Lifestyle: Chronic Stress Can Become a Health Problem

Credit: Danielle MacInnes

Chronic Stress Can Become a Health Problem

by Joanne Troppello

Are you one of the 3 out of 4 Americans who are experiencing chronic stress? Is daily stress getting the best of you?

If you answered yes to both of those questions, you may be dealing with chronic stress which could eventually lead to health issues like asthma, diabetes, obesity, headaches, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, and gastrointestinal issues.

Now, I am not a medical professional. I am simply a health-conscious individual who wants to learn more about living a more well-balanced and healthy life.

Stress Related Factors

According to data reported from the American Psychological Association, the following factors are responsible for causing stress to Americans:

· Money

· Work

· Economy

· Family

· Relationships

· Health

· Housing

· Employment

· Safety

Credit: Nikko Macaspac
The APA has reported that only 40 percent of Americans consider their health in good or excellent condition. That’s a high number of people who could be living a healthier lifestyle—but chronic stress is making that more difficult.

Approximately 70 percent of those people participating in the APA’s Mind/Body Health Campaign research survey, revealed that they lack the willpower to adopt a healthier lifestyle. If you find yourself in that 70 percent, keep reading.

Simple Stress Relief Steps

Here are some simple steps you can take to try to alleviate stressors and stress effects in your life. Not every step will apply to your current situation. However, some may apply, so take a step in the right direction and try to start reducing your stress levels today.

1. Exercise

Exercising daily is a great way to reduce stress and start to lead a healthier life. Of course, one of your daily stressors could be work, which may not allow you much time—with all of your other responsibilities—to exercise each day.

Even if you can exercise at least three times a day, that can help you start to improve your health and relieve stress. The stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body are lowered when you exercise. Endorphins are released which can significantly improve your mood. These endorphins also operate naturally like painkillers.

As you start a consistent weekly exercise program, you will likely begin to lose weight and tone muscle—and boost your self-esteem.

2. Essential Oils

In full disclosure, I am a Young Living consultant. No, I am not going to sell you on these products. I am simply sharing here that I have been using essential oils and they have helped with so many health issues.

Now, you can get your essential oils from any company, but consider some of the following that help relieve stress:

· Lavender

· Chamomile

· Frankincense

· Rose

· Clove

· Sandalwood

· Orange Blossom

You can reduce stress levels and enhance your sleep by diffusing essential oils with a diffuser. I use different oils during the day to improve mood, like lemon and orange. I diffuse Patchouli, clove, and lavender at night to help with sleeping better.

3. Drink Less Caffeine

People love to drink caffeinated drinks like coffee, soda, and tea. However, in the US, coffee tops the list as the favored caffeinated drink consumed daily. Since caffeine is a stimulant, it can improve your cognition and energy levels, but it can also cause anxiety if you consume too much in a day.

If you can’t start your day without coffee, don’t get worried. You can still drink five cups in one day and still be considered a moderate coffee drinker.

4. Keep a Journal

I have kept journals in the past and they have helped me work through my feelings on various issues. I even kept a praise journal once where I wrote three things I was thankful for each day. That was hard on some days, but I always wrote things down. I should probably start that again.

When you focus on things you are thankful for and good things that are happening in your life, that can help you to refocus your perspective on positive things. Check out this listing of the top best journals for 2019.

5. Don’t Be an Island

Spend time with family and friends whenever possible. Stress can cause you to feel depressed and make you want to spend more time alone. That could lead to even more physical and mental health issues.

Oxytocin is a natural stress reliever. According to research by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, when you spend time with children and friends, oxytocin is released. This “tend and befriend” effect is a positive reaction rather than your body experiencing the fight or flight response.

6. Be More Mindful

Now, I am a Christian and I read God’s Word and memorize scripture. This helps me when I need to recall those verses and speak them out loud—so I can refocus my heart on God and not my problems.

You may not be a Christian, but you can still relieve stress by becoming more mindful and center yourself on the moment and not focus on the stressors. Use the following techniques.

· Mediation (I meditate on the Bible)

· Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi

· Practice Mindfulness

· Breathing Exercises

· Stay Grounded Physically

Do you practice any of the six steps mentioned in this article to relieve your stress? If you do, feel free to comment, I would love to know what you’ve done and what has worked for you.

About the Author

Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, SEO and social media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs. Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.

#Mindfulness #StressRelief #Stress #Stressors #Exercise #HealthyLiving #Health

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