Do you know the dangers of chronic stress?
Truth: chronic stress can kill you, or at least too much of it can.
If unchecked and un-managed, the constant exposure to stress can wreak havoc in all aspects of your life.
We all agree that being overloaded isn’t a good feeling in general. But uncontrolled stress can also have ripple effects in your personal and professional lives, at work and at home.
Two real dangers of chronic stress:
- Immune System. Both chronic and acute stress can weaken your immune system, putting you more at risk for everyday illnesses.
Individuals who manage their stress well have fewer bouts with the common cold, allergies, and seasonal flu.
- Other Health Risks. Exposure to stress, especially uncontrolled stress, takes a toll physiologically on your body.
- Certain chemicals, such as dopamine, epinephrine, and other neurotransmitters are released during times of stress. You may experience higher blood pressure, increased heart rate, and other symptoms when you’re stressed.
- High stress levels have been linked with many health challenges and illnesses. You are at a greater risk for strokes, heart attacks, headaches and migraines, and other cardiovascular diseases if you don’t have a system in place for dealing with and managing stress.
- Cancer has even been linked with uncontrolled stress in some research studies.
What Would YOUR Life be like Without Chronic Stress?
By now, you should start to see some of the dangers of chronic stress.
Hopefully, you are starting to see why it’s important to examine the stressors in your daily life. But you can’t stop there.
Once you identify the source(s) of your chronic stress you have to work towards eliminating some of the issues.
Have an effective stress management plan will make you feel better overall, in both your physical and mental health.
Here are just a few of the benefits of reducing chronic stress:
- More energy
- Less physical pain,
- Better and more quality of sleep because your mind won’t be preoccupied with stress.
- Better concentration and focus
- Calmer mood, and less irritability.
Without chronic stress you will also have lower rates of depression, less adjustment disorders, and fewer emotional and mental health issues.
The Simple Secret to Managing Your Stress – Put Yourself First!
Since you have read this far, you understand more about the dangers of chronic stress.
Some women feel that dealing with stress is part of their job, is that how you feel?
If you feel that you just “deal” with it, or that you work well under pressure, then you are doing more harm to yourself than good.
Many employers, institutions and organizations today recognize the dangers of chronic stress. They realize that it affects productivity and profitability. That’s why they offer “wellness plans,” and team-building workshops as part of human resources
Do You Need A Personalized Plan?
There are all sorts of ways to get your stress under control.
But the best way for you to get your stress down is by designing a plan that is individually tailored to you and your schedule.
Simple stress-reducing practices to include in your customized stress management plan:
- Meditation and mindfulness. Meditation and mindfulness have a positive effect on our stress level and our ability to manage stress.
- These practices involve setting aside at least five or ten minutes each day to spend in a quiet space, free of distractions. Try zentangling and watch your stress melt away. Zentangling (R) is an easy-to-learn method of pattern drawing that reduces stress while promoting creativity. A basic zentangle kit is all you need for meditation, relaxation, inspiration and…fun!
- Paying attention to your body’s natural breathing patterns is an important part of these practices. Focus on your breath and alleviate your stress.
- Exercise is also a way to de-stress. The release of endorphins to your brain acts as a buffer against stress, and is almost like a natural antidepressant.
Whether you go for a daily walk (like I do) or take a trip to the gym, the physical activity is good for both your brain and body.
The most important part of any personalized stress management plan is establishing a routine.
Set aside a specific portion of your day, even if you have to schedule breaks in your work day. That’s the best way to ensure that you’re giving yourself the time you need to de-stress.
For instance, I schedule my daily walk for 6 AM every day (except weekends). I schedule lunch with my mom for 2 PM every day (including weekends). I schedule time with my best friend and for volunteer work every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday! But I also schedule alone time, and downtime for every Saturday 4pm!
If you take the dangers of chronic stress serious, you got to act, NOW!
You cannot get rid of stress by just reading about it. If you don’t get your chronic stress under control, your physical, mental, and overall well-being WILL suffer.
Start reducing your chronic stress today with a regular routine of meditation, mindfulness, time with friends/family, alone time and exercise.
Soon, you’ll be singing the praises of your practices as you see your stress melt away and you enjoy greater health.
It’s easier than you think…once you are motivated, determined and disciplined!