Stress – More Dangerous than you Think

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The accumulated stress of everyday life can damage your health in irreversible ways. Besides making you forget where you put your keys, ignoring the warning signs of stress can also dramatically impact your health and make you susceptible to a range of serious health issues. These can include heart disease and stroke, low Immunity and bone density or increased blood pressure and cholesterol.

The multiple challenges we face every day, such as meeting deadlines, paying bills and juggling a busy schedule for our children, can make our bodies react the same way. This means that our bodies’ natural alarm system – the “fight or flight” response – may be stuck in the ‘on’ position. This can have serious consequences for our health, making it well – worth keeping an eye out for early signs of disease.

PHYSICAL SIGNS OF STRESS

• Diarrhea or constipation
• Forgetfulness
• Brain fog or decrease in
mental clarity
• Frequent aches and pains
• Headaches
• Lack of energy or focus
• Sexual problems
• Stiff jaw or neck
• Tiredness
• Trouble sleeping or sleeping
too much
• Upset stomach
• Use of alcohol or drugs to relax
• Weight Loss or Gain

If your brain is in a state of stress for too long, your health can deteriorate rapidly. If you experience one or more of these side effects and feel like it’s directly related to stress in your life, it’s time to nip it in the bud and look into how you remove the cause or improve your resilience.

TIPS FOR REDUCING STRESS

IDENTIFY WHAT’S CAUSING STRESS.
Monitor your state of mind throughout the day. If you feel stressed, write down the cause, your thoughts and your mood. Develop a plan for addressing the cause, such as setting more reasonable expectations for yourself, asking for help with household responsibilities or work assignments. List your commitments, assess your priorities and eliminate all the non-essential tasks.

BUILD STRONG RELATIONSHIPS.
Relationships can be a source of stress. Negative, hostile reactions with your spouse (or family members) causes immediate changes in stress-sensitive hormones, but healthy relationships can serve as stress buffers. Others may be able to offer practical assistance and support, useful ideas or just a fresh perspective.

REST YOUR MIND.

Stress keeps us lying awake at night. To help ensure you get therecommended seven or eight hours of shut- eye, cut back on caffeine, remove distractions

such as television or computers from your bedroom and go to bed at the same time each night. Research shows that activities like yoga, meditation and relaxation exercises not only help reduce stress, but also boost immune functioning.

SUPPLEMENTS.

Taking supplements can be a great way to help reduce stress. L-theanine can be effective to reduce anxiety and foster a calm, but attentive state. Chamomile is loaded with antioxidants that may help reduce your risk of several diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Gingko promotes good blood circulation in the brain, and can thus protect the brain from neural damage. With a wide variety of supplements available on the market today, you are sure to find one that works for you.

EXERCISE.

This one may seem simple, but getting your bones moving and blood pumping can dramatically reduce the stress on your body. Exercising actually helps to release endorphins – which are our body’s natural mood boosters.

AROMATHERAPY.

Burning calming essential oils can help you to relax. Certain scents, such as Lavender, Bergamot or Ylang-Ylang can help reduce symptoms of stress.

GET A MASSAGE.

Massages can reduce stress, promote muscle relaxation and improve both mood and sleep quality. So, not only does a massage feel amazing, but it’s great for your health too.

GET HELP.

If you continue to feel overwhelmed, chat to your doctor about how to manage stress effectively. They can help you identify situations or behaviors that contribute to your chronic stress and then develop an action plan for changing them.