If anyone understands what it means to be “busy,” it’s Dr. Pamela Peeke. Dr. Peeke is a Pew Foundation Scholar in Nutrition and Metabolism, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland, holds dual masters’ degrees in public health and policy, and is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American College of Sports Medicine!
And yet, despite all of this business, Dr. Peeke has managed to find balance in her life and she developed a reputation for the incredible, applicable stress management techniques she’s developed that have changed hundreds of lives. Based on her incredible chat with Maria Menounos, here are three of her most valuable stress management takeaways!
Eliminate Toxic Stress From Your Life
Dr. Peeke makes a very important distinction in her teaching around stress management. Not all stress is bad stress. Minimal levels of stress are what allow us to increase our productivity and deliver projects when we need to! She elaborated, “Some stress allows you to really optimize performance. These are all incredibly good things. These are good forms of stress that are productive, that allow us to evolve, to learn, to grow, to challenge ourselves. Rock on with that one! The kind of stress that will destroy you I call it ‘toxic stress.’ Just remember: when you feel helpless, hopeless, and defeated, those are the three guys right there that create toxic stress in your life.”
Hit “Pause” On Your Pre-Frontal Cortex
When you can FEEL stress building in your life, having that awareness and learning to hit “pause” on your pre-frontal cortex is a game changer. Dr. Peeke says that our pre-frontal cortex is the “CEO of our Brain,” and that hitting pause can get us out of trouble. Peeke offered, “Hitting pause literally helps you reign in impulsivity, irritability, impatience those are the three “I’s,” and then they allow you to strategize, organize, and plan.”
Take A Deep Breath
We hear it so often that it has become a cliche, but the science behind deep breathing really is a game changer. On Maria’s show, Peeke really dove into the nitty-gritty science of deep breathing, and why it’s so important! She said, “I’d encourage taking a deep breath, which by the way, physiologically, is very coo. Deep belly breaths stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, and when you do that, it stimulates calm because out from the brainstem come endorphins and beta endorphins. So you’re kind of, you know, living off your own high. It calms you down, at the same time i,t reduces heartrate snf blood pressure.”
If you haven’t yet, check out the full interview with Dr. Pamela Peeke, whose ability to blend charm, humor, and hard science are second to none! And make sure you subscribe to Better Together w/ Maria Menounos for even more amazing takeaway, everyday.