Along with being our temple, and the physical existence of our conscious, our bodies are barometers. If we listen to our bodies’ signals, we can often discover underlying ailments and disease. One of the biggest culprits of physical demise is stress.
As defined by Psychology Today, stress is “simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium.” The most curious aspect of stress is how and why it occurs. What makes this aspect so complicated is that it can drastically vary from one person to the next. What would stress you out could be meaningless to a different person.
Stress wreaks havoc on our physical bodies. Consistent exposure to stress can lead to an overproduction of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline is what fuels our bodies into “fight-or-flight” mode, and an overproduction of this hormone can begin to develop into these feelings:
- Sleeplessness or Insomnia
- Heart damage
As explained on AdrenalFatigue.org, “higher and more prolonged levels of circulating cortisol (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:*
- Impaired cognitive performance
- Dampened thyroid function
- Blood sugar imbalances, such as hyperglycemia
- Decreased bone density
- Sleep disruption
- Decreased muscle mass
- Elevated blood pressure
- Lowered immune function
- Slow wound healing
- Increased abdominal fat, which has a stronger correlation to certain health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to other health problems.*”
It’s important to regard and be aware of your personal stressors. Just because other people may not believe something should be stressing you out, it doesn’t mean that the stimuli is not having an affect on you. Some common stressors are time management, work-related, money-related, and family issues, but stressors could run the expanse such as loud noises, loneliness, feeling incapable, vulnerable, or depressed, and anything else that is causing you discomfort.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, you should most certainly seek the help of a medical doctor or licensed therapist, but there are some strategies you can use to try and minimize stress in your life.
Once you’ve identified your personal stressors, try clearing your perspective of the issue by breaking it down into manageable pieces. You can try aromatherapy and comforting moments directed solely at your relaxation. Devote special time for yourself everyday, whether it’s getting some exercise, taking a bath, meditating, reading, lighting a candle, listening to music, or anything that brings you peace and serenity. Consider delegating complicated tasks, asking for help, eating healthier, and taking care of your physical well-being.