Do you feel like your time is not your own? Like you are always on the go? Like the demands of life keep piling on top of each other and you are too exhausted to cope? Like there is no end in sight? We live in a stressed-out world. Do you know how dangerous stress can be to your health? The answer is scary. But there a light at the end of the tunnel. There IS hope.
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We no longer live in the day where we have to run from the saber-tooth tiger. Our stresses are about our jobs and kids and spouses and money and health and… life. This kind of long-term, chronic stress can result in a complete drain on your body. It’s not so much what chronic stress does to the nervous system, but what continuous activation of the nervous system does to other bodily systems that become problematic.
According to Lorenzo Cohen, PhD., Professor of General Oncology and Behavioral Science and Director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson, “stress has a profound impact on how your body’s systems function.”
Stress and Inflammation
Stress causes inflammation, which is one of the primary pieces of the puzzle needed to cause diseases such as cancer and autoimmune illness. Cancer survivors have an increased chance of developing cancer compared to individuals of the same age and gender who have not had cancer. Even worse, second cancers are more lethal than primary cancers.
Individuals with one autoimmune disease are more likely to develop others, compared with the same population who do not have an autoimmune disease. Dr. Gerald Mullin with Johns Hopkins stated that “someone with an autoimmune disease is at risk of a total of SEVEN autoimmune diseases in his or her lifetime.
These secondary illnesses are often due to the root cause of the initial problem not being addressed. Too often, after being sick, we go right back to our old lifestyle and never address the root cause of the illness. Inflammation is one of the primary causes of these kinds of diseases, and controlling stress is vital to achieving optimal health.
In addition to causing disease, stress can cause:
- Muscle tension
- Headaches and migraines
- Difficulty breathing
- Asthma attacks
- Panic attacks
- Heart attack
- Acid reflux
- Intimacy issues
- Changes in menstrual cycles.
I don’t know about you, but just reading that list stresses me out! Deep breaths…. deep breaths…
Stress is at an all-time high but the good news is that you can learn to understand and control it! Now, more than ever before, you MUST learn to address your stress!
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The Answers are Here
When I was going through an extremely difficult and stressful time, I tried to handle it. I was working full time, taking care of my family, growing Pink Fortitude, and dealing with a health crisis. I remember coming home late from work, going right into making dinner and family time. I had all of 15 minutes to myself before bedtime, so I ran downstairs to draw a bath. It was like… bath… GO. Mediation… GO. Bed… GO. Kinda didn’t work. But I tried.
Some of my favorite ways to legitimately handle stress:
- Take a bath. Like a real, long, warm bath.
- Diffuse Essential Oils such as lavender or frankincense or put a few drops in my bath.
- Practice yoga.
- Go for a walk.
- Sing and dance to 80’s music.
- Get a massage.
- Get acupuncture.
- Spend time with loved ones.
- Write in a gratitude journal.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m so busy and stressed, I don’t have time to de-stress with these silly activities. My advice – find what works best for you and stick to it. It’s better to get a grip on stress now, rather when your body shuts down or you are staring at a health crisis.
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Love, hugs, and I choose to be happy.HERE. Sources: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/866433 http://hypothyroidmom.com/autoimmune-diseases-brew-in-your-body-for-years-before-diagnosis/ http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/december-2014/how-stress-affects-cancer-risk.html.html https://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/stress-immune-system/