STRESS & YOUR HEALTH
STRESS EFFECTS EVERYONE AT SOME POINT
Everyone today is under some sort of stress. Financial, Health, Relationship, Work, Family and the list goes on and on. What we do about the stress we’re under is important. Recognizing we’re OVER Stressed and we suffer from PROLONGED (chronic stress) stress is the key to getting it under control and moving toward being healthier.
STRESS AFFECTS HEALTH IN ALMOST EVERY WAY.
Immune system / Depression / Premature Aging – Skin, Hair loss / Increased chances of developing degenerative diseases (cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer) /Weight management struggles/ Anxiety Disorders / Fits of Anger or Rage / Ulcers / Exhaustion – Tired all the time / Skin disorders – breakouts, rashes, and hives / Chemical Dependencies –Alcohol, Drugs, Nicotine / Infertility
WEIGHT GAIN & OBESITY
Prolonged stress can lead to various health issues, one of them being Uncontrollable weight gain. One of the long term effects of the hormone Cortisol is weight gain. Cortisol is released when we are under stress. No big deal if the stress is temporary because the body will deal with it. Unfortunately we are chronically stressed today and this hormone wreaks havoc on the body over time. A great book to read is Accidentally Overweight by Dr. Libby Weaver. It’s so much more than a weight loss book. Well worth the read.
SOME MORE HEALTH ISSUES OF CHRONIC STRESS ARE…
Decrease in muscle tissue / Suppressed thyroid function / Higher Blood Pressure / Impaired cognitive performance / Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia / Decreased bone density / Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, which slow down wound healing and other bodily repair systems / Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat degenerative diseases like heart attacks, Stroke, diabetes and the development of metabolic syndrome, higher levels of oxidized “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which may lead to other health problems!
My suggestion is to find the source of the stress and eliminate it. This I know is not always possible so we must find ways to deal and release stress. Or engage in relaxation activities to counteract the stress damage to our bodies.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT ARE, BUT NOT LIMITED TO…
Exercise of any sort can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from the stresses of your daily life. You don’t have to go kill yourself at the gym or run a marathon. Go for a walk, ride a bike, paddle a canoe, do some gardening etc.
EAT CLEAN FOOD
Eat clean food – not processed foods full of chemicals and sugars. It’s similar to the conundrum which came first the chicken or the egg? Stress can lead to poor eating habits and poor eating habits can lead to and hinder our ability to deal with stress. We tend to consume more high fat, high sugar foods as well as quick convenient food like substances. We also tend to eat way more or not enough when under chronic long term stress. Eating healthy can help reduce stress and better prepare our body to deal with stress when it happens.
Meditation and deep breathing can help restore the body back to normal levels of stress hormones.
Yoga has many benefits. Some of which are better breathing habits, better blood flow, lower cortisol levels and improved mental focus.
ENGAGE IN LAUGHTER
Laughter is one of the best ways to release the feel good chemicals and balance out our daily stresses.
Exercise at its best. Helps us relax and feel good.
REDUCE EXPOSURE TO ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Electronic devices can impede quality sleep, interrupt brain patterns and cause anxiety according to research. Use with discipline and caution. Limit your exposure whenever possible and unplug often.
Breathe slowly and deeply periodically through the day. Particularly if you’re feeling stressed.
TAKE A GOOD QUALITY SUPPLEMENT
Stress can throw your nutrition intake for a loop. Taking a good quality supplement can help fill in the gaps that may occur when you’re feeling the pressure or your body is under physical stress.