Stress & Your Health – What you can do about its negative effect
(Fremont County, Wyo.) - A study done by the American Psychological Association in 2015 states that 24% of Americans report they felt they were “extremely stressed”. This number is up from 18% only a year before. With the current economical environment, there is little doubt that number is even higher today. In our modern world, stress has become something very different than centuries ago. When humans lived as hunter/gatherers, stress was something that kept us alive. If a lion jumped out of the brush and we didn't have the fight/flight mechanism, we would have died out very quickly.
Stress today is more of a mental state of mind. With the bombardment of negativity in our media and even our personal lives, we are under constant mental stress. The issue is that our brain still sends our bodies the fight/flight message but our physical response to modern stress is not the burst of activity the lion scenario called for. If not managed and allowed to overwhelm, your body, general health and personal life can suffer from it.
Some of the signs that stress is affecting you negatively include:
- Sleep Problems
- Lack of Motivation or Focus
- Irritability or Anger
- Sadness or Depression
- Over-eating or Under-eating
- Drug or Alcohol use
- Social Withdrawal
- Relationship Friction & Conflict
Long term stress can be detrimental to your health and life in many ways. Among these are the increased chance of:
- Heart Disease
- Weight Gain
- Gastrointestinal Issues
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Accelerated Aging
Observing and becoming aware of the affects of stress in life is the first step in managing it's influence. Some simple ways to help reduce stress's affect can be:
- Push yourself to do a healthy relaxing activity, such as: Taking a walk and really observe your surroundings. Watch a funny movie or tv show with family and LAUGH. Visit with a friend or family member and keep the conversation full of happy memories.
- LOOK! Stop and notice the good things in your world. Family, friends, our beautiful Wyoming landscapes, pets, etc. Keeping a journal to remind ourselves of these good things in life is a helpful tool. Struggling to find a bright spot? Ask a child. They are fabulous at finding the simple gifts in life.
- Remind yourself in those tough moments, “The only constant is Change.” What is happening right now will not last forever. How we decide to handle it and how we think about it, determines how much it affects us.
- Focus on healthy eating. Feeding our bodies to be strong will reduce the physical ramifications of mental stress. Enjoy the beautiful bounty of the fall harvest in Fremont County. Look up simple recipes for grilling those veggies and turn dinner prep with your family into a joyful event.
- Make certain you have adequate sleep. Children especially but even adults require 7 – 8 hours of rest for physical and mental rejuvenation.
- Play! Play with your children or friends. Human bonding is a basic need of us all. Whether it is baseball with the kids, a bike ride with our significant other, four wheeling with buddies, adding in healthy play helps to de-stress our minds and lives.
Dr. Walter Conard - Doctor of Chiropractic, Naturopathic Doctor, Trained Acupuncturist under Chiropractic License and a Doctor of Philosophy specializing in Nutrition.
Natural Health Solutions and ClubReduce's care is based upon helping the body to function at it's peak performance and to achieve a healthy balance. Treatments we offer can assist in the quality of life, especially during stressful times. We would love to assist you in gaining your optimum health to enjoy life to it's fullest.
We hope you are enjoying the beautiful Wyoming Fall.