Chronic exposure to high levels of stress harms health, according to medical studies, which advise techniques to alleviate stress. Anxiety and tension in the mind and body caused by trying external conditions are called stress. This does not imply that people should constantly be under pressure; on the contrary, a life devoid of stress would be dull and unfulfilling. The body loses muscle mass and bone density without regular exercise, making it more susceptible to injury.
When the “flight or fight” response (the body’s natural reaction to stress) is constantly activated, it can adversely affect health. In each case, a unique combination of circumstances may contribute to the development of chronic stress. When three or more stressful events, such as a death in the family, an accident, and a terrible work environment, occur within one year, health professionals say that our physical condition and sense of well-being begin to deteriorate. The disease is responsible for fewer than half of the harmful health outcomes, according to one expert interviewed in a recent NPR show with professionals in the health field; socioeconomic and environmental factors have even greater weight on overall health. This means that there are a variety of factors that affect people’s lives that are beyond their control. The film “Unnatural Causes – is inequality making us sick?” examines the relationship between health and the environment.
Taking excellent care of oneself and learning effective stress management techniques are essential for coping with stress. A single traumatic event or a cumulative effect of multiple stressors can contribute to chronic high stress. In either instance, the best way to deal with stress is to use a combination of techniques. Remember that health is wealth, and you want the finest counsel you can receive, which is why I will recommend consulting a holistic physician several times in the coming paragraphs.
Take care of your health as the first step in your stress management plan. The “fight or flight” reaction is activated by the brain and brain chemistry, leading to muscle tension and other detrimental physical effects. In our high-stress society, practically everyone suffers from sleep deprivation, making getting enough high-quality sleep more critical than ever. No amount of medication (which usually just masks symptoms) or therapy can restore the body’s natural equilibrium if sleep
deprivation is chronic. Visit a holistic doctor, naturopath, or another holistic health practitioner if you’re having trouble sleeping; treatments like acupuncture, herbal teas, and supplements have all shown promise in scientific studies as ways to reduce stress and promote sleep. Our bodies repair and rejuvenate during deep sleep; without it, we gradually decline in health. The soothing effects of a massage typically persist for several days after the treatment, ensuring that you get a restful night’s sleep. Get a massage once a month for maintenance and once a week for extreme stress. If money is tight, visit a massage therapy school’s student clinic. If your doctor prescribes massage therapy, your insurance may pay the cost. Many chiropractors also employ massage therapists, so check with your provider to see if you qualify.
Even more so for people with chronic stress, eating well is essential. Food allergies are prevalent and can cause many issues, such as pain, inflammation, anxiety, brain fog, muscular tension, and inability to sleep. If going to a holistic doctor to identify food sensitivities is financially prohibitive, I highly recommend reading up on the elimination diet. Ask around or see a holistic doctor about great books on how to conduct your research into possible food allergies. The book “8 Ways to Optimum Health” by Dr. Timothy Weil is informative regarding diet and provides a beautiful summary of fundamental self-care practices. Consider switching to a diet based on whole foods based on the numerous studies and books that detail the health catastrophe that is the typical American diet. Many health professionals recommend taking it slow if you primarily eat fast food and processed foods. Cutting out sugar and processed meals, particularly refined carbs like white bread, is essential as a first step.
If you have a sedentary job, exercising is even more critical. Weight-bearing exercise is the most effective way to increase bone density, and it can be done at home with or without various DVDs to motivate one. Walking outdoors is recommended in almost every article on stress management and overall health. Famous doctors like Dr. Anthony Weil and Dr. Oz advocate for the health benefits of regular Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong practice. Taking a course can boost motivation and prevent the regularity of the program from wearing you down.
Life is too short to waste on negative thinking, so train yourself to think positively instead. The mind is powerful, and dwelling on things negatively won’t help but will increase the body’s stress reaction. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” or some variation thereof, is a well-known prayer that encourages us to maintain a balanced perspective and avoid becoming overwhelmed by events beyond our control.
Breathe… use Dr. Weill’s 4-7-8 breathing technique all day long. You can count on it!
Substitute green and herbal tea for coffee if you consume large amounts of the former. Despite coffee’s periodic shaming over the years, some varieties may offer health benefits. Too much of anything is bad for you, so try switching to tea or Maté in the afternoon or evening instead. Green tea has a calming impact on the body because it includes the amino acid l-theanine. Try to avoid sugar.
Spend time with loved ones and friends. Pick up the phone and have some quality individuals over for quality social time. Spend some time doing things that bring you joy; doing so will do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit. It would be best to keep a journal; Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity” is an excellent resource because it’s based on the author’s life and provides guidance gleaned from her writing.
Don’t try to handle everything on your own. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if needed; seeing things clearly while we’re in the thick of things is tough. Even though they’re close to you, your friends and family may not have the wisdom to guide you through tough choices. Having a neutral “coach” to advise on coping mechanisms during extreme stress can be invaluable. If you’re experiencing significant stress at work without receiving any tangible advantages, it’s time to start thinking about your options. If you’re stuck in a rut, keeping a journal can help you figure out what’s causing the problem and how to get out. Dr. Wayne Dyer’s books and audio recordings might help you take the plunge and make a difference if you’re in a toxic work environment or want more out of life. Doing what we love infuses our lives with such vibrancy that it feels nearly magical.
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