We all know that stress is no fun, but in the midst of our frenzied lives, we may not take into consideration all of the areas of our lives that suffer when we are constantly stressed out.
While some may think that pushing ourselves as hard as possible, and sacrificing sleep and down-time for productivity are helping us reach our goals, this can actually be highly detrimental.
Whether your stress comes from working too much overtime, family issues, a personal dilemma, or just an underlying state of non-specific anxiety, chronic stress can be, quite literally, a killer.
The following are just five life areas that can dramatically improve if you make the decision to begin managing your stress right now:
If you are constantly stressed, you are putting many aspects of your health at risk. Chronic stress can lead to system-wide inflammation, which is recognized by many health experts to be a culprit in numerous chronic illnesses, including hypertension, heart disease and autoimmune disorders.
Stress can also weaken the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to infections and seasonal illness. Additionally, it can weaken metabolism, potentially leading to weight gain. Many people who are stressed overeat, or snack on unhealthy foods, in an attempt to relieve it, further putting on the pounds and increasing numerous health risks.
When you are stressed, it can be very difficult to sleep, and without quality sleep, the body, and the mind, cannot function properly. For the sake of your health as a whole, managing your stress is imperative.
If we are stressed most of the time, or all of the time, it can be nearly impossible to give our loved ones the care and attention that they deserve. If you get your stress in check, you will find that you can communicate better with your family members, are able to take more from your interactions with them, and can be a loving and attentive person to all of those around you – including yourself.
When under intense pressure or constant stress, it becomes very difficult for the mind to stay focused on the task at hand. This can lead to poor performance at work, mental blocks if you are endeavoring to work on a creative task, and general feelings of “scatteredness.”
Once you’ve dealt with your stress, however, you may find that you are able to be more productive, and that tasks that once seemed overwhelming can be completed with ease and efficiency. You may feel more creative, and have a clearer picture of your goals and how to reach them.
A more harmonious relationship with nature
How often do you stop and actually smell the roses, lay in the grass, or enjoy the feeling of wind on your face? If you are in a constant state of worry, you likely let these things fall by the wayside, as your mind is constantly consumed with whatever it is you are anxious about.
Managing your stress, on the other hand, can give you the mental space to look around and appreciate the world around you more. It may also help you foster a closer relationship with your food – maybe you’ve been running around and eating quick and not-so-healthy meals without thinking because you’re too busy.
When you are able to relax, you can more mindfully, and naturally, do whatever it is you are doing – instead of racing against the clock to complete your agenda.
Greater enjoyment of life
Along with taking more pleasure in the natural world, when you keep your stress levels in check, everything can become more enjoyable. Instead of being filled with angst, you can enjoy the quiet within, and focus on the present, making every moment an adventure instead of a burden.
Managing stress is an undertaking, we know, but there are many time-tested methods that can help. Meditation, yoga and tai chi are three such methods, performed since ancient times. Certain essential oils can also greatly help you unwind, and can enhance a meditation session when applied to pressure points.
It is also important to schedule some downtime into your busy day, to relax and do whatever activities help you to feel rejuvenated. Whether its spending time alone, or doing a fun activity with a friend, make it a priority.
If you find that your stress levels are out of control no matter what you try, it may be a good idea to talk to a counselor to get to the root of what’s bothering you, as well as a natural health professional, who can help you devise a natural stress-relief plan that fits with your needs.
-The Alternative Daily