The last several weeks I have experienced my own struggles with management of stress. Honestly my thought was, I am mediating and, praying being mindful of my emotion “I’m ok”. But before I knew it I found myself crying for no reason, short tempered with loved ones etc.…. Then I realized that instead of trusting in Jesus. I had taken all of the things I had given over to Him in faith back. And was attempting to control the outcomes myself. Therefore, adding stress to my life.
Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved
Baby Making Funny Face — Image by © JLP/Jose L. Pelaez/Corbis
Chronic stress increases the stress hormone cortisol and affects many brain functions, putting you at risk for many mood disorders and other mental issues. There are two ways our bodies handle stress.
Acute Stress is the reaction to an immediate threat, this is known as your “Fight or Flight” response. This is a temporary stress hormone response. Meaning once the threat has passed hormones return to normal.
Chronic Stress makes you more vulnerable to disease, this kind of stress is considered a Killer.
The elevation of chronic stress hormone effects your body, and negatively impacts your mind.
OK, Let’s talk about Hormones
Cortisol is a hormone that remains in the body all day. Excessive stress or the presence of excessive cortisol can lead to problems including weight gain, digestive problems, hormone imbalance, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes
Here are some additional examples of how stress impacts mental well-being:
• excessive worry and fear
• anger and frustration
• impatience with self and others
• mood swings, crying spells or suicidal thoughts
• insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
• trouble concentrating and learning new information
• racing thoughts, nervousness
• forgetfulness, mental confusion
• difficulty in making decisions
• feeling overwhelmed
• irritability and overreaction to petty annoyances
• excessive defensiveness or suspicion
• increased smoking, alcohol, drug use, gambling or impulse buying
Harvard Health Publications List’s 7 ways to Keep stress down
Get enough sleep. Inadequate or poor-quality sleep can negatively affect your mood, mental alertness, energy level, and physical health.
1. Learn relaxation techniques. Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and yoga are powerful stress-busters.
2. Strengthen your social network. Connect with others by taking a class, joining an organization, or participating in a support group.
3. Hone your time-management skills. The more efficiently you can juggle work and family demands, the lower your stress level.
4. Try to resolve stressful situations if you can. Don’t let stressful situations fester. Hold family problem-solving sessions and use negotiation skills at home and at work.
5. Nurture yourself. Treat yourself to a massage. Truly savor an experience: for example, eat slowly and really focus on the taste and sensations of each bite. Take a walk or a nap, or listen to your favorite music.
6. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, friends, and neighbors. If stress and anxiety persist, talk to your doctor.
Add in a healthy lifestyle — maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, regular exercise, and a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthful fats — and high blood pressure could be a thing of the past.