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Stress, Chronic Illness, and Relaxation

Updated: May 24, 2021

This world can be intense! We live in a time where everything is go-go-go! You’re expected to constantly multi-task and juggle: the kids, work, the house, extended family, school, activities, meal plan, exercise… It can be overwhelming...stressful.

Stress today is different than say… when we were running for our lives from a stampede back in the day. The body has a biochemical stress response to literally save our lives, the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight mechanism). This makes our bodies ready to get the hell out of the way. When we perceive a danger, a whole slew of things take place. Here’s a few: epinephrine (a.k.a adrenaline) and cortisol are released, the heart rate and breathing increases, the pupils dilate, glycogen is released into your bloodstream ( basically a form of stored sugar), and more..... And then your body is off to the races! The problem is, when you are under chronic stress, your body STILL does all of this. Which then leads to a list of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes type II, obesity, autoimmune disorders, lowered immune function, chronic headaches, increased inflammation, cancer, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, shrinkage of the brain, memory loss, high blood pressure, faster aging ...and more!! Insert mind-blown emoji here because it still blows my mind every time I think about it.

Take control of stress!

…So what can we do? Find an EFFECTIVE way to manage your stress and keep it under control. Here is a list of ways you can get your stress under control:

  • Talk to someone, a coach, a counselor, a therapist, a head of your church, a therapeutic group like Alcoholics Anonymous

  • Exercise- I personally favor a walk in nature.

  • Journaling

  • Meditation (see my mindfulness blog post )

  • Practice Yoga or Qi Gong ( Qi Gong is one of my personal favorites)

  • Emotional Freedom Tapping

  • Take inventory of what your priorities are and see if you’re overdoing it

  • Learn to say no if you are taking on too much

  • Deep breathing exercises will help kick in the parasympathetic nervous system ( the opposite of the flight or fight, it’s the rest and digest system)

  • Make sure you are sleeping enough.

  • Decrease/ stop illegal drugs, alcohol, and stimulants like caffeine.

  • Have fun! Spend time doing something you love.

  • Get a massage.

  • Sit outside and observe nature, the animals, the way the wind feels on your face, the insects, the trees and flowers.

  • Watch or read something funny.

  • Make a to do list and get more organized.

  • Clear clutter in your spaces.

  • Take some time for yourself.

Being under constant stress is no joke and it can have lasting effects on your body. If you always feel stressed out, then it’s time to do something different.


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