Many people are concerned with their health today. There is a lot of talk about exercise, eating healthy, and taking additional supplements to keep us healthy. Being healthy is not only a physical concern but a mental and emotional one as well. It is important to have healthy relationships in our lives and to keep stress at a minimum.
Stress is a normal part of life and is the body’s automatic reaction to changes that require a response or an adjustment. Our bodies will react physically, mentally, and emotionally to these changes. Stress comes in the form of events that happen not only to you but around you. It can come from environmental situations, thoughts, and stress and strain on your body.
Stress can be a positive thing because it helps us to avoid danger and keeps us alert. It becomes a negative thing in our lives when it comes in continuing waves without relaxation or any kind of relief or down time. This will eventually result with people being strung out and overworked. When stress related tension builds over time that is when it becomes unhealthy and takes a toll on our minds, bodies, and emotions.
Stress leads to physical symptoms as well such as upset stomach, headaches, chest pains, elevated blood pressure, and problems with sleep. Research on stress has suggested that stress can bring on or even worsen certain symptoms or diseases.
People try to alleviate their stress with the use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs which only serves to make stress even more harmful to our bodies. These substances do not relax the body but actually keep the body in a stressed state. Almost half of the adult population suffers adverse health effects from some form of stress.
I was doing a little reading just the other day and read that seventy-five to ninety percent of doctor’s office visits are centered on stress related complaints. As mentioned above stress can come out in various ways and cause you to seek medical help. I myself have stress issues that have sent me to the doctor. When this starts to happen you know that you have to do one of two things, remove the stress from your life or change your response to the stress.
I learned from my doctor that stress can not only cause headaches, stomach aches, and high blood pressure but it can also be a factor in diseases such as diabetes, depression, anxiety, skin conditions, arthritis, and asthma to mention but a few. Stress is a hazard in the workplace and can cost American industry billions annually in loss because employees are sicker and health care is going up not only because of the economy but because of all the extra diseases and illnesses, many brought on by stress. Stress is said to have the capability of taking your life expectancy down by almost half.
I say this all to make you aware of the harm you are doing to not only your body but to your emotional and mental well being. We all need to sit down and take a look at the stress in our lives to see if there are any areas where it can be eliminated. The work place is not usual an option but for some of us it might be time to look for a less stressful environment for work. There are areas of life that we can manage however, the atmosphere of where we live and the company we keep.
I know that if you have small children or children of any age really they can be a source of stress but most of the time this is stress that can be managed. The stress that comes with children is many times chaos in the home, too many activities, or school pressures. You may need to sit down and write down ways to make your home life more structured, giving your children chores and more responsibility around the house, consider if some of the activities they are involved in can be eliminated or cut back, and have set times for homework. If they are having troubles in school consider hiring a tutor. It does not have to cost an arm and a leg; there are high school students who tutor children of any age which you could find by simply calling your local high school. I was able to do this when my daughter was having trouble in a high school math class. The school had a list of students who wanted to tutor and it turned out great because they were able to communicate so well.
Relationships often cause great stress in our lives and sometimes you have to think long and hard about people that are healthy for you to be around and those that are not. It is sometimes hard but extremely beneficial to cut off relationships which do not bring a healthy presence in your life. Relationships that tear you down and cause you undue stress are simply not worth keeping. I know this is hard to think about sometimes because we often have long term friendships that are hard to think about letting go of. They can even come in the form of family members. If this is the case you may want to sit down and have a talk with them about their lifestyle or whatever is causing the stress overload. Let them know how you feel. If they are unable or unwilling to change then you may have to let them go for a season until they get their lives heading in the right direction.
I know at one time in my life I was having marital problems, had small children, had my mother living with us, one of my aunts, uncle, and my Grandmother moved in not a mile away, one of my brothers was at my house all the time because he was having marital problems, and my in-laws lived quite near and were not pleased with my family encroaching on my husbands life. I was also working full time because the kids stayed home with my mom. What do you think? A bit of stress overload? I knew I had to do something but I did not even know where to start. No one was cooperating and everyone seemed to be upset with me. I was in the middle of everyone and everything.
I was under so much pressure that I actually started to have panic attacks, at work no less. At the same time that all this was going on the company I worked for was merging with another company and we had twice the work load and new people coming in from the other company who were disgruntled about their company merging with ours. On one particular fine day as I was rushing from the parking garage to my building and getting in yet another elevator I suddenly could not breathe. I was, of course, terrified. Our company had a medical floor which I quickly made my way to. When I arrived and told them I was having trouble breathing they ran me back to see the doctor that was there that day. He took my pulse which was around 200 and with as much calm as he could muster up he began asking me about what I did for fun and if I had children, etc. He spoke in a very soothing and caring manner and within what seemed like an eternity I was breathing normal again.
He told me I was having panic attacks and I needed to delegate work, and get rid of stress in my life. My mind whirled with how this could even be possible, let alone where to start. I ended up going to see my favorite doctor and telling him what was going on in my life. My blood pressure was elevated, my pulse was erratic, my head was always hurting, and my stomach torn up. He ended up putting me on a short leave from work but there were even more serious problems at home.
Often times when things like this happen everything escalates and emotions get out of hand and there is no relief in sight. In my life I knew that I had to have relief and I finally remembered that I have a heavenly Father who loves me and who is never too busy for me. He is not hurried or stressed and nothing is impossible for Him. I turned to Him in prayer and because He is so loving and gracious He worked out many of these situations in miraculous ways. I do not know what your belief system is but God is always there waiting to help.
I am telling you what I did and I know that not everyone believes the same way. No matter what you do you have to get help when your life starts to drown you in stress. Go to your doctor, get counseling, and get out from under the stress before it takes a great toll on your health and well being. It is important for you and those that you love so do not wait too long.
Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to NannyNet service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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