Are You Stressssed Out?


There’s a million things pulling at  us  from every angle. There’s our spouses, the kids (that one in and of itself is enough to send your sanity packing…), your responsibilities with work, Mt Laundry to conquer, a house to clean, grocery shopping to be done, menu planning, getting to the gym for your work out (if you’re not as lucky as me to work in a gym!), late night homework projects (that your cute little munchkin has known about for three months and has just told you is due tomorrow morning as soon as the bell rings), soccer practice, dance practice, the piano recital, scouting projects, birthday parties and sleep-overs, religious meetings and activities, bills to pay, a garden to plant, a lawn to mow, weeds to pull and the list just keeps going…..and going…and feels like it will never end.

If you’re anything like me, all of these things piling up on the old to-do list combined with  lack of “enough time” to complete them leads to STRESS. We’ve all experienced stress at  one point or another. It affects our lives in a lot of ways. Here’s just a few:

  1. Eating Disorders/Stomach Problems.For some, stress triggers emotional eating. They will begin eating to help “comfort” themselves. For others, the stress leads to upset stomach in which case they don’t feel like eating anything. Either way, it takes a tremendous toll on your body.
  2. Lowered Immunity Levels. When we stress out, our immunity is compromised. Our bodies are so busy trying to protect us from whatever it  is that is triggering our stress that when germs come along, they win.   Doesn’t matter if it’s just “a common cold” or strep throat or even a chronic condition that you are dealing with.  
  3. Emotional Disturbances. When we’re stressed out, our emotions become much more sensitive. We become easily offended and/or grouchy and irritable. Often times, our mood will change so dramatically that it even grabs our attention. When we find ourselves at a loss for an explanation, we can become very frustrated with ourselves. This can lead to depression or aggressive behavior. Neither of which is a good thing.
  4. Sleep Disturbances. Stress can cause us to have difficulty either falling or staying asleep. Because sleep is when our bodies renew and repair themselves for the next day, it is of vital importance. I’m sure at one point in your life, you’ve found yourself laying in bed, unable to sleep, minutes ticking by as your mind is whirling with thoughts of  all the things you have to do the next day or all the things you didn’t get done today. There’s nothing worse than looking at the alarm clock knowing that the alarm is going off in less than two hours and there you lay….wide awake. If this sounds familiar to you, chances are pretty good that stress is your culprit.
  5. Skin Problems. Stress can cause you to breakout, not just with acne either. It can actually lead to irritating rashes or hives in some people.
  6. Trouble Concentrating. Have you ever noticed that when you’re stressed out  you have a hard time focusing on what you’re doing? It doesn’t matter if your trying to write a paper, pay the bills or put together a kite for the kiddos, you just don’t seem to have the ability to stay in the “here and now”. That’s because your mind is so preoccupied with the physiological (processes happening inside your body) effects of stress, your ability to  concentrate is  negatively affected because it is no longer the #1  priority.

Well, that’s all very depressing, don’t you think?   Don’t get too discouraged though,  there is good news!! There are things you can do to help lower your stress levels. They are:

  1. Exercise. Okay, seriously, you should have seen this one coming.) Exercise does all kinds of good things for your body, one of which is a release of endorphins that lift your mood and make you feel happy and energized.   It also helps lower anxiety levels and can be a  way for you to release your frustrations.
  2. Proper Nutrition. What you eat plays a huge role on your health, we all know that. But by passing by the junk food, you can also increase your emotional health as well. When our bodies get the nutrients they need in proper amounts, they function at their highest capacity. That makes sense, right? Well, if we are functioning at our highest capacity it makes sense that you will also be more productive and feel better about yourself and your accomplishments for the day. That is going to lead to less stress and a happier you.
  3. Rediscover Yourself. A lot of times when we get stressed out we spend so much time worrying about the things we have to do that we  don’t make time for the things we like to do. We all know that you can only give to others if you take care of yourself as well. So, read a book, reconnect with friends & family, scrapbook, take a cat nap, go for a bike ride, go fishing, or play a game with your kids. Take the time to do something that you enjoy! Then listen to your body, pay attention to how you feel, your energy level, your productivity level and notice how your relationships with those around you improve. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂

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