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12 Stress Management Tips For People With Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Most people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can do a better job of managing the stress in their lives. Although this applies to most people in general, and not just those with an autoimmune hypothyroid disorder, the fact is that stress can be one of the causes behind this condition. And if it’s not the cause of your disorder, then it can undoubtedly make your condition worse if you don’t do a good job of managing it.
What you need to realize is that our bodies were not designed to handle chronic stress, but instead were meant to handle acute stress situations. So what happens is when a person has chronic stress (which seems to describe most of us in this society), this in turn can weaken the immune system and can also have a negative effect on other areas of the body, such as the adrenal glands. This compromised immune system or stressed adrenal glands can eventually lead to the formation of an autoimmune condition, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
So the goal here is to give you twelve stress management tips that can help restore your health to normal, prevent your condition from getting worse, and/or reduce the likelihood of developing other conditions in the future. It might sound too good to be true. But when you understand that chronic stress is not something your body is designed to handle AND that there are a number of things you need to do to manage the stress in your life, you will realize that following the advice I’m about to give, can do wonders when it comes to your health.
Here are the 12 tips for stress management:
Tip #1: Try to keep a positive attitude most of the time. Although a positive attitude alone is not enough to manage your stress, having one can definitely help. Obviously, no one can be positive 100% of the time. But many people seem to always carry a negative attitude with them, which will certainly not help you cope with the stress in your life.
Tip #2: Start a regular exercise program. You want to participate in some form of cardiovascular activity at least 3-4 times a week, ideally for at least 30 minutes each time. This could include going for a walk outside or on a treadmill, riding the elliptical or stationary bike, or anything else that gets you up to a little sweat. I realize that some people with autoimmune disorders may not have the energy to exercise. If this describes you, even 20 to 30 minutes of walking will be beneficial. In addition to engaging in cardiovascular exercise, other activities that can help you manage stress include yoga and pilates.
Tip #3: Eat healthier foods. Most of us can do a much better job of incorporating healthier foods into our diets. I don’t expect someone who has been eating badly to immediately give up all the “bad food” they love. But even making small changes to what you eat can have a big impact on your health.
Tip #4: Drink lots of purified water every day. Many sources suggest that you should drink at least eight tall glasses of water each day. The problem with this is that everyone has different needs based on their weight, which is why I recommend that you drink half your body weight in ounces. So, for example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you’ll want to drink at least 70 ounces of water each day. And don’t drink tap water, as you should really be drinking purified water.
Tip #5: Take quality supplements. Since most of us do not eat a perfect diet, it is important to take some quality supplements on a daily basis. You should at least take a quality multimineral vitamin and fatty acid every day. A lot of poorly absorbing food supplements are sold, so you have to be careful. I personally recommend whole food supplements to my patients instead of the synthetic vitamins sold by most retailers.
Tip #6: Get at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night. I know it may seem hard to do, especially if you have to get up early for work. And again, some people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis will have difficulty falling asleep and/or will wake up in the middle of the night. So until they fix this problem, it will admittedly be difficult for them to get eight hours of quality sleep on a regular basis. Often, sleep problems are caused by stressed adrenal glands, which most endocrinologists and doctors do not treat.
Tip #7: Avoid environmental toxins as much as possible. Although it is not possible to avoid these completely, realize that these toxins really affect our health. I won’t discuss everything you can do to avoid these toxins, but I will tell you two things you can do to help you in the long run. First of all, install a filter in your shower that removes chlorine, as this can really help boost your energy levels. Second, stop buying household cleaners with harsh chemicals and instead get some natural household cleaners at your local health food store.
Tip #8: Make love more often. Having sex increases endorphins in your body, which will also help you deal with stress. So make love with your partner more often.
Tip #9: Get a monthly massage. Make an appointment with an authorized massage therapist and treat yourself to a monthly massage. Massage therapy is not just about stress management as there are many other benefits as well. But one of the great benefits of massage therapy is that it can help relieve stress.
Tip #10: Consider seeing a chiropractor. Okay, admittedly I’m a bit biased here since I have a chiropractic background. But since spinal adjustments help balance the nervous system, receiving them from a chiropractor can also help relieve stress. Just like massage therapy, there are so many other benefits when it comes to chiropractic care.
Tip #11: Talk to someone. Sometimes talking to someone can help relieve your stress. This does not necessarily mean that you talk to a counselor, although in some cases it can be helpful. But even talking to a good friend, family member or acquaintance can really help.
Tip #12: Don’t take life so seriously. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take certain aspects of your life seriously. But on the other hand, many of us let things stress out that really shouldn’t. Write down some of the things that are causing stress in your life and take a look at these tips I just gave you and see how you can apply this advice to the things that are stressing you out periodically.
For example, if you have a job that stresses you out, then you may need to change your attitude (or change your job!). Or it could be that you are not eating well and/or not getting enough sleep. These lifestyle changes won’t get rid of the stress in your life, but will help you better manage it. If your spouse is stressing you out, then counseling might be the answer for you.
So there you have it, if you follow at least 75% of these tips (9 out of 12), including all of the first six I’ve mentioned, you’ll do wonders in managing your stress. This is admittedly an incomplete list as there are other things you can do to manage your stress. But these are some of the more important ones that can really help restore your health and help you maintain your health.
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