On This Episode of Mindhacker's Radio:

  • Introduction to Psychophysiology of Stress

  • How Stress Manifests in the Body

  • Dr. Wiles' Top 10 Stress Hacks

Let’s Define Stress

 

Stress is multifaceted and can manifest in different ways:

-Stress can be psychological

-Stress can be physical

-Stress can be relational

-Stress can spiritual

 

-Stress is the reaction that the mind or body experiences to change that requires an adjustment or a response.

-Stress is quite subjective: Looks different for different people; manifests in different ways. 

-Distress vs. Eustress

-Distress: the detrimental aspects of stress

-Eustress: the stress that is good for us, motivates us, strengthens us

 

Biology of Stress:

-Primer: Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Dr. Robert Sapolsky 

-Enhanced HPA-Axis activity, which is the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis activity: this results in a hormonal influx cascade .

-Stress increases blood pressure, cortisol, adrenaline, and many other glucocorticoids. While this is great for getting us out of danger, when it occurs long-term, it results in massive hormonal imbalances and enhanced inflammatory response.

 

Sympathetic vs. parasympathetic nervous system: Two branches of the autonomic nervous system.

 

Sympathetic: Fight or Flight response; enhanced HPA-axis activity

 

Allostasis: body’s adaptation to stress, very dynamic process-the body is good at adapting and getting back to homeostasis, but only up to a certain point.

allostatic load: the mind and the body is no longer returning to homeostasis because stress has taxed you too much. 

 

Parasympathetic: rest and digest; peristalsis; relaxation

-We want a balance of the two branches (Allostatic balance or Homeostasis)

 

Underlying mechanisms of many strategies discussed is a reduction of inflammation and enhancing our mitochondrial functioning. 

 

-Mitochondria: the “powerhouses of the cell,” responsible for helping cells and the body to generate energy.

-Goal: Reduce inflammation and increase overall mitochondrial functioning and biogenesis.

TOP 10 STRESS HACKS

  1. Get adequate sunlight

    1. Our cells are battery packs that need to be recharged. The best way to recharge is via reconnecting with the sun. The way we do this is by using our own natural, biological solar panels, the skin and our eyes. 

    2. Sunlight has a direct impact on serotonin production and melatonin production

    3. UVB and Vitamin D: this helps to reduce overall inflammation and helps to modulate cellular growth. Vitamin D is not easy to get from food alone, so sunlight is an absolute necessity for enhancing production. 

    4. Biohack light

      1. Nothing replaces genuine sunlight

      2. For increasing cognitive performance; try intransal therapy (infrared 801nm light by VieLight—Coupon code: DocWiles for 10% off). 

      3. Joovv infrared light systems

      4. Infrared Sauna

    5. Practical tip: a minimum of 10-15 minutes of sunlight each day.

  2. Optimize your nutrition

    1. Standard American Diet has caused a rewiring of the brain

    2. Choose a diet that is sustainable and makes you feel good.

    3. Reduction of stress through a reduction of inflammation 

    4. Fasting; Intermittent Fasting, extended fasts

    5. Center for Nutritional Psychology

  3. Have a daily relaxation or meditative practice

    1. Mindfulness Meditation and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

    2. Self-care: can be anything that allows you to destress

    3. Practical tip: try to meditate for 1 minute using a guide; if you want more, do more. Look for things like mindfulness of breath, body scan, loving-kindness meditation 

  4. Optimize your fitness

    1. High Intensity Repeat Training (HIRT) Training

    2. Do things that you enjoy: tennis, bike riding, hiking, etc.

    3. Do not overtrain; adrenal fatigue

    4. Studies on Exercise and mental well-being:

      1. Physical Activity Reduces Stress

      2. High-Intensity Interval Training for Cognitive and Mental Health in Adolescents

      3. Effectiveness of high-intensity interval training on the mental and physical health of people with chronic schizophrenia.

      4. Is the comparison between Exercise and Pharmacologic Treatment of Depression in the Clinical Practice Guideline of the American College of Physicians Evidence-Based?

  5. Assess your level of meaning and purpose and remove toxic relationships

  6. Limit Exposure to non-native Electromagnetic Fields (nnEMF)

    1. All Things EMF Research Portal: Bible of EMF Research!

    2. Microwave Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Produce Widespread Neuropsychiatric Effects Including Depression.

    3. Psychological Effects of Chronic Exposure to 50 Hz Magnetic Fields in Humans Living Near Extra-High-Voltage Transmission Lines

    4. How EMF Exposure May Cause Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Health Issues.

  7. Try your hand at complementary and integrative health strategies

    1. Tai Chi

    2. Yoga

    3. Acupuncture

    4. Guided Imagery

    5. Hypnosis

    6. Aromatherapy

  8. Use biofeedback techniques

    1. The purpose of biofeedback is to provide a retraining of the nervous system and brain to produce more helpful responses to stress and other related issues in the long term.

    2. Through the use of electrical equipment, we are able to see the underpinning of the nervous system in real time. This information provides us with insight into the internal experience of the individual.

    3. Goals of biofeedback:

      1. Promote awareness: improve awareness of our physiological, cognitive, and emotional processes

      2. Change: increase our ability to self-regulate

      3. Improve generalization: teach skills that translate into our everyday lives. 

    4. Goal is to teach increased self-awareness and increase self-regulation that allows for a balance of our autonomic nervous system.

    5. Modalities:

      1. Respiration: examining pacing, patterns of breathing

      2. Heart Rate Variability: variation in the time intervals between heartbeats. Variability in the heart is a good thing, as it demonstrates the heart's ability to adapt to change and to recover. When they heart starts to regulate itself and reduce variability, then it is sensing trouble; whether this is from a  cardiovascular standpoint or d/t nervous system dysfunction.

      3. EMG: muscular contraction

      4. Skin temperature

      5. Skin conductance 

      6. EEG

    6. Good Resource on Biofeedback:

      1. Biofeedback and Mindfulness in Everyday Life: Practical Solutions for Improving Your Health and Performance by Dr. Inna Khazan.

  9. Enhance sleep; get good rest

    1. Track your sleep: Oura Ring

    2. Prepare for sleep from the time you wake up

      1. Get sunlight first thing in the morning

      2. Avoid excessive exposure to blue light: Ra Optics

      3. Increase melatonin production by telling the brain it is time to go to bed

    3. Fasting: can improve overall sleep quality; stop eating a minimum of 2-3 hours before bed; helps to reduce BS fluctuation

    4. CBD oil, 200mg of L-Theanine, Reishi Mushroom Tea or Chamomile Tea.

    5. Making sure that your room is dark, cool, and free of stimulation; bed is for sleep and sex; don’t make incorrect associations.

    6. Turn off your wifi

  10. Seek counseling and relationship

    1. We are meant to be in community, so reach out to family, friends, etc. Seek professional counseling: check out this website to help find someone in your area.

Please make sure that you submit a question to Dr. Wiles:

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© 2020 by Dr. Jay T. Wiles

Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Information presented is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information provided by this website is not substitute for individual medical advice from your personal healthcare provider.