Water: it makes up three quarters of our planet, and it makes up three quarters of your body. We swim in it until the day we're born; all our life our body craves it. When you find out what happens in your body under stress, you'll see why, and believe me, it will drive you to drink.
The link between water and stress reduction is well documented. All of our organs, including our brains, need water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t running well -- and that can lead to stress.
When we are under stress, which is most of the time, our stone-age reflexes think they are helping by thickening our blood. The spleen, a fist sized organ under the left ribs, squirts out it's thick paste of red blood cells, to help us carry more oxygen to the muscles. That's why we can run faster than a speeding bullet if a wild animal is attacking us, and why Usain Bolt cannot set a world record on an empty practice track. But for most of us desk potatoes, there is nowhere to run when stress strikes, so our blood just thickens, and sits there, waiting for the wild animal that never comes.
The fact that a stressful phone-call from the tax department can turn your blood to porridge could clog a coronary artery, and cause a heart attack. One of the simple things you can do to fight back, apart from not answering the phone, is to drink eight glasses of water every day. Taking in more water helps to dilute the blood, and this is about the only way to accomplish that feat without side-effects. If you don't like your tap water, or you don't know who's been camping up-stream, then invest in bottled water. It comes up from pure wells, after years of natural filtration, and is a lot cheaper than some of the other vintages you might be considering.
Here's an action tip:
How can you build more water consumption into your day?
- Carry an insulated sports bottle with you and fill it up periodically.
- Keep a glass of water on your desk at work.
- Keep another glass next to your bed. Many of us wake up dehydrated first thing in the morning.
- Switch one glass of soda or cup of coffee for a glass of water.
- Drink small amounts of water throughout the day.
That doesn’t mean that drinking plenty of water throughout the day will magically cause your money problems, your kids’ troubles at school, and your deadlines at work to disappear. But if you’re already stressed by coping with all of these things, you don’t need the additional stress of dehydration to add to your burden.
By the way, drinking eight glasses a day may also take years off your face, by re-hydrating the skin. So raise your glasses, all eight of them, and let's drink to your health: with water.