has increased over the past five years||48 %|
|Cited money and work as the leading cause of their stress||76 %|
|Reported lying awake at night due to stress||48 %|
Impact of Stress on Health
According to the latest data, the annual cost to employers in stress-related health care and missed work is $300 Billion! Who knew that stress was so expensive on productivity in the workplace?
Fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, muscle tension and loss of appetite are the most common physical symptoms experienced by stressed people, all of which lead to them becoming irritable, nervous and experiencing a lack of energy.
7 types of stress-related illness
1. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and heart problems
Two of the most serious health impacts of stress are increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Numerous studies have shown the link between higher reported stress levels and increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. If you feel that your stress is causing these symptoms, see your doctor immediately, otherwise, it can prove fatal.
2. Inflammation – of skin conditions and others
Research has also found that raised levels of stress hormones in your body can lead to inflammation, which is a precursor to many very serious ailments, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, eczema, and ulcerative colitis. Inflammation can also affect our immune system, which triggers when fighting off things like colds and flu. Even thinking about past stressful events can increase levels of inflammation. Talk to your doctor if you feel there is a connection.
3. Insomnia and sleep disorders
Probably the most common effect of stress is not being able to “switch off” at night and sleep, or waking up too early in the morning wired and anxious and not feeling relaxed and reenergized. The European Heart Journal conducted a study in 2013 that showed a clear link between insomnia and heart failure in people with these sleep disorder symptoms. Furthermore, chronic sleep deprivation will not only make you feel tired and irritable but can also cause you to be clumsy and inattentive, leading to accidents.
4. Physical tension and headaches
Increased levels of stress hormones cause our muscles to tense up, and in the long term, cause stiffness and nagging headaches. Physical tension in small doses may not cause such problems and can be alleviated by breathing techniques or massage but in the longer term, constant physical tension resulting from unnecessary stress can be very harmful.
5. Depression and anxiety
Feeling that you can’t cope or worrying too much about little things is another stress symptom that, if left untreated, can lead to chronic health problems such as depression and anxiety. Natural remedies like medical marijuana can help if you can handle the cost and the social stigma attached to it and so too can mantra meditation and yoga.
6. Digestive problems and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Stomach issues like nausea, stomach ache, or ulcers can often be stress related. IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a cluster of symptoms including cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation and is believed to be at least partly related to stress and anxiety. In this case, poor nutrition and regulation are big factors.
7. Self-medication – cigarettes, alcohol, junk food, and drugs
Billions of people all over the world cope with stress by reaching for cigarettes, alcohol, junk food, or drugs. Of course, a bar of chocolate can cheer you up, but “self-medicating” by consuming any of these things excessively can do more harm than good and in turn create more stress. Overindulging in anything is often a greater health risk than many other stress-related conditions.
So What is My Magic Bullet for Stress Relief?
Hugging cows and baby bullocks.
According to the ancient Vedas of India, the cow is the personification of Earth. She is literally Earth with legs. Similarly, the bull is considered to be like a “father” figure. You may or may not have heard of the healing modality known as earthing or grounding? It is basically where you walk on the ground with your bare feet and ground your body to the earth, cleansing it from all the electromagnetic pollution that saturates us daily. Just laying on the ground or walking barefoot for a few minutes at night can do wonders for relieving stress and curing insomnia. Hugging a cow or a bullock has the same effect and it is way more fun. It not only cleanses our electrical bodies of unwanted energies, it also distresses us.
Cow hugging is a recognized healing art that has been practiced for thousands of years in India.
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This video of my afternoon nap with some rescued baby calves has gone viral. People seem to love the simplicity of it and they can see that I am genuinely distressing. Just watching this video will relax you, what to speak trying it out yourself. So I urge you, once a month, take a visit to your local animal sanctuary and hug a cow or a baby calf. Try this out and see for yourself how relaxing it is.
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My son, Bhimal Fox was born at the sanctuary and loves all animals.
Cheap Alternatives for Grounding
If you do not live near cows, then I suggest you try a grounding mat. The system is to place a copper pipe in the ground, connect a wire to it and run it into your home and attach that wire to a grounding mat like the one pictured below. You then place your feet on this when sitting down or using the computer. Alternatively, you can connect the wire to the grounding (earth( socket of your electrical outlet).
RELATED STORY: How hugging a cow healed a crippled boy
SEE ALSO: Can Walking Barefoot Heal Your Heart?