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Is Chronic Stress Ruining Your Health?

Pulling my hair -  TGIF

Believe it or not, stress is a normal physiological response.  It is common to associate stress with work, school, and even chores.  Did you know that going on vacation or getting ready for a holiday can also increase your levels of stress hormones?  Your body can not differentiate between a “good stress” such as planning a vacation and a “bad stress” such as fear of loosing your job.

What is the

Fight or Flight Stress Response?

Anytime the basic (reptilian) aspect of the brain senses something that could harm us, it goes into the fight or flight stress response.  The fight or flight stress response is the sympathetic nervous system getting the body ready to either fight the threat or run from it.  Unfortunately, the reptilian brain senses every day stressors such as deadlines at work or planning a vacation as a threat to homeostasis  and it throws us into the fight or flight stress response.

Stress is very ugly and plays havoc on mental and physical health.

The Effects of Stress on Physical Health

The effects of stress on physical health are well documented and a bit frightening!  Some common physical effects of stress are:

  • Hypertension
  • Decrease immune response (get colds/sick easier)
  • Digestive/Colon issues
  • Weight issues (Obesity or too thin)
  • Increase Heart rate
  • Chest Pains
  • Loss of Sex Drive
  • General Aches and Pains

What are the Effects of Stress on Mental Health?

Let’s not stop with stress induced  physical issues!  Here are some of the mental effects of stress:

  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness
  • Short Tempered
  • Sense of loneliness
  • Memory loss
  • Racing Thoughts

Stop that Fight or Flight Stress Response

There are many adverse health effects of stress.  Chronic stress disrupts all major systems in the body.  Isn’t it time you did something about your own levels of stress?  Don’t worry, dealing with your own stress can be painless. How does one stop the fight or flight stress response?  Start by:

  • Being mindful two or three times a day (Click here to see blog)
  • Maintain a support network of close friends:  spending time with friends releases chemicals in the brain that combat the fight or flight response.
  • Therapy:  Counseling is wonderful and I can not say enough about CranioSacral Therapy, Somato-Emotional Release, or Unifield Therapy (Click here to read more on these therapies)

Here is an excellent video on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction:

So there you have it,  it is up to you.   Are you going to let chronic stress ruin you physical and emotional health?  Be proactive and take the steps listed above to reduce your stress!  Watch how your mental and physical stress diminish as you become more mindful.

Question:  What is the biggest stress in you life that is harming you?

Intentional Living, Mindful Living

Intentional Living, Mindful Livin

 

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  • EatingLocalintheLou

    There is no one real big stress currently in my life, but all the little stresses that happen in any given day can really cause harm over time. Running late is a common one in our house that causes stress quite often. Great post Sharon- always terrific food for thought!