Stress. Everybody has it. Nobody likes it. Some of you don't even realize how bad your stress levels are. Remember the statistics I mentioned in the last post.....80% of serious illnesses are exacerbated by stress. Eighty percent, people. That's bat shit crazy.
What is stress? How bad does something need to be to be considered stress?
How do you know if you are dealing with stress? Are there signs?
What Are The Signs Telling You?
Here's the skinny on this crazy thing called stress. There are signs that tell you you've been hit with a load of stress. Your body is in charge of giving you the signs so listen to it. You may start with not feeling well and there's a long list of what that can be. Most of the signs are listed in the previous post. But I'll do a little recap here. Your body may be telling you with an increase in headaches or their intensity, eye twitching, teeth grinding, weight gain, sleepless nights, irritability, stomach issues, high blood pressure, hair loss, decreased job performance.......just to name a few.
You have the ability to manage your stress. You can not afford to ignore your stress one more day. You must make it a priority and start listening to what your body is telling you. I will give you some tips on how you can start listening to your body and start managing your stress. But first I want you to have a clearer understanding about what is happening to your body when it gets loaded with stress.
When stress rears its ugly head and you feel out of control.... YOUR body is in overload. Your body releases hormones when stressful situations occur. These hormones are Cortisol, Adrenaline, and Noradrenaline...... with Cortisol being the biggest and baddest of the three.
I will attempt to sum up the stress response in as few words as I can:
- Stress hits
- Fight or flight response kicks in.
- Adrenaline, Noradrenaline, and Cortisol hormones are released
- At this time everything around you is perceived as a threat
- You are focused on short term survival
- A new stress hits
- Repeat 2-5
- A new stress hits
- Repeat 2-5
- Now you are absolutely overloaded with stress
- You feel helpless
- You feel frustrated
- You feel defeated
- You want it all to just go away
Stress That Little Bitch
The fourteen steps above happen more often than you think. First, you may not recognize something as stress, but when you get hit time and time again with something stressful you start feeling it. Stress is a bad ass little bitch.
When I was in college BOY oh BOY was I stressed. Going to college later in life is not that easy. So many things to try to balance. And stuff just piles up and doesn't go away.
Here is my list of the stressors I had during my college days:
- Maintaining household
- Getting a passing grade
- More bills
- Where will I find a job
- Should I even be doing this
Twitching And Grinding
My last year in college I had so many episodes of eye and lip twitching it drove my bonkers. I even started grinding my teeth. I would wake up with terrible tension headaches and I had no idea I was super stressed. I thought I had everything under control. Then at my dental checkup I was told I had pretty much fractured all of my back teeth lower and upper due to jaw clinching/grinding my teeth. My dentist ask me about my stress levels. WOW! What? I didn't have any stress. Um, oh yes I did. I started paying more attention and found that I was grinding my teeth in class, when I was studying, and when I was driving. Geesh. No wonder my head and jaw hurt.
I also started having stomach issues around this same time......bleh! Not because of school this time. But when I ended a toxic relationship I was in.........BOOM stomach issues gone. I noticed after eliminating this high level stress a lot of other things that stressed me before didn't have the same effect on me. WIN!!
I now pay attention to what my body is telling me. If my stomach hurts (longer than a day), I take a good look at what is going on in my life and what might be the cause. Then I deal with it. Any change in my body stirs a response for me to take a good long look at everything in my life that may be causing issues with my health, relationships, appetite, sleep, and attitude.
What Do You Feel?
Are you feeling irritable, depressed, angry, anxiety, increased heart rate, upset stomach......STOP. What in your environment is causing you to feel this way? Okay.....Now, know this. YOU can change how you feel about these situations. In Mind Management I go into detail how you can change your thought about a situation to improve your results. Now would be a great time to get caught up on all the awesome info in Mind Management.
Back to the stress hormones....especially Cortisol. When you sit and dwell on a problem your body is continuously releasing Cortisol. Too much Cortisol may lead to decreased immune system, weight gain, depression, acne, increase blood pressure.......and these are just a few of what can be effected.
Get It Off The Back Burner
Managing how you handle your stress and how you think about the situation that is causing your stress is not something you can keep putting on the back burner......."Eh, I'll get to it later". That's not working for you now. Stop putting it off. Stop putting your health at risk. It's up to you to make these changes and learn how to manage your stress.
This is a lot to gnaw on. I know. Don't ignore what your body is telling you. Deal with stress. Makes changes where changes need to be made. Move forward don't idle in a bad situation. Ask for help. Talk to your BFF.
Next in Stress Management foods and exercise that can lower stress.
Till next time my lovelies.....Be amazing. Be sassy. Be full of life.