Many of us feel overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and other world events affecting us. The mandates and changes in daily living have led to a new reality that is still unfolding.
When we’re stressed from the unknown, our body’s survival mode kicks in by releasing a hormone called cortisol. Known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol is a beneficial anti-inflammatory in small, healthy doses (say, when a bus is coming at you or maybe even a tiger). However, having too much pumping through the body in our everyday life can suppress the immune system and wreak havoc on our health.
According to Today’s Dietitian, an unchecked immune system responding to unabated inflammation can lead to myriad problems, including increased susceptibility to colds, flu, and other illnesses, anxiety and depression, and potential weight gain.
Now more than ever, we need to get creative in strengthening our immune systems through stress-reducing practices to manage this modern-day to the best ability. Here are three methods Onda uses to cope with our stress levels as we navigate the unknowns.
Tip #1: Get moving, no matter where you are.
Many of us are now working from home rather than commuting to work. Not only has this disrupted work routines, but also any exercise routine you’ve created during workdays. However, exercise and moderate to vigorous movement lowers cortisol levels to stay healthy and centered.
Exercise produces endorphins, the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good (like chocolate, but even better). Endorphins can help elevate your mood, decrease underlying tension, improve sleep, and boost self-esteem. A great way to implement this, especially for those now working remotely, is by “exercise snacking.” Now, this doesn’t mean you’re eating chips after a spin class. It simply means doing short bursts of exercise throughout the day. Some experts say that the extra nuggets of movement may be as effective as taking that spin class or making sprints on your own.
In an article published by Forever Free Form, “Exercise Snacking: How-To Guide“, the author explains this concept as an effective alternative to other types of long and continuous periods of exercise, which can temporarily suppress the immune response. Ultimately, we can use fun-sized routines to get the blood pumping and endorphins moving quickly, thus conveniently reducing overactive cortisol levels.
Exercise Snacks You Can Practice Today:
- Sprinting up and down your stairs 3-6 times, 3x a day
- A virtual or solo dance party for 5-20 minutes
- Jumping jacks and burpees for 3-5 minutes
- Energy-boosting stretches
- Desk-friendly squats or yoga moves
Tip #2: Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
More and more folks are turning to meditation to help cope with the extraordinary times we are currently facing. And there’s good reason to do so.
Research shows that regular (mindfulness) meditation may help improve emotional reactivity—how we respond to stress—which reduces cortisol levels and inflammation. Mindfulness meditation lowers the cortisol levels in the blood, suggesting that it can lower stress and may decrease the risk of diseases that arise from stress.
Meditation is a fundamental practice in the Onda community. Here are five of our co-founder and CEO, Stephen Smith’s, favorite guided meditations:
- Letting Go, by Donna D’Cruz (10 minutes)
- Guided Meditation for Releasing Anxiety and Overwhelm, by Dr. Ramdesh (10 minutes)
- Imagine, by Ram Dass (30 minutes)
- East Forest Meditation Album, by Ram Dass (full album)
- David Elliot Meditation Album, by David Elliot (full album)
Tip #3: Supplement with Whole Hemp™ CBD Oil
By working in harmony with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD may have the ability to naturally improve mood, calm anxiety, and regulate stress levels by acting directly on the allosteric sites of the cannabinoid receptors located in the central nervous system (CNS) and throughout the body.
Studies show that CBD inhibits and prevents cortisol from being released, which helps normalize elevated cortisol levels and promote the body’s return to homeostasis. a great thing when cortisol levels disadvantageously elevate. A study published in 2018 shows that phytocannabinoids support the activity of the prefrontal cortex and amygdala, two brain structures involved in stress, by attaching to specialized receptors in the body as part of the endocannabinoid system.
A holistic approach to CBD medicine means supplementing the ECS with Whole Hemp CBD products, which deliver a full range of beneficial phytocannabinoids like CBG, CBD, and trace amounts of THC for boosted efficacy. All help with stress management in their unique ways.
A study published in 2018 shows that phytocannabinoids support the activity of the prefrontal cortex and amygdala, two brain structures involved in stress, by attaching to specialized receptors in the body as part of the endocannabinoid system.
Onda Staff’s Favorite Picks to Reduce Stress + Boost Immunity:
- Adios Anxiety - the go-to for those days of overwhelm, Adios Anxiety is made with 7 organic herbs like ashwagandha, lemon balm, Gota kola, and lavender, which is shown to calm the nervous system and ease the mental chatter.
- Innate Immunity - a tasty and effective option for when you're stressed out and feeling under the weather. Innate Immunity is made with organic echinacea, elderberry, and oregano infused with calming effects of our signature Whole Hemp™ CBD oil.
- Whole Hemp™ Infusion 600mg – our absolute favorite tincture that allows you to find your perfect dose of full-spectrum, antioxidant-rich CBD.
- Whole Hemp™ CBD Capsules 50mg – perfect for calming those restless, sleepless nights or those pesky anxious thought loops.
CBD, mindfulness, and regular movement and exercise can help level out stress hormones and help them work advantageously with the immune system like they’re meant to.
A healthy immune system requires a calm and balanced body and mind so all systems can function harmoniously. And while it’s not always easy to get there, Onda is here to help. We’ll continue providing great ways to keep your stress low in the flow during this challenging and uncertain time.