Is there anyone who enjoys feeling stressed out? Maybe we feel that way so frequently that we associate stress with our commonplace state. It doesn’t have to be that way, nor should it. In fact, if you plan on being healthy and living a long life, your only hope is to start de-stressing now.
Whole Lotta Stressin’ Going On
Yes, many of us are burning the candle at both ends. We’re trying to make a living, build a career, take care of our family, our health, our community, and the list goes on. Then there are those of us who aren’t necessarily active but stressed out by thoughts of the things we aren’t doing.
Then, of course, there are life circumstances that fall into our laps and we haven’t the coping skills to keep from freaking out. Short stints of stress are part of life. If we combat them and are able to move on, it may not wreak too much havoc. But when we live with chronic, long-term stress, the effects on our body and mind can be devastating.
Whichever your scenario, just be aware that stress can and will impact every cell in your body if it reigns freely. If you experience any of the following conditions, it’s a sign that you’re still in need of stress management. (There are other causes, too, for such symptoms and ailments, but stress also played a hand in their development.)
Fatigue – tired, listless, unmotivated
Inattention – focus wanes, lack of concentrationh
Headaches – blurred vision, dizziness
Changes in skin – loss of tone and/or moisture
Decreased immunity – catch colds and viruses easily
Changes in gut microbiome – digestive issues, leaky gut
Increased blood sugar- narrowing of arteries, higher blood glucose
Increased cortisol – hormonal imbalance, thyroid imbalance
Weakened muscles – protein breakdown
High blood pressure – hypertension
Auto immune disease – IBD, Crohn’s, MS, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, Hashimoto’s, and others
Although autoimmune disorders can be set into motion from varying factors, studies show stress is linked as a trigger. Up to 80% of those diagnosed with an AI disease reported extreme emotional stress before its onset. Furthermore, the disease itself also causes stress, which creates a vicious cycle.
How to Manage the Stress
Everything you’ve read up until now about stress management still remains true. There are several paths of action to help yourself and you probably already know what they are. It’s all in the implementation. Knowing and doing are not equally effective in this case. You must be proactive and treat yourself kindly.
Try to rid yourself of the source of stress. If you can, then it’s actually a simple fix. Sometimes, however, this is just not possible. So, if the stressor remains in your life, your next course is to learn how to manage
Seek counseling. A specialist can offer coping tools.
Talk to a therapist. Talk therapy and cognitive behavior therapy can help you find ways to reframe your thoughts. The way you perceive things in your life may be a cause of undue stress or anxiety.
Exercise and get outdoors. Walking in nature calms the soul and lowers blood pressure. Exercise helps release hormones and chemicals that relieve stress in the body.
Practice yoga. Yoga distracts the mind from ruminating and improves your mood. It strengthens the brain’s neuroplasticity, increases flexibility, and boosts your immune system.
Meditate. Sit quietly and imagine yourself in calm, beautiful surroundings. Don’t think about any responsibilities. Unplug your phone and electronics and give yourself the time you deserve.
Get a lot of rest. Eight hours per night is recommended to keep your mind and mood in tip-top shape. You need that strength from sleep in order to reduce stress.
Today is a good day to start de-stressing. For other helpful articles on health management, click here.