Stress – manage it with exercise, meditation and natural medicine


There are many modalities that can help you to manage stress. A natural solution is always better than a drug solution that will only mask the problems and that can lead to addictions.

What is stress?

Stress is a group of reactions that take place in the body as a result of exposure to different kinds of threats. The origin can be physical, psychological, infective and of other origin

 Two kinds of stress

  •  Acute stress

Movies, over and under stimulation in the work place, noise, lost in status, electrical shock, disease, operations, loss in self confidence and traumatic events

  •  Chronic stress

Insomnia, daily irritations, too much or to little work and social isolation

 Chronic stress can lead to death

  •  Researchers have found that people aged 65 or older were five times more likely to die within the six-year follow-up period if they had high levels of stress hormones
  • They were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, such as heart attacks, heart failure and strokes, but not more likely to die from other causes such as cancer, it was found

So what is the solution?

  •  We all have stress on a daily basis – the difference is how you react to it and what you do about it
  • Remember you are the captain of your own ship – so take charge and have a plan of action

Effects of long term stress

  • Emotional effects: depression, anxiety and anger
  • Physical effects: strokes, heart attacks and irregular heart beat
  • Other: asthma, skin conditions, IBS, allergies and immune system problems

Symptoms of stress

  • Feelings: anxiety, fear, irritation, tired, no enthusiasm, shyness
  • Thoughts: negative, forgetful, can not make decisions
  • Behaviour: problems with speech, crying, fearful, grinding of teeth, overuse of meds and alcohol and withdrawal from people
  • Physical: perspiration of hands, increased heart beat, shakiness, dry mouth and throat, get tired easily, urinate frequently, insomnia, IBS, headaches, PMS, pain in neck or lower back, no appetite, excessive appetite, low immune system, nightmares, skin rash, short of breath, dizziness, and weight problems

 The Solution: Stress management

  • Be aware of stress symptoms – and be pro-active
  • Meditation and exercise are best and most affordable remedies for stress management. Meditation on a daily basis will keep you cool in the storm. Peace is happiness. Create the discipline to meditate daily and experience peace at all times. What happens in your daily life is a reflexion of what happens inside you

Learn to meditate – contact ; and Cape Town Meditation +27 767140108, 5 Bridkale Ave, Woodstock – open 7 days a week OR download an app on your iPhone called “HEADSPACE” for guided meditation

  • Exercise – frequent exercises will reduce anxiety and mild depression and will boost self confidence. Exercise will also boost your immune system
  • Medical checks – have a preventative diagnostic schedule in place – we will supply you with one
  • Sufficient sleep – your brain needs to rest and it will help with concentration the next day. If your mind is fresh, you will work more effectively and that will also reduce your stress levels
  • Eat regularly – your brain uses about 30% of your blood glucose – if you don’t eat your blood glucose levels drop – adrenalin levels go up – and your stress levels go up
  • Drink enough water – don’t let your brain become like a raisin
  • Take charge of your own life – establish your strengths and weaknesses – get professional help if needed
  • People with type A personality are more prone to heart disease – the aggressive type that has difficulty relaxing
  • Control stress through relaxation – acquire a pet, go for a massage, listen to relaxing music, write your problems down, laugh often and ask for help if needed
  • Maintain good relations with family and friends. Allocate more time to people that support and love you
  • Be realistic – being unrealistic can increase your stress levels – don’t expect everyone to like or support your opinion, reduce your expectations of yourself and others, don’t expect total harmony in your relationship – it is not possible
  • Improve your communication – don’t be too placid or aggressive
  • Rejuvenate mind, body and soul through music, dance, sport, prayer, painting, hiking, holiday or anything that will boost your being – have balance in your life
  • Do not take on more than you can handle – scale down if needed
  • Evaluation – get regularly evaluated if you are prone to high stress levels – the “Moch stress indicator” is a helpful tool
  • GET HELP IF NEEDED – see a professional person or go to a health spa – stay away from medication if you can. It can be habit forming and only treats the symptoms
  • Take natural remedies like Rescue remedy or Rhodiola if needed and stay away from habit forming drugs

Benefits of stress management

 Psychological benefits

  •  Improves self esteem
  • Improves self confidence
  • Reduces anxiety levels
  • Reduces risk of depression
  • Reduces risk of panic attacks
  • Less reliant on alcohol
  • Improves coping skills
  • Reduces anger levels
  • Improves relationships
  • Improves quality of life
  • Greater efficiency at work
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves memory
  • Reduces anxious thinking
  • Reduces feelings of frustration
  • Increases feeling of control
  • Improves decision making
  • Make fewer mistakes
  • Reduction in mood swings
  • Less sensitive to criticism
  • Improves interaction with others
  • Greater optimism

Physiological benefits

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces heart attack risk
  • Reduces stroke risk
  • Reduces osteoporosis risk
  • Lowers risk of developing certain cancers
  • Boosts immune system
  • Suffer less colds and flu
  • Reduces constipation
  • Lowers risk of type II diabetes
  • Reduces risk of gall bladder disease

Reduces risk of diverticulitis

  • Boosts energy levels
  • Improves sleep pattern
  • Keeps arteries more flexible
  • Improves cholesterol profile
  • Blood clots less easily
  • Reduces risk of impotence
  • Reduces back pain
  • Lowers stress hormone levels
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Improves sex life

 In conclusion

  • Meditate – learn to become still
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise
  • Drink good quality water
  • Take Cortitrol a natural remedy for stress
  • Sleep well
  • Relax – it is OK to do nothing
  • Medical checks

Cortitrolhighly recommended for high stress levels and /or for exams

Cortitrol® is a unique dietary supplement that helps you stay calm and relaxed through a proprietary blend of ingredients shown to promote healthy cortisol levels.

Cortitrol®, sometimes referred to as the fight-or-flight hormone, is manufactured in the adrenal glands in response to emergencies. The sporadic release of cortisol is both normal and essential to human health. In fact, scientific evidence shows that maintaining normal levels of cortisol supports various aspects of human health. The too frequent release of cortisol results in elevated cortisol levels, which can have a multi-factorial effect on human health.

Cortitrol® is a unique dietary supplement that helps support healthy levels of cortisol by combining natural ingredients that have been scientifically shown to have direct cortisol-balancing effects. Pharmanex’s proprietary formula also contains TheaPure”, an all-natural theanine extract made from green tea leaves. TheaPure” supports your ability to respond to situations more calmly. Cortitrol® can also assist with sleep.

Ingredients Amount % Daily Value
Serving Size One Capsule
Magnolia (Magnolia officinalis) Extract (4:1) 133 mg *
Epimedium (Epimedium koreanum)
Water Extract (6:1)
100 mcg *
L-Theanine (TheaPure™) from Camellia
sinensis, Extract 70:1, L-Theanine (70:1)
66.7 mg *
Phytosterol Ester (with Beta Sitosterol) 50 mg *
Phosphatidylserine 8.3 mg

Cortitrol® from the PHARMANEX nutraceuticals range comes highly recommended. To purchase products please click HERE (secure website) or contact Sandy on telephone number +27-21-7884873 or email

Use the Holmes-Rabe Life Stress Inventory to assess your stress levels. Are you on top of your stress or not? Please take action if you need help

The Holmes-Rabe Life Stress Inventory : The Social Readjustment Rating Scale

INSTRUCTIONS : Mark down the point value of each of these life events that has happened to you during the previous year. Total these associated pointed.

Situation Stress score
1. Death of spouse 100
2. Divorce 73
3. Marital separation from mate 65
4. Detention in jail or other institution 63
5. Death of a close family member 63
6. Major personal injury or illness 53
7. Marriage 50
8. Being fired at work 47
9. Marital reconciliation with mate 45
10. Retirement from work 45
11.Major change in the health or behavior of a family member 44
12.Pregnancy 40
13.Sexual difficulties 39
14. Gaining a new family member (i.e. birth, adoption, older adult moving in, etc.) 39
15. Major business adjustment 39
16. Major change in financial state (i.e. a lot worse or better than usual) 38
17. Death of a close friend 37
18. Changing to a different line of work 36
19. Major change in number of arguments with spouse (i.e. a lot more or less) 35
20. Taking on a mortgage (for home, business, etc.) 31
21. Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan 30
22. Major change in responsibilities at work (i.e. promotion, demotion, etc.) 29
23. Son or daughter leaving home (marriage, college, military, etc.) 29
24. In-law troubles 29
25. Outstanding personal achievement 28
26. Spouse beginning or ceasing work outside the home 26
27. Beginning or ceasing formal schooling 26
28. Major change in living condition (i.e. new home, remodeling, deterioration, etc.) 25
29. Revision of personal habits (i.e. dress, associations, quit smoking, etc.) 24
30. Troubles with the boss 23
31. Major changes in working hours or conditions 20
32. Changes in residence 20
33. Changing to a new school 20
34. Major change in usual type and/or amount of recreation 19
35. Major change in church activity (i.e. a lot more or less) 19
36. Major change in social activities (i.e. clubs, movies, visiting, etc.) 18
37.Taking on a loan (i.e. car, tv, freezer, etc.) 17
38. Major change in sleeping habits (i.e. a lot more or less 16
39. Major change in number of family get-togethers (i.e. a lot more or less) 15
40. Major change in eating habits (i.e. a lot more or less, eating hours, surroundings) 15
41. Vacation 13
42. Major holidays 12
43. Minor violations of the law (i.e. traffic tickets, jaywalking, etc.) 11
Now, add up all the points you have to find your score.
150pts or less means a relatively low amount of life change and a low susceptibility to stress-induce-health-problems.
150 to 300pts implies about a 50% change of a major stress-induced health problem in the next 2 years.
300pts or more raises the odds to about 80%, according to the Holmes-Rabe prediction model.  


How is your score? Contact the Lifestyle Clinic or your Healthcare Professional for further assistance.

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