It sneaks up on you; following you around, taking control of your mind. It then roots itself in your body manifesting into disease. What are we talking about here? Stress.
Many people are unaware of chronic stress and the fact that it’s linked to the six leading causes of death in North America (American Psychological Association). Today, more than 75% of all physician visits are for stress-related conditions and complaints.
Stress is inevitable. You will experience some form of stress every day. Stress can be mental, emotional or physical and can affect your health on all aspects. When your body experiences stress, certain hormones are released instructing your body to go into either fight or flight mode. When this response to stress becomes a daily event for your body, serious health conditions can develop.
Most people believe they handle stress well and don’t experience it too often. Stress however can be an intense situation like a new diagnosis or grief of a passed loved one or as simple as getting stuck in traffic and running late for work. Your body can’t differentiate between the two; stress is stress no matter how simple or severe and can lead to negative subconscious habits such as stress-eating.
Coping Mechanisms for Stress
Deep breathing – Taking a few deep breaths throughout the day can help alleviate the feeling of anxiety and exhaustion. Start with taking a deep breath to the count of 4 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds and then release it for another 4 seconds.
Journaling – Journaling is a great way to let your thoughts out before bed. Buy a journal that appeals to you in texture and appearance and truly make this journaling time your special time to.
Speaking with someone – Whether to a trusted friend or a therapist, speaking your thoughts out loud can reduce the amount of stress you’re holding onto. Find a life coach or therapist that offers a free consultation so you can get the feel of speaking to someone and better understand your own needs as well as how a professional can help.
Exercise – Where the mind goes the body will follow. Exercise releases happy hormones into the body and stress out of the body. Even a quick but intense 20-minute workout or walk can really impact your mindset and body.