All this time man had been fooled to believe purring to strictly be a sign of contentedness. Having gone through a rather stressful circumstance myself, I am wondering what mechanism man has equivalent to a cat's purr to combat stress and believe there to be a few proven stress busting mechanisms that are generally universal for everyone.
Clearly this anti-stress mechanism is dangerous. Once you identify your craving (sweets, salt, etc.) replace it with something that won't destroy your nutrition plan and be sure to stay FAR AWAY from the original food you crave. For example, when I am stressed I long for some chocolate chips. To keep myself on track I have first recognized it as stress and replaced the chocolate with blueberries (chocolate fanatics are pulling their hair out, how can blueberries be akin to chocolate?). It's the sweet that satisfies and I have found for me that blueberries are quite similar in achieving that. I then am certain to make sure there is NO CHOCOLATE in the house because when the blueberries are gone I am still stressed and will then go looking for some chocolate.
Where is the control? Try as we may to bust bad habits, when it comes to stress you don't always win. Certainly you want to try and break the binge eating. Curbing your binge eating with a healthy alternative is likened to taking baby steps to a larger goal.
Usually after binging you feel disgusted and decide to exercise your heart out, or perhaps this is your first go to when stress rears it's ugly head. Exercise is a great choice, so long as you are not neurotic with it. Once you get a good sweat on your body releases endorphins, or happy chemicals, that leave you rejuvenated and calm. You want to be careful to not fall in the trap of exercising to even out stress eating, this is a slippery slope that creates new stress and usually ends poorly.
Kettlebell is a superb tool for busting stress. It's portability means you can do swings, as needed, throughout the day and calm your nerves, circulate blood, and feel refreshed.
Recently a client pointed out that it didn't make sense that I needed a massage and subsequent chiropractic adjustment since the message of my company is "Being Fit To Move Pain Free" (emphasis on pain free). It does make sense to still have need for massage and chiropractics when you factor stress in to the equation. Yes I eat well. Yes I exercise often. But I still have stress and because of that stress my muscles tense up and hold their tense position even while I ask them to function as they would without the excess stress. This puts the body at risk of misalignment or worse injury. The body is great at compensating, but I don't want to be put out from my daily routine because of a little stress so I prefer to rely on the ultimate stress busting mechanism, a massage. Tell me, what is your purr?
Kerry M. Davis LMT, CIMT, SFG