In my business, I see clients on a daily basis who report they are feeling the effects of stress – either they are overworked at home or in their job. They are being pulled in a lot of different directions and asked to take on too many tasks, so much that they are having trouble sleeping and find they are irritable and ‘snappy.’
If this sounds like you, what are you doing to get a handle on your stress level? Left unchecked, it can lead to physical ailments, like stomach upset, chest pain, body aches, headaches, or disturbed sleep. Over the long-term, it can lead to more severe problems, like heart disease, diabetes, or a form of dementia. Studies are showing the negative effects of unmanaged stress can shorten one’s life and can lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
Chemicals in the brain get released into your system through the adrenal glands, which are located over the kidneys. Cortisol is one of these chemicals, which helps our bodies to prepare to deal with unpleasant situations. But if there is no resolve, the body will keep releasing cortisol and create an overload on the body which can lead to aches, pain, and tiredness. In trying to think of how to handle these adverse situations, the brain seems to never ‘shut off.’ It can seem like a never-ending cycle to feel “normal” again.
It does take some time, focus and effort to learn how to manage your stress. Here are some tips to help:
- Breathe – deep breathing is shown to have healing properties as it gets oxygen into the red blood cells, causing them to expand, which creates the mind and body to slow down and relax
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation – this is an exercise where you simulate the tightening and releasing of the muscles in your body so they will relax when you begin to tense up
- Exercise – exercise, like walking, running, dancing, Zumba, bicycling, or even gardening, can release those endorphins to elevate your mood but it also proves that you can achieve and becomes a motivator for other activities
- Journaling and Gratitude – the art of expressing your pent-up feelings helps to release any negative thoughts, which helps to relax the body. Writing 3-5 things that you are greatful for takes the focus off of your problems and raises your vibrational level and mood
- Natural Remedies – when stress gets unmanaged, some people may need to take medication to help relax and learn to deal with the sources of their stress level. However, there are some natural rememdies to take, which can include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Passion Flower, nuts, berries and Omega 3’s, like fish.
Getting a handle on your stress goes to the core of understanding what is leading you to feel you cannot handle adverse areas in your life. You should examine where the overwhelm is coming from and then find ways – small steps – you can take to problem-solve and resolve them so you can live freely and fully. Your overall satisfaction and happiness will increase and you will learn lessons to help you in the future.