Stress was one of the reasons I left my career as a police officer. I wanted to live a less-stressful life. My inability to manage stress was negatively impacting my physical and mental health and I KNEW something had to change.
But here's what I've come to realize...LIFE is stressful! It doesn't matter what your job is, where you live, or how many kids you have...stress will be there. We actually need stress (to some extent) to grow, evolve and adapt. HOWEVER, too much unmanaged stress is not a good thing.
Even if you might be stressed to the max right now, there are small, practical steps you can take to cope with that stress and stay healthy.
It's really important to acknowledge stress so you can reduce it or cope with it a little better.
Think of it like aiming for a 1% improvement....you may not be able to change the stressors in your life, but if you can manage the impact on your body 1% better, then you’ll stay healthier and more able to handle the stress.
I would say that's pretty worthwhile, wouldn't you?
What are some of the effects that stress can have on your body?
I’m the first person to pretend that stress is no big deal, so if you’re like me, then the two of us need to have some straight-talk and get real about how stress IS affecting our bodies....
Stress increases cortisol production associated with weight gain (especially in the belly), an inability to lose weight or gain muscle and premature aging
Stress decreases nutrient absorption due to decreased enzymatic production from the stomach, pancreas and liver and decreased bile flow from the gall bladder
Stress increases nutrient excretion such as urinary loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, selenium and other micro-minerals
Stress decreases gut flora populations by destroying healthy intestinal bacteria and can lead to immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient deficiencies, and digestive distress
Stress increases salt retention which can lead to high blood pressure
Stress decreases the thyroid hormone which can negatively affect your metabolism
- Stress decreases sex hormones which leads to loss of libido and low energy
Yikes!! But it's not all bad news, I promise. You’re here to find solutions! So read on...
How can I reduce or cope better with stress?
Remember, since we can’t always control the stress in our lives, the goal is to reduce our experience of stress by even 1%.
Here’s how you can do that, starting NOW:
Look at your calendar for the next 7 days. What’s one activity you’ve committed to that you're really not passionate about and can graciously cancel?
Look at your to-do list. What’s one item you can delegate to someone else in the next 24 hours?
Consider your schedule today. Where can you fit in 20 minutes for yourself —where you’re not taking care of anyone else or being “productive”—so you can just relax and play and do something mindless?
Look at your calendar for tomorrow. Where can you fit in a 10-minute walk or Frisbee toss in your backyard? The fresh air and movement will help you cope waaay better with stress.
- Before your next meal, try what I call the “5-5-7” breath. Inhale for a count of 5, hold your breath for a count of 5, then exhale for a count of 7. Repeat at least 3 times. This gives your body a chance to relax before your meal, which will increase your digestive capacity and help your body pull more nutrients from the food you’re eating.
What do I do now?
If you feel too stressed to relax, and you KNOW it’s affecting your mental and physical health, your weight and your energy levels, then click here NOW to schedule a time to talk with me about how to reduce or cope better with the stress in your life.
I’ve helped so many of my clients solve this problem, and chances are very good that I can help you, too. So, let's chat!
To your Health!