STRESS, STRESS, STRESS

Are you ever just overwhelmed by the demands of life? Stress has such a negative connotation, but it actually can be a good thing…if in small doses. Stress, or being under pressure, can help you to perform better…so stress truly is not always a bad thing! Recognizing good and bad stress in our lives is crucial. It is important to pay attention to our levels of stress, to pause and look at what in our lives is causing us this stress. 

In the last year, I heard someone say the following quote about stress and it has really helped me to manage the stress in my life in a new light… “Our bodies can’t tell the difference in where stress is coming from. The body sends the same stress signals to the brain whether if we are stressed from work, school or relationships, stressed physically from a workout, or stressed because we are running from a bear.”  When we are stressing, our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode, known as the stress response. Too much of stress can be extremely harmful on our minds and bodies. Are you over stressing?

AM I STRESSED?

THE SYMPTOMS

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Headaches

  • Irritability

WHY IS STRESS HARMFUL?

THE EFFECTS OF STRESS ON YOUR BODY

  • Stress can lead to or intensify headaches. If you regularly get headaches this could be a result of stress in your life. 

  • Chronic, or ongoing stress can be emotionally draining and lead to an increase in depression. 

  • Stress even affects your digestive system and can lead to nausea and stomach problems.

  • INSOMNIA. Do you ever have trouble falling asleep at night? Stress can make it difficult to fall asleep or even to stay asleep. 

  • Stress causes your body to release extra glucose (sugar) leading to high blood sugar.

  • Long term stress leaves you more vulnerable to infections and weakens your immune system.

  • Stress increases your heart rate and in time this could increase your chance of heart attacks.

  • Rapid breathing. Stress can leave you with a shortened breath.

  • Stress and the fatigue it comes with can lower your sex drive.

  • Muscle tension. Stress even causes your muscles to tense up which leads to aches and pains.

TIPS TO MANAGE STRESS

  • BREATHE. First and foremost, breath. Take a big, deep breathe. 

  • Identify. Identify what it is in your life that is causing this stress. Maybe it is unavoidable, and this might be the case…but it could also be something you can rid from your life. Ask yourself the tough questions.

  • Cut (or minimize) the caffeine. I know…no one ever wants to hear this one, but caffeine is not helping your stress levels. 

  • TALK ABOUT IT. Don’t bottle it up. Share your stresses with a friend, loved one, or even a doctor. More likely than not they will be able to offer you some advice or support that you are looking for. 

  • Learn how to say “no.” It is okay to be human and not be able to do everything. Remember this, saying yes to one thing is saying no to something else. What are you giving your time to, and where else could you be giving your time? Asking questions like this can help to prioritize what in our lives we are saying yes to.

  • Look at the big picture. You can’t control the uncontrollable. Stay positive. Focus on yourself and the way you react. 

  • Be grateful. When stress is weighing you down, think of all of the people and things in your life you are thankful for. Focus on what brings you joy.  

Health is so much more than working out and eating right. Taking care of our minds is arguably more important (or equally… it is all SO IMPORTANT!) than our physical health.

Don’t stress the small stuff!

Thanks for reading and please share with friends and family! 

Much of this post came from the links below. For additional information, see below:

https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body#1

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855.php

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-signs-and-causes.htm