Today life is layers of busy schedules, many of which often don’t include time for “self” on the daily TO DO List. You maybe aware of tight shoulders or neck, increased pain, being worn out by certain co-workers or family members, but you ignore it. Ignoring stressors gives them time to become bigger stressors that can become bigger health problems or contribute to chronic pain.
“We do have the time, we don’t make the time.” — J. Peebles
Stress is not all bad. When it is in small manageable doses, it can be an incentive to do and be better. However, when you constantly work and run in emergency mode, your mind, body and soul pay for it. You and others may notice you are overwhelmed, frazzled, short-tempered, or unhappy more than your normal.
Stress is your body sensing and responding to any kind of danger, demand or threat. When the body senses danger, real or perceived, its defenses kick in high gear. These are automatic processes known as fight or flight, or stress response.
This is your body’s way of helping and protecting you. When it works well, it helps you to be focused, mindful and alert. Like having the extra strength to defend yourself in an emergency situation.
There is a point when stress is not a helper. The nervous system isn’t the best at knowing the difference between emotional and physical threats. Chronic stress can add to or create major health issues, such as mental wellbeing issues, digestive issues, weakened immune system, aches and pain, heart diseases, or problems with sleep, weight, memory or thinking.
Make time to improve how you handle stress with one, some or all of the following.
Move Energy.Science has proven that regular exercise does lift one’s mood. Increase your activity and break the cycle of stress.
Connect with People. Spend time with others whom you enjoy and are comfortable to be around. In person, connections can trigger our stress reliever hormones. Pets can be helpful, too.
Connect to Your Senses.A quick way to reduce stress is by connecting to one or more of your senses: sight, sound, taste, touch or moving. Find ones that work well for you.
Practice Relaxing.You can’t remove all stress from your life, but you can change how it affects you. Techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and healing touch can activate your body’s relaxation response, allowing you to experience the opposite of the stress response.
Improve Your Diet.Foods you eat can improve mood or make it worse. Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of green vegetables.
With awareness of your body, and mind, you can make time to protect it. “In-powering” how you mentally think and feel means learning to know the signs and symptoms of your chronic stress. Everything that you are mindful of can be addressed. Knowing your nervous system is overwhelmed gives you a chance to create balance. Make the time, or just find a little, to take steps to help reduce those harmful effects.
And, enjoy the results!