Manage Your Stress, Manage Your Health

ID-100110884Although it has taken mainstream medicine decades of research to finally acknowledge it, stress truly has the potential to kill. The human body was designed to respond to life-threatening situations with a flight-or-fight response that would ensure survival. Nowadays, few of us face truly life-or-death situations on a daily basis. Instead, our jobs, our families, our friends and even strangers cause us stress. Because our bodies our simply weren’t made to experience stress on a continual basis, the tension and anxiety that stress produces takes a toll on our bodies.

 

The Short-Term Response to Stress

Many of the body’s responses to stress occur during the stress-provoking situation. You may notice tightness in your jaw, become sick to your stomach, sense your heart racing or feel out of breath. You may also experience other physical symptoms during periods of stress, including fatigue, changes in appetite, headaches, difficulty sleeping and even dermatological problems like acne and dry skin.

 

The Effects of Chronic Stress

When the body undergoes periods of stress repeatedly, your immune system may begin to malfunction, leaving you more susceptible to contracting infections, colds and flu. The effect of stress on the cardiovascular system can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Over the long-term, stress can also disrupt the natural hormonal balance in the human body, which increases the likelihood of becoming obese and developing certain types of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes. The effects of stress upon the mind can also lead to mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression.

 

Walk It Off, Talk It Out

Fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself from stress, particularly if you work immediately to reduce the impact of stressful situations as they happen. When faced with stress, one technique is to walk it off. If you’re at work, take a break and head outdoors for a stroll, or go to the gym if you have a stressful argument at home. It may not be possible to walk off every stressful situation. Sometimes, you’ll need to talk out a problem until you reach a resolution.

 

Let It Go

In instances where the problem cannot be solved through talking, resolve to let go of the stress. Take deep breaths and physically relax your body. Tell yourself that despite the unpleasant situation, you are safe and you are strong. Remind yourself that the stressful situation likely won’t matter in the future and that it’s okay to let it go. Positive self-talk and rhythmic breathing can go a long way to reducing stress.

 

Living a Stress-Free Life

While there is no way to avoid stress entirely, you can live a life where stress does not have permission to negatively impact your mind or your body. Work time into every day to do something that you enjoy, as having fun can greatly reduce the impact of stress. Eat healthy food, get regular exercise and ensure that you sleep enough hours each night.

 

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. If you’re concerned about the health effects of stress, talk to your doctor in addition to utilizing coping strategies. Your physician can test you for any major medical conditions and provide support as you work to reduce the amount of stress in your daily life. It can take time to overcome the effects of stress, but the dramatic improvement that you’ll experience in your quality of life when you do is sure to be well worth the effort.

 

Lisa Richards is well aware of the benefits of eliminating stress from her life. She enjoys sharing her stress management tips and insights through blogging. Learn how stress reduction can help eliminate candida and other common health problems, visit the link.

 

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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