Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You might not be able to control everything...but you CAN control this!

As women we are multi-tasker's and we are interconnected to EVERYTHING. Our minds never shut off and we have a never-ending list that plays over and over in our head. Which ultimately leads to the deterioration of our health caused from too much STRESS.  The crazy thing is, we have CONTROL over our stress levels. We decide what we do every day and we are the one's that make our schedules, no one else.
 
There are days that I feel like I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off, which ultimately leads to stress & tension. My life naturally produces stress, 3 kids, my business, extra-curricular activities, family events, cooking, cleaning, and much more...but that is life. It is my choice to fill up our schedule with activities that make us go till 9pm every night with no breaks on the weekend, that is MY CHOICE. Every day I have to look at my schedule and say, Is that a priority and does that need to be completed today?, if not I leave it for the next day. 
 
You have to be aware of what "bears" fruit in your life and what doesn't. As women we often do things that bear NO fruit and our "daily-do's" just take away from us and we end up feeling depleted of all our energy mentally, physical, spiritually, and emotionally. I love this verse below because it is telling us that if we REMAIN IN HIM with our priorities and our daily actions, we will produce fruit, but if we do not put him first in our daily actions then we produce nothing. I WANT TO PRODUCE FRUIT, not STRESS!
We all deal with stress differently. For me personally, stress is a huge factor in my life. Apart of my health story is overcoming anxiety and panic attacks. Obviously not everyone has stress at the magnitude I did, but we all have stress and stress wreaks havoc on our bodies.  Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of Who Switched Off My Brain, stated that when a stress reaction occurs in our bodies, it actually “marinates” the body in toxic chemicals. Which in turn is extremely unhealthy and threatening to our physical well-being.
 
Stress can produce a multitude of symptoms in our bodies. And that is why I also believe that so many people are incorrectly diagnosed with illness and diseases because they mimic signs and symptoms of stress. If we started working on minimizing our stress levels, I truly believe that illnesses and diseases would start to disappear.
 
Emotional symptoms:
·         Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
·         Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
·         Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
·         Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), loneliness,
·         Depressed
·         Anti-social, avoiding others
Physical symptoms:
·         Low energy
·         Headaches
·         Upset stomach including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
·         Aches, pains, and tense muscles
·         Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
·         Insomnia
·         Frequent colds and infections
·         Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
·         Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
·         Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
·         Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Continue readiCognitive symptoms:
·         Constant worrying
·         Racing thoughts
·         Forgetfulness and disorganization
·         Inability to focus
·         Poor judgment
·         Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Behavioral symptoms:
·         Changes in appetite -- either not eating or eating too much
·         Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
·         Increased use of alcohol
·         Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
A little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:
·         Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
·         Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
·         Obesity and other eating disorders
·         Menstrual problems
·         Sexual dysfunction
·         Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
·         Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon. (information obtained from WebMD).
 
For me personally, I have to de-stress or my health is negatively affected.  There are days that I struggle with stopping and that is when I feel more tension in my body and mental fog. I have to make a daily effort to reduce the stress in my life, not make more of it!
 
I have learned multiple ways to decrease my stress, but you have to learn what works best for you.  My daily devotions, exercise, deep breathing, and even lying still for 15-20 minutes in quiet, all help decrease my stress level and keep me in a more peaceful state.

Take time today to look over some of the ways to reduce stress in your life. It is not only about being a HEALTHIER you, but a HAPPIER you. We might not be able to control everything but we do have the ability to control our stress level and make time for ourselves to relax which will in turn change our health!

See tips below on how you can stay more calm and decrease your stress level.

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