If you constantly feel stressed, you are not alone!
Stress occurs whenever there is a change in our lives. Negative or positive events can cause stress. Common stress triggers are moving, divorce, new job, marriage, recent presidential election, etc.
Did you know that chronic stress can make you sick?
The need for tools to cope with stress is crucial.
Dangers of chronic stress
Between 75% and 90% of medical visits are due to stress. Workplace Stress causes 1 million workers to miss work.
- Serious illness such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, suicide, and accidents have been attributed to stress
- Illness – Irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, increase of colds/flu due to lowered immune system
Symptoms of stress
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Alcohol/drug use increase (or other addictive behaviors)
- Insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep)
- Irritability (often feeling sad/angry)
- Loss of interest in things you usually enjoy
- Withdrawing from friends/family
A female patient (60 years old) was referred to me by her medical doctor. She was pre-diabetic, overweight, had high blood pressure (160/100) and depressed. Working with many of the stress tools her health has improved greatly. Without any medication she is no longer pre-diabetic, blood pressure is 120/80 and is less depressed. Her weight has dropped from 165 to 115 lbs in 8 months. She now walks regularly, meditates and eats nutritious foods.
Tips/tools to manage stress
Remember: You only have control over yourself, nothing else.
- DEEP BREATHING/RELAXATION – Breathing exercises are a wonderful way to heal. Whether you are suffering from sleep disturbance or anxiety you can use them daily to lessen your symptoms. As you inhale bring shoulders up to ears, hold for slow count of 3 and exhale slowly releasing the shoulders. Repeat several times.
- MEDITATION – Evidenced Based Research demonstrates meditation reduces anxiety and depression. By practicing meditation daily you can actually alter your brain’s pathways, allowing you to de-stress. Here’s a simple way to get started – Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. With eyes closed, take full deep breathes into your belly and slowly exhale. Recite silently the positive thought “I am becoming more peaceful and calm.” Place one hand on your belly to sync the mantra with your breaths. Let any distracting thoughts float by like birds flying by.
- MOVE – WALK/ RUN/ EXERCISE/YOGA – Physical movement helps reduce anxiety/depression.
- JOURNAL – Keep a journal – write down what situations/events seem to trigger your stress. Note how you feel mentally and physically.
- MASSAGE – A wonderful way to relax and release tension.
- CHIROPRACTIC – To bring your mind and body into balance.
- TALK – Tell friends or family how you are feeling. Support is vital to well-being when stressed.
- SLEEP – Turn off all electronic devices and news several hours prior to sleep.
- NUTRITION – Eating healthy foods, drink plenty of water, limit caffeine and other stimulants.
- LAUGHTER – Laughter is a wonderful way to reduce stress. Watch funny movies or hang out with friends who share laughter.
What are you waiting for? These tips to manage stress may prevent you from becoming seriously ill.Please share this post!