Stress. We all have it and experience it in our everyday lives. Based on study by the American Psychological Association in August 2012, 35 percent of Americans said their stress level increased this past year. We live in a fast-forward lifestyle. You know, not so many years ago when VHS tape was the video option of choice and when you hit FFWD on the remote the images on the screen went quicker, sometimes so fast that you couldn’t tell what was going on or the meaning of what you were seeing. Sound familiar?
Expectations are high, jobs are demanding, rest is a thing of the past, most live well above their means and kids today are in more activities in one week, than most of us experienced during our entire childhood. This concept creates over-scheduling and over committing which causes us to feel that we just don’t get anywhere, it’s never enough, and time is on shortage always. As a result, we feel anxiety that leads to stress, and if not monitored closely, that could funnel in to many other dangerous paths.
Where it can get tricky, is realizing what stress is healthy for you and when that stress can turn deadly.
Being Alive = Stress
Stress is a necessary part of life. The important part is how we handle it, how often it occurs and how long it sticks around. As we’ve commonly heard, most things are fine in moderation and I would have to agree that stress would fall into that arena as well. The positive side of stress is:
- When the pressure is on to meet a deadline or goal your body kicks into overdrive allowing you to operate at your maximum ability
- Gives you a rush of energy and causes chemicals to be released throughout your body that help fight off disease
- Gives your brain a wake-up moment and forces it out of “standard mode”
Too much of something can be bad for you. Experiencing stress for weeks, months or even years transitions into chronic stress that brings a tornado of health issues along with it.
- You experience consistent episodes of stress that overcome your mood and actions and alter how you see, interpret, and interact with the world
- Your body is forced to stay in protective mode and overdrive making it work harder all of the time with less time to reset itself
- Causes you to suffer physical pain and changes how your mind works, how your body works, and how your mind and body communicate
Embrace stress, maintain it and get help when you can’t move on from it. If you suffer from chronic stress, healing the mind-body connection begins with reducing that stress through 3 simple steps:
- Be mindful
What works for you when you feel stress?