Stress affects our physical health in more ways than we realize. I suppose most people consider stress a mentality that needs to be changed along with the possibility of changing their lifestyle. But stress plays a major role in our physical health and if the stress is more than the kind of stress that motivates us or causes us to complete our goals it becomes a problem.
This article and website contain affiliate ads that may pay fun fam living a small commission if you click on them or choose to buy something. Did you know stress affects women differently than men? How do you handle stress? What can we do to lower stress? These are the questions we all battle when we strive to raise our children, succeed in our careers and relationships, and trying to maintain our homes, etc. Let’s start with what stress does to our health.
Stress can cause:
1. High Blood Pressure
2. High Cholesterol
3. Heart Troubles
5. Elevated levels of Cortisol – Find out more about how Cortisol levels contribute to Cellulite and what to do about it here.
6. Disrupt Hormone Cycles
7. Increase Visceral Fat (the kind that wraps around organs and shortens life). A scale like the one below can help you to keep track of the amount of fat in your body, muscle mass, visceral fat and bone mass.
8. Insulin Resistance
9. Weakened Immune System
10. Women have more autoimmune diseases than men
11. Increased Appetite
12. Weight Gain
Losing weight can be more than counting calories and following a diet. It can also be about when you eat and why. Find out more about the strategies you can learn to lose more weight below.
Below are the things we can do, even in the midst of stressful times, to help prevent the effect of stress to our health. Exercise also helps you look and feel better about yourself.
1. Exercise has the most impact on relieving stress. It gives us the strength and energy we need to plan how we use our time. Exercising also helps us stay on top of negative thoughts and the way we look at the situations in our life that can cause the effects of stress.
Yoga is another way to practice mindfulness and lower stress.
Women’s unique disposition to stress
Did you know women tend to brood longer over adverse events longer than men?
3. Avoid Brooding because it can cause depression and fuel the fire adding to stress and anxiety. It will also cause anti-social behavior and a host of other issues including those shared above. Try to do what you can to change this habit.
Take control of your environment
4. Learn how to pace our activities during the day so that we don’t stress, and adapt our living to make it work. We may have to accept we can’t do it all without physical damage to ourselves. You are worth having a life with less stress. Shouldn’t we all be allowed to not be perfect in some ways so we can be healthier?
5. Start looking at adverse situations as a challenge. Sometimes there is no way out of a situation temporarily or for a long time. Studies show when women see something as a challenge their outlook turns positive therefore lowering their stress levels. There are specific things you can do to start a habit of positive thinking here.
6. Delegate some of our responsibilities. We attempt to do so much when we deserve to have equal responsibilities with our spouse, significant other, or other adults who may live with us. Love yourself enough to explain calmly to them if something is unfair, and work out a plan to change it. Remember, we are talking about your physical well being.
7. Start coping with stress now to prevent the inability to deal with lesser stress later. Stop the cycle. Continued stress reduces nerve cell branches and lessons gray matter in the brain which causes less ability to cope with stress, therefore increasing stress. Furthermore, as life goes on, when stress is chronic, and things become less stressful in your life, the effects of stress become harder to shut off. As a result coping with things like years of abuse, long-term illness, continual stress on the job, too many things to do and not enough time, all can contribute to chronic stress.
Read my personal story of living with stress for years.
This book also talks in depth of how to rise above a variety of stresses
Did you know that the brain can’t hold more than two emotions at once? Many times I feel like I’m experiencing more than one emotion. Studies have shown that focusing on the positive aspects of your situation disallows the focus on the negative. It’s something that happens mindfully and develops with habitual use.
The good news is we have an assortment of things we can do to lower our stress! When we use the therapeutic strategies for the brain in this list and use them regularly, we may be able to grow new cell branches that have been damaged by stress. Science just blows me away sometimes.
8. Laughing causes the body to release endorphins which are the feel good hormones. Humor can also lead to more romantic connections. Sounds like more comedy shows and movies, sharing jokes, and filling your time doing fun stuff. What makes you laugh? Playing with my grandchildren usually brings some laughs. Sometimes, my husband says the funniest comments. I recently heard this quote, “A day without laughter is a day lost.”
Sharing your stress with others helps lower how stress affects you physically
9. Talk about your problems. Friends should share what is causing them stress primarily because sharing contributes to less stress. Nobody wants to be around a constant complainer but talking about it with a good friend is going to help you. Therefore, if you want to strengthen your friendships, expressing gratitude contributes to lowering relational stress also.
Here is a way to help others with high levels of stress in their life
10. Be Thankful. Think about how much better you have it than someone else. Gratitude will help you realize the people in your life that could use help with something, and it shows you some things you could be thankful to have. Nowhere in the book of good health does it say that the world owes you something. But if you look around you may realize there is plenty in your life that can bring happiness.
Thankfulness gives you these improvements:
Increases life satisfaction
Lowers blood pressure
Strengthens the immune system
Improves sleep quality
11. Get the highest quality of sleep possible. There are many aids for sleep available today. You might need black out window shades if you work at night, a better mattress, or some white noise in the background.
Good Sleep quality helps:
Strengthens the immune system
Improves conflict resolution skills
Helps the brain repair itself…….Amazing!
This Day-Light UV Filtered White Therapy Lamp helps with sleep disorders, winter blues, and adjusting to shift work and it’s sleep changes. Also, be sure to read the instructions because there is a limited time recommendation for these lights.
The sound of sleep memory pillow gives additional support and comfort, relieving pressure and it has built in speakers.
12. Allow imperfection in your life.
Let yourself, family, and others to be imperfect.
Stop stressing over an imperfect home.
We should be easier on ourselves and accept imperfection in some ways to be healthier.
We are worth having a life with less stress.
Start your stress less life today!
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Part of choosing to live a healthy lifestyle is your willingness to be active. REI has a huge variety of everything you need.