Stress kills. It's that simple. It kills. Dead. Terminally dead. It can kill you suddenly (or what appears to be suddenly) via a heart attack or stroke, or it can take a long time as your body deteriorates slowly but earlier and faster than it would have otherwise and you become ill with life threatening diseases. It is said that the lion's share of visits to doctor's offices are in some way related to stress. But here's the kicker: Stress will happen in our life, but the real issue is not the stress, but how we deal and combat the stress. Here's a few simple ways to fight it off.
1. Exercise. Yep. I just read yet another article today that most people with anxiety issues that began a good solid exercise plan benefited from exercise as much as they would have from prescription drugs, and the only side effects were better health from the exercise! Get a good exercise plan in place pronto!
2. Don't procrastinate. Putting things off definitely creates more stress in your life. The next time you feel like procrastinating, remember the effect it has when you have to rush to accomplish whatever task it is you put off.
3. Work on being grateful. Anytime I have a patient feeling overwhelmed with stress, one of the things I encourage them to do is start a gratefulness journal. They are to write down 5 things daily that they are grateful for from that day, and why they are grateful for each thing. It takes your mind off of what's not right in your life, and puts it on what IS right in your life and how blessed you are.
4. Serve others. You want to feel better about your own life? Invest some time in the lives of others. There is no shortage of needs for volunteers at places like food pantries, women's shelters, tutoring underprivileged kids etc. Find a way to give back to the world that benefits others, with no strings attached.
5. Deep breathing exercises. Learn to get your body to relax by using techniques that slow your breathing, and allow your body to fully oxygenate with each breath. It's a proven fact that when under stress we start taking short shallow breaths, and that does nothing but create more stress on our body. Breathe in deeply through your nose, as deep as you can, and then slowly exhale til every bit of air is back out of your lungs. Do just 10 breaths like that when under stress, or if your stress is chronic, spend 10 minutes a day doing this.
I promise if you practice these 5 things, the effects of stress will be minimized significantly, to the point where you might even be able to stop certain medications if you've been prescribed some for your stress. Give it a go, you've got nothing to lose and a lifetime of health and wellness to gain!
Until next time...Be Well!!!