Stress. We all know how bad it can be on you both mentally and physically. We know we need to manage the stress in our lives. But that is sometimes easier said than done....
A few months ago we had a extremely stressful family situation hit. We are still dealing with it, and will be on some level, for a while. This stress triggered panic attacks ( which I never had before), major flares of asthma and fibro that had not been this bad in years. What was happening to me?!? I was usually able to deal with stress. This was something different, something more. I discovered is that in most cases I can control most normal daily stressors like work, family issues, or daily demands. Most of us can. If not then we can follow the same advice below...... But hard hitting stress like trauma, deaths, and chronic illness can be a different story. It was for me. The stress became overwhelming. It made it hard for me to find ways to reduce the stress. Then the stress itself becomes chronic. Which can make everything worse. Especially your health...
Recent studies found that chronic stress changes gene activity of immune cells before they enter the bloodstream so that they're ready to fight infection or trauma -- even when there is no infection or trauma to fight. This then leads to increased inflammation. Increased inflammation is linked to autoimmune conditions and chronic inflammatory conditions. This includes chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. They are also related to anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, fibromyalgia, dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, among others. Psychology is literally effecting our biology.
My stress was through the roof, my health was going downhill fast, and for a brief time it all felt out of control. I knew things had to change. I had to work on reducing this chronic stress. It was taking over my life. For me I found a few things that are helping. I started with a few small steps and now I am feeling better and stronger than ever.
1. I put stress management in my schedule ~ Just like I schedule everything else I have to remind myself to deal with the stress. I actually schedule in breathing breaks, times for prayers and meditation. Time to stretch, even for just 5 minutes. This helped me develop a habit of addressing the stress and not letting it build up
2. Journal ~ I write down my feelings, my concerns BUT I also focus on GRATITUDE. I have found that by acknowledging my blessings and trying to focus on the good, it helps keep the stress in its place. Yes bad things are happening but in the midst of the storm there is also good.
3. Diet ~ When we are dealing with high stress a healthy diet is not always our focus. But it is really important during this time. I try to keep my kitchen filled with real whole foods. By having lots of fruit, premade salads, nuts and other healthy foods, I am forcing myself to eat right even when it is not a top priority. Eating real, whole foods helps reduce the physical stress on your body.
4.Mind at Peace Tea and Mind at Peace Tincture - I drink a cup of tea with breakfast EVERY DAY and I carry the tincture with me. Panic attack or high stress just a dropper takes the edge off
5. SLEEP - You must have a good nights sleep. Exhaustion just makes stress worse. For me I drink a cup of Mind at Peace tea with Sweet Sleep extract. I can sleep well. You can use the Rest & Relax Kit
6. Reduce inflammation - I drink Nettle infusions to help reduce inflammation and provide me with the vitamins, minerals and calcium I need. If is miss my nettles for more than a couple of days I can tell the difference.
7. Love yourself ~ Take time to do something you enjoy EVERY, SINGLE, DAY. Sometimes all I can do is turn on some music I like, other days it may be slipping in some time to read or taking a relaxing bath at the end of the day. Maybe it is putting fresh flowers on the table or walking outside. Just make sure to do at least one little thing just for you. It helps lift your spirits and decrease the stress.
Our body is not running inefficiently when it is under chronic stress. This results in energy being diverted towards immediate survival while compromising long-term health. If you are dealing with daily, chronic stress, I encourage you to take the time needed to care for and nurture yourself. Your health and the quality of your life depends on it ~ Blessings.