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What is Stress? Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain caused by unfavorable circumstances. The physical and emotional reaction commonly occurs when people experience a change in their life. This normal reaction happens to everyone and the way you respond to stress makes a big difference in your overall well-being.
What is the Impact of Stress on Your Body? Stress effects both your physical and mental health. Your body releases cortisol when it feels stressed. Cortisol is a hormone that increases sugar in your bloodstream and glucose in your brain. It slows down your immune system and digestive system. It is part of your natural fight or flight response to danger.
Impact on your Physical Health: If you are in a high stress situation like a car accident, then the system worked as intended, however if your brain becomes stressed over daily inconveniences or past trauma than it can have a disruptive effect on your physical health.
- Digestion issues
- Muscle Tension
- Sleep Issues
Impact on Your Mental Health:
- Little to No Motivation
- Not Capable to Calm Your Mind
6 Ways to Relieve Stress:
- Exercise– Working out is shown to release endorphins and lower cortisol levels in your body. It is a great way to get your mind off of intrusive thoughts. Try to work out outside, as spending time in nature has also been known to lower stress levels. Practicing yoga at home can be beneficial to you in that you do not have to worry about if anyone is watching you you can simply stretch on your own time and at your own pace. This yoga matt is so perfect, and I use it every day!
- Mindfulness- Being aware and present in your life can help you so much, as if you are not than your mind can wander to the future or past, which in return can trickle down to negative thinking and stress. Focus on thinking positively. What is going well in your life right now? What are you thankful for?
- Keep a journal– The simple act of writing can help reduce stress. Make a list of the things you need to do to prepare then check it off when you are done in your journal. Seeing how much you have accomplished may help quiet your mind and take it off of your fight of flight mode.
- Spend time with your pets or loved ones- This is an awesome way to reduce stress. The presence of a loved one or your dog will help your body and brain relax. Also, it can be healthy to talk about what is stressing you out with a loved one but do not get stuck on it. Don’t forget to also talk about more positive things as well.
- Laugh- The physical act of laughing reduces stress. Watch your favorite funny movie, see a comedy show, or visit a friend who always know how to make you laugh.