Beat Stress

Avoiding stress is usually on the list for living a healthy lifestyle. It is typically behind eating healthy and exercising. I feel like eating healthy and exercising is in my control. Stress comes looking for me. Most of us do not intentionally place ourselves in stressful situations. Life circumstances bring stress into our lives.

Stress is a physical and mental response to life experiences. Everyone has stressful events in their life at some point of time. We have life events involving work, family, or health that may cause stress.

When you experience stress, your body responds by releasing a hormone that increases your heart and breathing rate. This is okay when you experience short-term stress; however, if you are experiencing long-term stress it can be detrimental to your health. Long-term or chronic stress can cause several health issues including depression, anxiety, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. With short-term stress you can feel the change in your body. Some people under chronic stress have experienced it for such a long time they ignore the impact on their body. They have insomnia, anxiety or are short tempered and do not realize that stress is at the root of their problem.

There are things you can do to help you cope with stress. It is okay to admit that you feel stressed. Practice self-care and do not feel like you are being selfish. There is nothing wrong with taking some time out for yourself. Find time to relax. Try deep breathing exercises, prayer, and meditation. Take a bubble bath. Listen to your favorite music. Use a journal to write down your feelings. Do not make unrealistic goals that you will pressure yourself to reach. (This also includes not letting other people create unrealistic goals for you.) You want to use positive activities to cope with stress. If you feel overwhelmed and cannot get a handle on your stress seek professional help.

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