Stressed out By Stress

May 24, 2011

Stressed out By Stress

Currently I am sitting in my office being stressed about writing my blog.  What to write about?  I tend to procrastinate at times and this would be one of them.  As I write I feel the tension in my shoulders and neck.  This is where I and most people I know and treat “carry” their stress.  So why not discuss stress and all that it does to our bodies and minds. We all suffer from it at some point in time if not regularly.

Stress is a compounding factor in our day to day lives and the functioning of ourselves as living beings.  There is “good stress” and “bad stress”.  I never understood the concept of calling stress good.  I get the idea that a marriage, new child, new job etc., causes some stress but this is good because these are good things, right?  Wherever the stress comes from it still has the same effect on our bodies.  We get tense, short tempered, bowels change, headaches, acid reflux, muscle and neck aches.  This list goes on and on.

Much of the stress in our daily lives is self induced.  We have chosen our professions, spouse, house, cars, and friends.  Keeping up with the Jones’ is hard work.  We have so much to do and little time to do it.  Often they have no time because there is too much that they are involved in or have going on.  We have become a “do more and faster” society.  We can’t sit alone for very long without pulling out our phones and fiddling around with them.  When is the last time you sat in a quiet room and for how long?  Constant stimulation will increase stress.

Stress makes the following worse: illness, infection, asthma, anxiety, depression, cardiac disease, diabetes, blood pressure, bowel movements, ulcers, headaches, infertility, muscle tensions, sciatica…..shall I go on?  Not to mention that if any medical problems you already have worsen, or have something new crop up, your stress increases.  It is a vicious circle.

We all need to deal with our own stress in our own way.  Unfortunately, a common way to de-stress is to in-toxicate.  Alcohol is often used by people after work or a stressful event to wind down.  It is when this becomes a daily event or necessary to unwind that it has become a problem.  So be careful.  A better way is to do some form of exercise or strenuous activity.  Many of those I see for stress with or without anxiety do not work out at all or regularly.   I recommend that people do exercise 4-5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day.  This will help release endorphins from the body which are natural chemicals that relieve pain and calm the mind.  This is one of the reasons why acupuncture helps to ease pain and has a calming effect.  Yoga is also a great way to tone the body and relax the mind.  I will go into more detail on that in my next blog.

As the old adage goes, “take time to smell the roses.”  If we don’t, the stress of our day-to-day lives will have its toll.  Find your own healthy way to de-stress and relax.  So, when you are finished reading this, log off the computer and give yourself a much needed break.

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