Stress is the number one epidemic of our civilization. It is directly or indirectly responsible for almost every disease such as heart attacks, strokes, depression, cancer and countless other diseases.
What is stress?: Defined as the perception of a physical or psychological threat. Let’s think of stress as not what happens to you but how you perceive what happens to you. Like the waves on the ocean; if you are a skillful surfer every wave is wonderful and exhilarating, if you don’t know how to surf or swim, every wave can feel life threatening and ominous.
What happens if you feel physically, emotionally or physiologically threatened?
All the interpretations of the stressful incidences in our life manifest in our imagination as possible fight or flight mode, fear, anger, anxiousness, resentment, hostility, all of which can be very toxic. Short term anger is okay, it’s a natural response to our bodies way of dealing with a situation. But then we need to quickly let those emotions go otherwise they can manifest into disease, depression, or an overstressed nervous system.
There are mental and physical changes that occur when we over load our body with stress: Lack of focus, panic attacks, agitation: The physical components can be skin eruptions, grinding of teeth, gastro intestinal disturbances, leaky gut, heart attack, strokes, heart palpitations, inflammation.
These are the physical manifestations such as behavioral changes that manifest into drug abuse, disruption of sleep, hormonal imbalances, aggressions.
The cost of stress very high to both individuals and to our family’s communities and nations.
We need to realize that stress is something we really need to be aware of and tackle head on.
So how can we start learning how to deal with these life stresses?
Here are a few suggestions:
Meditation & Prayer. A simple technique practiced for as few as 10 minutes per day can help you control stress, decrease anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation. Become aware of your breath as it moves in and out of your nostrils. Breathe in counting to 5 and as you breathe out count to 5. Sit in a quiet place or lay in a quiet place and totally relax your mind and body and spend time reflecting on what you are grateful for and thanking your maker for all that you are blessed with.
Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.
Accept what you cannot change & put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.