Stress Busters You Can't Pass Up
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz
Stress – we’ve all felt it. While the extrinsic effects of stress vary by the individual, stress impacts the body. Specifically, stress impacts how your body responds to the aging process. Stress ages the heart and can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. It also elevates your heart rate, which can wear the heart out over time.
Stress has also been shown to weaken the bones, make you sick and even make you fat! High levels of stress hormones, or cortisol, raise the body’s blood sugar, which can lead to insulin resistance, and also aggravate conditions like heartburn and inflammatory bowel problems.
The list of negative health impacts that stress has on the body goes on, but I’m sure you get the point. Let’s focus on what you can do to prevent suffering any of these stress-related issues!
Here are five ways you can mitigate the effects of stress:
Let it go. If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it! Oftentimes our reactions to stressful situations causes more problems than the situation itself.
Shift your focus. Instead of focusing on the problem, focus on the solution. By doing this, you divert your energy away from the problem to how to fix it, which gives you more control over the situation.
Practice redirection. When you’re stressed, it’s easy to focus on the negatives of the situation. This doesn’t do you any good! When you find yourself in a stressful situation, pause, take a deep breath, and redirect your mind to focus on positive thoughts and images.
Breathe deeply. You can balance your hormones and increase oxygen, both of which help calm your body’s response to stressors. So take a deep, belly breath.
Get moving! Exercise is the best medicine for stress, without the mood-flattening side effects of prescription pills. Plus, you have the added benefit of knowing that people who move more are bothered less by stress!
How do you combat stress? Stay tuned for my Mental Wellness Series! You will learn how your mental health and physical health are deeply entwined, and how to take care of the whole you.