Stress | Free Yourself | My 8 Ways
Since April is National Stress-Awareness Month, I want to talk to you about stress. How stress has affected my body, mind, lifestyle, and share with you 8 things I do that helps to keep my stress levels down....well, as best as possible.
What is stress?
1. pressure or tension exerted on a material object
2. a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Stress, is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, or the stress response.
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life—giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.Stress can also help you rise to meet challenges.
However, beyond a certain point, stress can stop being so helpful to you and begin causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships,....just the overall quality of life. Now, in my mid 30's, I am finding new ways that my health, mood, and lifestyle is affected by stress. Back in January of this year, I encountered a very uncomfortable situation with a "friend". I knew I wasn't very happy about the situation that took place but I had no clue how bad the situation was affecting me internally until one of my stress signs showed up.
One of my new stress signs is my hair falling out. Particularly, in the crown part of my head. I had been struggling with this area for about 2 years prior and finally gotten things under control. My hair was thicken, and growing back in that area. After a lot of trail and error with hair products and developing a routine, I discovered that stress was the main culprit. And it was confirmed recently, now that I have a peach fuzz spot in the center of my head after that encounter. But that wasn't the only thing happening to me. I wasn't able to focus on my work properly, I was getting upset easily about things I otherwise wouldn't, I was nausea (so I didn't want to eat), had emotional dreams and I just wanted to go far away. Being near water, preferably the beach was my thought and prayer. I couldn't believe how that situation was taking a toll on me. I was clearly stressed out and I needed to get my levels down before I trigger my Shingles again. I developed shingles at age 25 from a car accident; another stress induced infection that affects the body.
You see stress can affect you on all levels of your being. So, it's important to treat your stress on all those levels.
What are those different levels and their symptoms. Here are a few.
Inability to concentrate
Seeing only the negative
Anxious or racing thoughts
Anxiety and agitation
Moodiness, irritability, or anger
Loneliness and isolation
Other mental or emotional health problems
Aches and pains
Diarrhea or constipation
Chest pain, rapid heart rate
Loss of sex drive
Eating more or less
Sleeping too much or too little
Withdrawing from others
Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
So, after my encounter I had to develop a new routine(s) and increase my existing ways of relieving the stress in my life. Below are 8 ways, I FREE MYSELF from stress on all levels of my Being.
1. Drinking Teas
2. Healthy Smoothies
3. Healthy Diet
4. Exercising/ Meditation
8. LAUGHTER - anything to get your mind off the situation(s) it is a true medicine. My amazing friends Tiffany P. and Robin P. were there for me. I am crying now as I write this. But I truly appreciate them and love them dearly.