The #1 Enemy of our Health and Happiness … And how we can Overcome it!
It’s the six-letter word that has become a household name … and the cause of many ailments including insomnia, digestive problems, weight gain, sickness and heart disease. You guessed it …STRESS. Stress affects each of us differently. Stress can affect me through headaches and stomach flare-ups. No fun!
Right now, my husband Perry is suffering with Shingles, which was brought on by …. Stress. The Varicella virus lies dormant in your spinal column after suffering through Chicken Pox and severe stress can cause it to resurface.
Stress can have more serious long-term health problems if not managed properly. When you are stressed, your body releases adrenaline, a hormone that temporarily causes your heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise. High blood pressure can cause damage to artery walls, creating blood clots and increasing your risk of heart attack.
Stress has detrimental effects on our physical bodies and our mental health, Instead of choosing harmful habits to manage stress, like smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol or binge eating and/or eating and unhealthy diet, we can and should manage the stress of everyday life in a healthy way, eliminating serious risks to our heart.
The American Heart Association recommends four ways to safely deal with stress:
Positive Self-Talk. Try turning your negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones. For example, instead of thinking or saying, “I can’t do this,” try “I’ll do the best I can.” By being positive about stressful situations, you can calm yourself down and control stress.
Emergency Stress Stoppers. These quick tips help you deal with stress on the spot. Examples include: Counting to 10 before speaking, walking away from stressful situations, taking 3-5 deep breaths, breaking down big problems into smaller, more manageable problems.
Finding Pleasure.If stress is making you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good. Enjoying your favorite activity or trying something new for as little as 15-minutes a day can greatly lower your stress levels.
Daily Relaxation. Relaxation should calm the tension in your mind and body. Some examples of good relaxation techniques include yoga, tai chi, meditation and deep breathing.
I would personally add Exercise to that list. Moving my body, getting my heart rate up, breathing fresh air, using my muscles – it ALL makes me feel better! It is proven that exercise is a stress reliever as it releases endorphins – chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers – and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.