Two years ago I posted this blog, and recently I’ve had a slew of clients dealing with the physically debilitating results of stress. So I thought since many people tend to take a summer vacation around this time of year, it might be some helpful food for thought to those of you who are “stressing out.”
By now you should all know that negative effects of prolonged stress on the body. I’ve written about it frequently, it’s discussed regularly on Oprah, Dr. Oz, and the like. But for those of you living in a constant state of stress, I thought it time to revisit the issue, remind you of a few important stress-facts.
The kind of stress I’m addressing – that of situational, circumstantial, environmental and relationships – starts in the head (it’s emotional). If not dealt with quickly and thoroughly, it moves into the body where if left unreleased, ricochets around your insides like a pinball! A mind/body under stress releases Cortisol. Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have numerous negative effects, such as:
- Impaired cognitive performance
- Suppressed thyroid function
- Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
- Decreased bone density
- Decrease in muscle tissue
- Chronic digestive and intestinal issues
- Repeat muscle spasms (lock of the muscles) in the neck and back
- Weight gain
- Higher blood pressure
- Reduced sex drive
- Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences
- Increased abdominal fat, which can in turn result in higher cholesterol, heart attacks, and strokes
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s quite a list of ailments that I would actively seek to avoid!
For those of you that reply there’s no way to change my current situation or circumstances to alleviate the stress, I say think again. I know it’s trite, but where there’s a will there’s a way. If you have enough motivation, you can overcome – and change – anything.
So what’s stopping you? Think about this while on vacation this week, or during what little down time you allow yourself to have (like the drive home from work). Next week I’ll address (or reiterate) some tricks for handling your stress.