Finding ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life can solve a number of health issues and prevent others. If you suffer from any health issues, stress has been found to increase the symptoms and put you at higher risk for some of the most common health conditions.
Dr. Jay Winner, MD, author of Take the Stress Out of Your Life and the director of the Stress Management Program for the Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, California stated, “Stress doesn’t only make us feel awful emotionally… it can also exacerbate just about any health condition you can think of.”
Some of the most common health issues that can be helped, if not avoided altogether by reducing your stress include heart disease, asthma, headaches, obesity, depression, anxiety, diabetes, accelerated aging, premature death, gastrointestinal problems, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have shown that stress is the primary cause of some of these conditions and greatly increases the symptoms and effects of other conditions.
If you can pinpoint the cause of your stress, take the necessary steps to eliminate the stressor, or at a minimum find a way to reduce the amount of stress it puts on you. You can also try stress-relieving practices to help manage your stress.
Next time you feel stress, take a few minutes to breathe deeply. It can help calm you and train the physiologic stress response.
Also, focus your mind on the moment at hand. Often times, when people are stressed they are thinking about something that happened in the past or are focusing on what may or may not happen in the future. Focus on what you are doing right now to bring yourself back to the present moment.
For example, if you are eating, focus on the taste, texture, and smell of the food while clearing your mind of everything else.
Change the dynamics of the situation by looking at whatever is causing your stress from a different perspective. For instance, instead of being angry about being stuck in traffic, think of it as a way to enjoy a moment to yourself with no interruptions.
When problems arise, or unfortunate events arise that cause you emotional stress, take some time to remind yourself about all of the things you are thankful for and the little things that make you lucky.
Everyone has bad days and how you handle them can make them better or worse. It can also affect your stress-levels which play an important role in keeping you healthy.