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How To Deal With Stress

We know that stress inhibits our ability to focus, but are you aware of how detrimental it is to your body and health as a whole? Stress is very harmful and leads to illness, disease and in extreme cases, death. This is why it’s so important to get a hold on it before it gets a hold on you. Here’s how to deal with stress written by Heidi Stevens for Chicago Tribune Health.

How To Deal With Stress

Before we look into how to beat stress, here’s what J. David Forbes, director of Nashville Integrated Medicine says about stress:

“Stress drives all kinds of biochemical changes in our bodies,” Forbes says. “It instantaneously increases our heart rate and blood pressure, makes our guts not function well and creates damage to our blood vessels and organs.”

This sounds scary doesn’t it? The good news is, that even in today’s fast paced world where we are surrounded by a myriad of stress-inducing situations, you can manage it. Here’s how to deal with stress, or at least one main method:

Break a sweat

Exercise, widely touted as a healthy outlet after stress hits, also protects the body from flying unnecessarily into crisis mode at the first sign of trouble.

“Exercise is a good stressor,” Singer says. “It gives your neurons a tiny little assault and they thicken in response, so they can better withstand a bigger assault.”

So hitting the treadmill will make life’s unexpected traffic jams less taxing on your brain and organs.

It also trains your brain to relax, says Seaward.

“When athletes engage in exercise they have a parasympathetic rebound,” he says. “When they stop, their bodies say, ‘It’s time for relaxation’ and they kick in a chemical called acetylcholine, also known as a relaxation hormone. If you look at our culture, we’re not exercising regularly. We’re training ourselves for stress, but we’re not training ourselves for relaxation.” Continue reading full article

Once again we see just how important exercise is in our lives. Not only is exercise the no.1 stress buster, but it’s fuel for our bodies, and is as important as food and water. It makes you feel amazing too!


How Stress Affects Your Health

Stress would appear to be the subject matter of the week – apologies for another one on this topic but I feel it’s so important to emphasise how important it is to reduce or eradicate the bad type of stress from your life. Here, Dr Peter Lind explains how stress affects your health For The Washington Times Communities. He starts by explaining how small doses of stress can be good for us, and get us out of trouble. However, when it’s sustained for long periods of time, it becomes detrimental to our health.

How Stress Affects Your Health

Manage Stress Before It Manages YouStage I. Alarm Reaction. This is caused by stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and the  adrenal gland. This first stage is immediate and short-lived. The adrenal gland releases hormones such as cortisol (hydrocortisone, the infamous “stress hormone”) and adrenaline that rush throughout the body. Tremendous amounts of glucose and oxygen are sent to the muscles and organs. You become immediately more alert, your heart pumps furiously, and fat and protein are released from your liver. Breathing rate increases, sweat increases, and digestion decreases. You are ready to flee or to fight!

These immediate effects of stress are normal, useful, and not harmful when when the stress is managed and short-lived. This is the challenge in life.

Your body’s responses in this alarm reaction are designed to increase circulation rapidly, make energy available to the brain and muscles, and decrease all nonessential activities so that you can concentrate on dealing with whatever caused the stress. But if the stress is too great and this reaction is too extreme or persists too long, it can cause catastrophic damage, severe illness, and death. We see this all the time and wonder what happened. “He was so healthy.” Apparently not.

Continue reading on Washington Times

Please share Dr Peter Lind’s article on how stress affects your health. It’s no wonder that people have strokes early or develop cancers / brain tumours and other illnesses. Many people endure very stressful jobs for their entire lives, and never address the fact that they’re stressed, as they become used to it. Manage it before it manages you! Simple tips like quitting your job (ok, not quite so easy), exercising, healthy eating, getting in touch with nature, listening to happy music, watching comedy, spending time with friends, more time with friends, and in happy environments are all very natural and effective ways to reduce stress. As you know, exercise is my favourite but this is daunting for some. Start off slow if you’re not used to it, then pick up the pace and get the blood flowing around your brain, release those endorphins into your brain and feel that happy high! You’ll never regret doing exercise. Ever.