Stress is part of life, yours and mine, we all have some level of stress, right?
We can experience various levels of stress from the temporary (acute), or the long-term (chronic).
The temporary stress usually won’t mess with your health too much. It is your body’s natural reaction to circumstances, and can even be life-saving.
Then, when the “threat” (a.k.a. “stressor”) is gone, the reaction subsides, and all is well.
This is the type of stress most of us busy women normally experience. We need to get something done and we go in “stress mode” until we have the project completed. This is when my family normally disappears – just leave mama alone and she’ll be back to normal later.
It’s when we stay in constant stress mode that is dangerous for our health. You see, your body has specific stress reactions. If these stress reactions are triggered every day or many times a day that can mess with your health. I call it enemy number one – cortisol
If you are so busy and can’t let go of the stress that has invaded your life, I want to share how this type of stress can have a huge impact on your health and give you some tips on how to unwind naturally and protect your health.
Here’s four ways stress messes with your health….
Health Mess #1 – Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
Inflammation is the biggest health issue that my clients suffer with. When we first meet, we discuss their lifestyle and eating habits. It doesn’t take me long to determine that their inflammation is caused by their lifestyle.
When you’re under chronic stress, your body releases way too much cortisol into your system. This compromises your health on so many levels with an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes being top on the list.
Chronic stress promotes chronic inflammation, affecting your blood “thickness,” as well as how well your cells respond to insulin.
Health Mess #2 – Immunity
You may be so busy that you just get mad when you get sick. I know I do. I tell myself “I don’t have time for this” and keep moving forward. Yet, when you’re under chronic stress your body’s immune system becomes weakened.
Do you notice that you get sick more often when you’re stressed? Maybe you get colds, cold sores, or even the flu more frequently when you are stressed?
Well, that’s because our enemy number one “cortisol” affects our immune system to the point that our body is less able to do its job effectively.
Health Mess #3 – “Leaky Gut.”
Have you heard of “leaky gut”?
This is my specialty and let me tell you, “stress can contribute to leaky gut”.
Not sure what that means? It means that your gut has been weakened and partially digested food, bacteria or other things are leaking out of your digestive system into your body to be absorbed into your body. I know, not a pretty picture.
Our enemy number one “cortisol” can open tiny holes by loosening the grip your digestive cells have to each other and allow the leaks to start.
Health Mess #4 – Sleep Disruption
How’s your sleep? How much sleep are you getting each night?
This is another area I discuss with my clients. I’m amazed at the lack of sleep most people experience. The inability not to go sleep to the constant waking up during the night. Do you experience sleep disruption?
It’s often difficult to sleep when your mind cannot turn off when you lay down at night. Stress and sleep go hand-in-hand, wouldn’t you agree?
Have you noticed that your energy level, memory, ability to think, and even your mood are affected by your lack of sleep.
Now that you know why your health may be in a mess, let’s look at some ways to relieve chronic stress.
Here’s my best stress-busting tips you can start using today….
Let me challenge you to step back and try to reduce the stressors in your life. You may think “Well, that’s easier said than done.” I totally understand, but let me ask you…
- Put less pressure on yourself?
- Ask for help?
- Say “no”?
- Delegate to someone else?
- Finally, make that decision?
I understand that you won’t eliminate stress altogether in your life. We’re too busy for that, right?
Here’s some things you can do to help reduce the chronic stress in your life and its effect on you:
- Deep breathing
- Walk in nature
- Unplug (read a book, take a bath)
- Exercise (yoga, tai chi, etc.)
- Connect with loved ones
We can’t eliminate all the stress in our life, but we can take control of the way we respond to the circumstances we find ourselves in. My goal for you, is that you will take the time to look at the stressors in your life and stop the downward spiral before your health is compromised.
You don’t need to try this on your own, contact me and we’ll develop a plan of action that you can implement to help you live healthier.
Whether you’re living with temporary stress or chronic stress, there are some days we just need some help to relax.
Here’s my favorite way to calm myself – Chamomile Peach Tea