De-stressing Your Life Will Change Your Life
To understand the effects of stress, you need to understand how the body responds to stress. Stress triggers functions in the body that are meant to help us protect and survive. That is good, right? When we trigger the “fight or flight” mode, it keeps us on guard and safe from danger. An adrenaline rush kicks us into action, and we accomplish physical feats of superhero status. The problem is when we become stressed at something as simple as an advertisement about planning for retirement or when we worry and over-think situations. We leave our bodies in a state of stress. We divert blood flow from our digestive and reproductive systems to our extremities, preparing ourselves for battle. Our blood pressure and heart rate increase. Something designed to be short-term for our protection has become a long-term way of life that leads to chronic disaster.
In its “Stress in America” report, the American Psychological Association found that 80 percent of Americans experience stress symptoms like headache, overwhelm, nervousness, anxiety, and depression monthly. Stress is recognized as the #1 proxy killer in America today. The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human illness and disease. Stress affects the entire body: insomnia, emotional and behavioral problems, immune system dysfunction, asthma, ulcers, lack of energy, depression, nervousness, paranoia, headaches, dizziness, anger, attention disorders, irritability, panic disorders, chronic fatigue, strokes, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes type I and II, digestive disorders, weight gain, decreased sex drive, muscle tension, fibromyalgia, hair loss, teeth grinding, addictions, depression, etc., etc., etc.,
The good news is, you are in control! You can make choices to de-stress your life. Allow yourself to be proactive rather than reactive. Employ self-care rituals, reset your lifestyle, whatever it takes to give yourself the gift of a healthy body. Some of my favorites include keeping a gratitude journal, diffusing Wild Orange essential oil, taking a high quality omega-3 supplement, reading a good book, and thirty minutes of exercise each day. Whether it’s laughing at cat videos, relaxing in the bath, trying a new recipe, spending time in prayer, listening to good music… do whatever will help you unwind, relax, and recharge.
The old saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” is an axiom you should try to embrace. See if you can prioritize the things that seem to stress you out. Let the ones that really aren’t so important fall away and work on the rest in a calm and organized way. Make relaxation the base from which you operate. Life is stressful, there is no doubt about it. It is impossible to completely eradicate stress. The goal is to reduce stress and find ways to better manage the rest. You are the CEO of your health and you can discover effective tools to support you. It is time to rise above chronic stress and find a new normal. Stop ignoring what your body is telling you and start living your healthiest life. Only you have the power to change your own health and wellness. Give your mind and body the attention and care they deserve.