No doubt stress is a silent killer.  Of course the death of a family member or the loss of a job is extreme and contributes to the negative effects of stress on the body, but chronic daily stress is the silent killer we’re talking about.  How you manage that stress is vital to your health.

Both chronic and acute stress puts your health at risk.  Daily traffic, working too much, not shutting down at night (computers and devices), alcohol, drugs, relationships and social isolation can all contribute to the negative effects of stress.  Your body reacts with physical, mental, and emotional responses. If you experience stress continually without relief, you may be setting yourself up for illness.  What are the negative effects?

  • Sleep issues
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stomach ache
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Heart Disease
  • Digestive issues
  • And some medical experts say that stress alters the way the immune system functions, and can decrease the body’s ability to fight disease.

So modifying how you react to stress is the key in relieving the effects it has on your body.  Here are 5 tips that have helped me:

  1. Refrain from negative self-talk.   Stop replaying stressful thoughts over and over in your head.
  2. Get a new viewpoint.  Be grateful for what you do have instead of fretting about what you don’t have:  Instead of “I don’t get paid enough for what I do.”  Think, “Thank God I have a job”
  3. Have a go-to phrase.  “It’s only temporary” or “I will get through this” or “I can do this”, and my favorite “with God, all things are possible”
  4. Stop striving for perfection.   Be flexible when you can.  Rigidness contributes to mental and physical stress.
  5. Practice deep breathing.  When you’re all worked up about something, take a moment to practice deep breathing.  The increased oxygen levels coupled with pleasant thoughts (relaxing on the beach) brings peace and a sense of serenity and has a positive physiological effect on your central nervous system.  Don’t underestimate the power of your God-given breath.

Bonus Tips

Get enough sleep, move your body (outdoors even better), eat right and laugh often.  This will no doubt keep your body stronger for whatever stressors come your way today.

Be blessed in whole health.

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