Stress is a natural feeling of not being able to cope with specific demands and events. However, stress can become a chronic condition if you don't take steps to manage it effectively.
The truth is that it's so important to acknowledge stress so you can reduce it or cope with it a little better. Think of it like aiming for a 1% improvement….you may not be able to change the stressors in your life, but if you can manage the impact on your body 1% better, then you’ll stay healthier and be more equipped to handle the stress.
I’m the first person to pretend that stress is no big deal, so if you’re like me, then the two of us need to have a “Come to Buddha” moment and get real about how stress IS affecting our bodies….
Here are 7 ways: Stress increases cortisol production associated with weight gain (especially in the belly), an inability to lose weight or gain muscle and premature aging. Stress decreases nutrient absorption due to decreased enzymatic production from the stomach, pancreas and liver and decreased bile flow from the gall bladder.
Stress increases nutrient excretion such as urinary loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, selenium and microminerals. Stress decreases gut flora populations by destroying healthy intestinal bacteria and can lead to immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient deficiencies, and digestive distress. Stress increases salt retention which can lead to high blood pressure.
Look at your to-do list. What’s one item you can delegate to someone else in the next 24 hours? Consider your schedule today. Where can you fit in 20 minutes for yourself —where you’re not taking care of anyone else or being “productive”—so you can just relax and play and do something mindless?
Email me with questions or goals you may like to discuss. Just like eating habits and fitness habits, stress relief and self care practices contribute equally to overall wellbeing.
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