We are witnessing an unprecedented event in the history of the world. Many of us are not allowed to go to work, schools are off limits, gyms are closed, shelves that once showcased hundreds of loaves of bread are now vacant, and stores have limited hours and help. Combine this with a peculiar obsession with running out of toilet paper, people are going crazy.
I must admit, when my gym closed down, I cried. I will miss my workout routine and seeing my workout buddies.
We are now literally forced to be creative with all this newfound time. In Ohio we cannot go to restaurants or bars because it has been mandated that these establishments close; although take out food and delivery are still in effect. It’s too cold outside to hang out and television only goes so far, if I have to listen to another political speech my head is going to burst.
I must remind myself to breathe and read. When in doubt, read a book. In Dr. Sear’s Prime Time Health book he mentions how stress ages every part in the body. It is a good reminder why we should all take a breath and calm the heck down.
First, stress shrinks the brain. Chronic, unresolved stress can actually shrink the brain, a process called glucocorticoid neurotoxicity. I know this to be true because in times of extreme stress my brain shrinks to the size of a pea and I become useless. Not good.
Stress ages the heart. Uncontrolled stress can give you a case of the “highs”: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. Heart failure commonly follows periods of sudden or prolonged stress.
Stress weakens the bones. Stress induced osteoporosis is when stress hormones reduce calcium deposits in the bone bank, increase calcium loss by the kidneys, and interfere with calcium absorption through the intestines.
Stress makes you sick. People who suffer from chronic immune system illnesses, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer, often notice a flare-up during a long period of unresolved stress. See, stress does kill!
Stress makes you fat. Stress can literally change the shape of your body, mainly by increasing belly fat.
Stress leads to diabetes. high levels of stress hormones raise blood sugar, which can lead to insulin resistance.
Stress is bad for the gut. Prolonged stress and anxiety can aggravate conditions such as reflux (heartburn), ulcers, and inflammatory bowel problems.
Stress suppresses sleep. Stress hormones are designed to rev you up, not help you rest.
Stress suppresses sex. Stress hormones suppress testosterone and increase insulin, which can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Six Simple Stress Busters
- If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it.
- Focus on solutions, not problems.
- Redirect negative thoughts.
- Take a deep breath.
- Move to mellow your mind.
- Surround yourself with upbeat, positive people.
Want to learn more about handling stress? Schedule a Live Your Best Life Workshop. Great for groups or individuals.