Stress exists in your mind. But it also affects your heart, stomach, muscles and even your toes. According to Ronald Glaser, Ph.D, a researcher at Ohio State University Medical School, stress may affect every cell in your body. Stress affects health.
CORTISOL – THE STRESS CHEMICAL
During stressful times, the body produces various chemicals, including cortisol. Cortisol is an immune-suppressing hormone and it means danger!!. The more stressed you become, the more cortisol is produced. This results in a weakened immune system making a person more susceptible to illness. A one-day stressor isn’t going to hugely affect your immune system, but a chronic ongoing stressor that lasts for weeks will dampen your immune response to disease. So it’s clear that stress affects health.
By getting a better understanding of the connection between stress and disease and making a decision to reduce your stress you will be able to get a greater sense of physical health and well-being.
Tips for Keeping Stress in Check
We can’t avoid stress, it’s a part of living. But to stay healthy we need to keep it in check.
- Recognize your stress signals
- Prepare yourself when you know you are going to face a situation that is going to stress you. For example, visualize going into the stressful situation with confidence until it looses its fear factor. Winning starts in the head.
- Exercise – produces healthy chemicals.
- Eat a healthy diet
- Stay connected with friends and family.
- Take up a relaxing, enjoyable hobby.
- Learn relaxation techniques.
- Learn to set limits, learn to say NO!
- Get sufficient sleep.
- Limit caffeine intake. Learn more about the pros and cons of coffee
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Learn to control your breathing to prevent hyperventilating in anxious situations. Click here for more …
What to do when dealing with serious stress.
- Avoid unnecessary changes in your life while you work on the problem.
- Quieten your mind. The mind can make things worse than they really are by predicting disaster. Keep your thoughts in the present.
- Pluck up courage and face whatever is stressing you. Avoidance, although tempting doesn’t help as the stress will keep coming back.
- Look at previous success in coping with stress and what worked for you.
- Action plan. Decide on a course of action and stick to the plan.
- Take time out and relax. Listen to relaxing, uplifting music, taking a walk, gardening, reading or exercising will help.
You’re important so be aware of how stress affects your health.