We all experience stress. Stress is the body’s reaction to any threat, challenge or demand. While excessive stress can be harmful to our bodies, some stress is healthy. For example, it is stress that helps us move quickly in a dangerous situation. However, too much stress can really wear on our mind, body and spirit.
Effects of Stress
The side effects of unmanaged stress are often debilitating. Chronic Pain can result from constantly putting stress on your body. Stressed out individuals can also develop other issues, including:
- Substance abuse
- Digestion woes
- Over- or under-eating
- Decreased immune function
- Heart disease
Unfortunately, stress manifests itself in health conditions that can impair our everyday lives, making our routine tasks seem insurmountable.
What causes stress in our lives?
Stress can be a result of many factors such as not exercising enough, taking too heavy a course load in law school, or being faced with serious financial woes. Relationship problems such as a failing marriage, the loss of a close friendship, or other relational breaks can also provide a great deal of stress. The demands of an overwhelming job or intense work environment are other common stressors. But stress affects people differently, with the events, situations and circumstances causing a different stressful reaction in different people. While some amount of stress is unavoidable, it is possible to effectively manage your stress by following some simple guidelines.
What can we do to overcome stress and its nasty side effects?
While there is no universally applicable solution, there are some practical techniques that can bring relief. The best thing to do is maintain a consistent exercise and nutrition program. Eating healthy, whole foods will help your body perform at its optimal level and avoid disease and illness. Regular exercise is possibly the most effective stress management technique as it produces “feel good” endorphins and is a wonderful release of tension. Consulting a health fitness specialist is good way to learn more about reducing stress through exercise.
Another great way to help reduce and manage your stress is to change your thoughts by focusing on the positive and on the present moment. Be sure to schedule time for yourself to do what you enjoy as a way to unwind and rejuvenate. In this process, you must learn to say “no” to the demands on your life that you simply don’t have time for or do not want to do.
Learning to free up your schedule will leave you feeling less stressed and more fulfilled. Managing stress may be difficult and it may take time to master, but you owe it to your health and your happiness to eliminate the unnecessary stress from your life.