Stress is a serious problem. In recent studies Americans respondents said they had experienced moderate to high levels of stress throughout the last year. Women were far more likely to develop symptoms such as sadness, irritability and lethargy and overeating than men. Stress actually does manifests its self physically. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline which readies the body to fight or run. It speeds up the heart rate, tenses major muscle groups and thickens blood. It this condition lasts long it harms physical health. Over time cortisol wears down protective ends of DNA. This ages the immune system and hastens cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.
The trick to achieving calmness and better health is changing how you respond to stress. Outwardly we have no problem pointing our stress triggers. Women who took part in the studies said money was their top stresser followed by work, economy and family responsibilities. These categories are too broad so lets break them down and dig deeper. People are afraid to pinpoint their stresses for fear it will consume them. But in reality, confronting the monster at the door is half the battle.
Tension comes from situations that make us feel helpless. Try asking yourself, What aspect of my daily life is overwhelming? Your body knows better than your mind which circumstance is making you stressed. If you still don’t know your stresses, write in a journal when you have symptoms such as impatience, fatigue, headaches and irritability. You will start to see a pattern. For instance if you get a headache while paying bills. Once you realize the problems, they will appear smaller allowing solutions to occur to you.
Even when you’ve taken steps to fix stressful situations, life can throw you a curve ball. But allowing nerves to get the better of you puts you in the fight or flight mode, putting those hormones into play again when there is no physical emergency at hand. Scan your mind for negative thoughts such as: Why does this always happen to me? Reverse those thoughts to, This is unexpected but I can manage it. It will be okay. If you have an especially bad day with everything going wrong, Give yourself a break. Do a crossword puzzle. Call a good friend. Your mind will be calmer and you’ll be better able to cope.
For a more lasting calm, do deep breathing, meditation, yoga or other regular exercise. The longer you participate in these activities the calmer you will learn to be. You will learn to relax and when you are relaxed you can’t feel stress.