Prolonged stress can cost you more than you are aware of. When we live under daily pressure from our environment without an outlet to ease that stress, health issues are triggered, affecting our body as a whole.
Cortisol is released by our adrenal glands as part of our body’s innate “fight or flight” reaction. When we feel stressed and anxiety, our body releases this hormone that is necessary to physiological function. When cortisol levels are elevated long-term, it interferes with our body in many ways.
Here are some ways your body may be affected by elevated cortisol levels.
- Weight gain
- Blood pressure
- Learning and memory issues
- Heart disease
- Digestive issues
- Poor sleep
The busier your lifestyle and the longer your to-do list, the more pressure you will feel. This pressure will increase your amount of stress. Take a look at what takes up your time and find ways to minimize what is causing tension. Don’t just treat the stress. Manage your stressors.
Unnecessary pressures you may be overlooking:
- Living up to someone else’s expectations
- Rehashing stressful situations
- Being late
- Social Media
- Worrying about money
- Negative self-talk
What are some ways to eliminate stress?
1. Counseling. Talking with a professional can help you learn to identify and manage stress and find ways to prevent burnout.
2. Prioritize responsibilities. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the duties we have. Try writing them down and look for tasks you can ask your family to help with. Don’t be afraid to delegate.
3. Be OK with saying no. It’s impossible to be everywhere and attend everything. Do not feel guilty if you cannot make it to every dinner or party. You deserve to make your health a priority.
4. Don’t fear failure. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow. Sometimes stress comes from worrying about doing things wrong and letting others down. Instead, do your best and give yourself the grace to make mistakes. We often learn the most from what we did wrong the first time.
5. Invest every week in self-care. Your health is something that should be at the forefront of your priority list. Choose to take time for yourself. When you practice self-care this will also be an example to others that you are worth making time for.
6. Nutrition and exercise play an essential role when it comes to managing stress in a healthy way. Try exercising a few times a week. Maybe a walk after dinner with the family, or try a short video that gets your blood pumping.
Your body will thank you for taking the time to identify and minimize stressors. Find more ways to bring joy and peace into your life. We only get one chance to live this life, don’t waste it full of tension and stress. Enjoy each day as if it were your last.
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