Is stress taking a toll on your health?
With all the ups and downs of life, it is easy to become stressed. Stress can be the root cause for many diseases and can also make diseases worsen.
The body responds to stress by releasing stress hormones. These hormones make blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels go up. Long-term stress can help cause a variety of health problems, including: Mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety.
Just like everyone else, I have experienced many ups and downs in life. I have been depressed and did not know what my next best move would be. I would call my friends and family and pour my little heart out but still felt bad. Because of this, I began to deal with everything alone and became reclusive. We all know that dealing with things alone may not always be a good route to take but I did it. Since talking to others about my problems seemed to get me nowhere, I had to find ways to deal with my stress.
Before I get into how I deal with stress, I would like to share with you how it affected me tremendously. While stressing about things that I could not control, I noticed change (for the worse) in my body. I began to have body aches, decreased appetite, constipation, I felt sluggish, I felt alone (depressed), my eczema on my hands worsened and people began to ask me what happened to them. No matter how much cream I put on my hands or herbal concoctions, I still had the worse eczema flare on my hands.
I also began to experience anxiety. The feeling of your heart racing and shallow breathing is scary all within itself. I felt like any moment (while experiencing those episodes) I would die. I kept how I felt (anxiety) from my husband most of the time because I did not want to worry him.
Stress took a major toll on my body. This person today – who incorporates techniques- still is not completely clear of stressful situations. The only difference is that I know how to nip it in the butt before it gets the best of me. I do not know about you, but I do not have time to let stress take me out. How is my husband going to explain to our children that Mama could not handle life, so she let it get the best of her and her body followed suit? Hell no! I am not going out like that. You may not have children, so you may say, “well I do not have kids that will miss me”. You have someone who loves you whether you know it or not. You will be missed by someone!
Since losing my life to stressful situations is not going to fly, I began to incorporate techniques into my daily life to help me prevent and/or deal with stressful situations.
Meditation is the act of sitting quietly and breathing. It calms the mind and aids you in centering yourself. Meditation is number one on my list because it has changed my life. It has helped me to see things clearer and have a different perspective.
To meditate, find a quiet place – at work, home, in nature, in your car, wherever- and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths and just be. Your mind may feel too busy to just be but the more you meditate, you will notice that your thoughts will no longer overwhelm you.
When I first started meditating I could only sit for five minutes. Now I can sit as long as I desire. Focus on your breathing and just observe all thoughts that come to mind. No need to do anything about them, just observe.
2. Spending Time in Nature
Did you know that nature is the original medicine? Oh….Well, with all the synthetics and chemicals that have saturated our world today, this truth has found itself hidden. There are many who research the medicinal properties of nature (like myself) and we understand how powerful nature is. Did you know that some prescription medications derived from nature? Yep! It sure did. Just taking a walk-in nature is very relaxing and calming. Try it. Turn off your phone or put it on silent and take a nice long walk in nature. See don’t you come out with a “I’m good now” attitude and rightfully so because ALL IS WELL!
I feel so relieved after writing things down and going on about my day. If you do not want to write, then record. Me personally, I get loss in my words when I am recording but if I am writing then it just flows. I dump everything that I am feeling onto the paper and I feel so much better. Things do not seem so bad after all.
4. Attitude of Gratitude
Yes, I said it! You should have an attitude of gratitude because things could always be worse. You may say, how can you tell me things can be worse. I am a woman who was losing everything (home, cars, etc.) silently while still encouraging my friends. I remember one time during a low point in my life one of my friends called me and she was crying and upset. I asked her what was wrong, and she stated that she had no spending money after paying all her bills. Instead of telling her that I was losing everything (due to decrease in income in our home), I encouraged her and told her that at least her bills are paid. I encouraged her to manifest increase rather than being down about her situation. I encouraged her to have an attitude of gratitude. I was crying inside myself about my own situation, but I knew that things could always be worse.
I eventually shared with my friend what all I had been through and all she could do was look at me and say, “I don’t see how you can be so strong and level headed when you are going through”. I looked at that time like a lesson. Obviously, I did not learn enough because I found myself homeless a little over one year later after things began to get better for my family. I learned my lesson then and began to make different decisions with my money, time and lifestyle. My children did not ask me to birth them into this world and I needed to provide a more stable home/living for them. I had to get my s*** together. You can fill in the blank. I know, I know, you may be shaking your head because I cursed but I DO CURSE and curse words get the point across. Did it not catch your attention? Lol!
Look at all the things that you do have and focus less on what you do not have. It works! Thank me later!
5. Spend Time with Supportive People
Why don’t you take your loved ones up on the invite to come over or go out for dinner? If you are anything like me, it can be hard pretending to be happy, so you dodge people. I get it, trust me I do. The reality is, there needs to be balance. If we spend too much alone time, we can find ourselves sinking into deep depression over our stressful situations. Spend time with a POSITIVE loved one to take you mind off things for a few. I reiterate POSITIVE because this is no time to have pity parties. This does nothing for your situation.
What are some ways that you deal with stress?