Monday, January 7, 2013
This Is Your Body on Stress
Good Morning Gorgeous! How's your new year starting out? Have you kept to your resolution list? Have you even made one? I always have the best of intentions to make and keep new year's resolutions and for whatever reason I never seem to do so.
Although I may have not sat down to write out a list of changes I would like to see happen in 2013, I do know of one thing that I want to change, need to change and have already begun to change.
So what is the change I'm seeking you ask? Less stress.
"It's probably just stress." How many times have you heard those words from your doctor -- or uttered them yourself -- as you complained about the latest ache in your shoulder or pain in your stomach? Before you write it off as just stress, think again. Stress isn't something to be ignored. It's a whole-body experience that, if left unchecked and untreated, can make you old before your time. No body part is spared. From your brain and heart to your muscles and immune system, stress can affect every part of you, leaving you vulnerable to pain, illness, and disease.
It took such a toll on me that I ended up losing, probably 15lbs.
I couldn't focus.
I cried daily.
It was everything I could do to simply function.
So why don't we take stress more seriously? Probably because people think of stress as an emotional state. They don't realize that this emotional response triggers a cascade of physical changes. Of course, a little stress isn't always bad. The pressure of a job deadline can inspire a burst of creativity; the adrenaline triggered during an emergency can help us think clearly and act quickly. But the daily, unrelenting stress that many people experience -- bills, work, strained relationships -- can be remarkably hard on the body. When daily life means your internal stress switch gets stuck in the "on" position, stress can start to take an exacting toll on virtually every body part.
It's not just high blood pressure or heart attacks. Stress can give you headaches, back pain, indigestion, depression, diabetes, and sleep problems. Stress can make you fat or too thin in my case, cause your hair to fall out, and ruin your sex life. It wears on your heart, your memory, and your immune system, and may even give a boost to those rogue cells that can eventually lead to cancer.
With stress you are fighting an invisible war. No one can truly know what you feel inside and how daunting your struggle truly is.
Each and every day for me it seems like the clouds are parting a bit more and the sun is shining brighter.
I truly believe that we can overcome any hurdle that lies before us and create the life we want to live. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition - such as lifting weights - we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.
So to get rid of this dark passenger (Any Dexter fans out there like me?), what have I begun to do?
For starters, I take one day at a time; reminding myself that I am only one person and can only do so much.
I remind myself that as much as I might like to, I can't control everything or how another person reacts, so I am letting go.
I make sure to take time out for ME to do the things that bring me happiness.
I have surrounded myself with the ones I love and have my best interest at heart.
So what about you? What are some of your stress busting secrets?