How Stress and Anxiety Can Damage Your Health
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I constantly hear the words “I am so stressed!”
Obviously, the last couple of years have caused a lot of people to experience fear, become anxious, or to just plain old worry.
It’s all around us. Everywhere we turn we are surrounded by opportunities for stress to overcome us. Or around people that are stressed and then stress us out!
And I can tell you that in my life alone, I have suffered the poor health and trouble that comes from stress and anxiety.
Why is everyone so stressed out all of the time?
Really, look at our lives. We stay busy. We let work overwhelm us. We are constantly going in a million different directions.
But no one ever slows down, or lets stressful situations go. It’s so easy to succumb to the events in our lives that bear down on us, and allow our health and happiness to suffer.
Sometimes, it’s OK to say “no”. To events, or people, or family, or even work.
What happens to your body when you get or stay stressed?
- High Blood Pressure
- Upset Stomach
- No Motivation
- Over Eating/Under Eating
- Alcohol Abuse
None of that is good. And long term stress can cause long term illness. And not just physical illness, but mental and spiritual as well.
My husband suffered from gout for several years.
He had a corporate America job that was very demanding on his time. It was nothing normal for him to work 7 days a week and sometimes up to 80 hours a week.
He made good money, but it really wasn’t worth it.
When we first bought our farm, we didn’t move here for a year. We would come to visit a few days at a time, once a month, and then go back to Houston. After a couple of trips, I noticed my husband didn’t have any gout or inflammation issues while at the farm.
I mentioned that to him and he realized that the minute we got in the car to head back to Houston, he would have a flare up. Heading home he would think about having to go back in to work, and all of the work that would be piled up waiting on him when he returned. You can’t tell me that stress doesn’t have anything to do with his health.
Now that we live full time on our farm, he has not had a single gout attack. AMAZING!
I know not everyone can just up and quit their job. Or get out of a stressful relationship. Or abandon certain overwhelming responsibilities.
But there are some things you can do to help your body through the rough and stressful situations.
Sometimes just taking a walk around the block can help release pent up frustration and help you think clearly.
Practice Relaxing Breathing Techniques:
Yoga, deep breathing exercises, inhaling calming essential oils, can all help clear your thoughts.
Keep a Good Sense of Humor:
If I didn’t have my sense of humor, I would be buried under a pile of stress. It’s important to be able to laugh through the hard things. Because there will always be stressful times.
Spend Time With Calming People:
We all have that one friend or family member that, just being in their presences, makes us feel at peace and relaxed.
Pick Up a Hobby:
A hobby is a great way to de-stress! Spending time doing something you love and makes you feel creative is one of the best ways to take your mind off the stress of the world around you. Gardening is my relaxing, de-stressing hobby!
You know, a lot of the toxins and chemicals in our processed foods contribute to our stress. When those toxins mess with your hormones and body, it’s harder to fight off those side effects of stress.
Get Some Sleep:
How much sleep do you get a night? It’s easy to get caught up in surfing the internet or watching TV, and before you know it, the hours have passed and you get an unhealthy 4 or 5 hours of sleep. You need at least 8 to maintain your health!
Redirect Your Focus:
We are told all the time to not think about the bad circumstances we face, but to count our blessings. Focus on the good in our lives. There is so much to be grateful for in my life, and I'm sure in yours. My family, my work, friends, a good church, and my God. And time in the Word and in prayer is one of my healthiest habits for combating the stresses of life.
Don’t let stress rob you of a healthy, happy life.
And if you want to know more of my great stress escape, just shoot me an email, I would be happy to chat with you!
What about you? Have you ever suffered from the poor health side effects of stress? What have you learned about yourself to get through those situations?