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?


  1. Stress is serious business. You lost way too much weight, girl. Time for some ice cream!
    I'll call soon; everytime I go to call something else happens. UGGH!

  2. Love this blog! My stress lead to a cancer diagnosis 10 years ago. Thanks for warning your readers that stress is truly a killer. Your advice will save lives. Thank you!

  3. I agree, Jamie..

    That why this year is my mission to be stress free of things that was once a stress factor in my life...I'll send you an email later and tell you.

    One thing I can share is...I have learned that someone did report me to my bosses and said I was loud and disruptive...why? Remember the burping and belching I was telling you I was having? Well, a volunteer that HATED ME, Jamie...She hated me ever since I started working there..She just gave me mean looks, told another volunteer I got her sick by blowing my nose( like I gave her my used kleenez and put in her hand)

    I'm saying this cause this is one thing I have vowed myself to do and NOT LET ANYONE get to me..Fine you want to be jealous of me cause I worked my butt off, or I worked in the MOB office( before we moved into the new hospital)..They can be jealous of me, I don't care anymore...They want to laugh behind my back, so be it...or tattle on be it.

    I am moving on..You know what, I feel GREAT!

    I have SO MUCH to look forward too..and the best part I am an auntie again!!

  4. Dear Jamie,

    I was both surprised and comforted to read this. Surprised because you are such a confident and capable lady! And comforted for that very same reason - stress can affect all of us indiscriminately.

    I have been stressed for longer than I can remember - I feel so guilty when my boyfriend takes me out to dinner and I just cannot eat, or I wake up in the middle of the night just totally frightened and anxious.

    It's unfortunate because one doesn't want to burden loved ones. "Cheer up!" while said with best intentions sadly doesn't help.

    I am truly happy to hear you are feeling better. Big hugs and best wishes from a reader.