Everyone says they are stressed at some point in their lives. Stress is an adaptive response to an urgent need, whether it be navigating through a difficult situation, conflict with others, or taking action because you are in danger. We feel stress both emotionally and physically.
After the urgency is over, we are able to reset our nervous system to rest and recover phase. This is the phase that we want our bodies to be in the majority of the time. Sadly, in today’s environment, we spend extended periods of time in the fight or flight stress mode and much less time in the rest and recovery mode.
When we are in a prolonged stressful state, it is called Chronic Stress. It can infiltrate every aspect of our lives; our emotional state, physical wellbeing, and how we interact with others. It can rob us of our joy and resilience. Here are some reported health problems associated with chronic stress.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Decreased libido
- Rapid heart rate/palpitations
- Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
- Appetite changes with weight loss/weight gain
- Cravings and addictions
- Depressed immune system
- Body aches and pains of the head neck and back
- Mood changes such as irritability, anxiety, and depression
- Sleep issues and decreased energy
- Brain fog/memory issues
- Digestive issues
It is important to learn to recognize when you are in a stressed state and find ways to calm your mind. If you feel you are in a crisis and don’t know what to do, please seek professional help. Going it alone when you are in a crisis is not helpful. Reach out to another human being to support you.
As humans, we are designed to tolerate physical, mental, and emotional stress for short periods of time. If we have a healthy lifestyle and a strong social/spiritual network, we are more resilient and can recover quickly.
When you are already stressed and overwhelmed, making lifestyle changes can seem overwhelming. Pick just one thing that you can start this week to support your health, such as getting more sleep and stick with the plan. As you master getting better sleep, move on to another health goal.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and would love a step-by-step plan with support, reach out to email@example.com.