Fear. Anxiety. Stress.
You misplaced your purse.
The phone rings at 2 a.m.
Your child is chasing a ball toward the street just as a car turns the corner toward your house.
In that moment of panic and fear, your heart begins to race, your breath quickens, and you probably develop some super-human strength.
You are, indeed, wonderfully made. Those immediate responses are from your hypothalamus, a tiny control tower in your brain, kicking into gear and telling your body to send in the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. These stress hormones trigger your body’s “fight or flight“ response that God designed to prepare you to react quickly in an emergency.
But what happens when anxiety, fear, and stress linger? That’s when your health begins to suffer. Prolonged stress can cause a host of health issues, including weight gain, depression, headaches, insomnia, and diabetes and can take a toll on your digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, and immune systems. It’s critical that we get anxiety under control before we see the negative impact.
So what are a few simple shifts we can make to manage our stress, especially when what is causing it is beyond our control?
First, B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Inhale for a count of ten, hold it for three seconds, and exhale slowly.
I’m a firm believer that whatever we focus on increases. We can’t always eliminate the bad things going on around us, but we can choose to change our focus. Is there a bright side to the situation? Focus on THAT!
Keep a gratitude journal. Studies show that people who practice gratitude experience less stress. Start your day with prayer, then write down three things you thankful for, but make it something new each day.
Employ relaxation techniques. Whatever causes you to EXHALE, do that! Think hot bath with epsom salt, a hike, a massage, intimacy . . . you decide.
Take control of SOMETHING! I’m a control freak, so when things are happening around me that I can’t change, I master something. Clean a closet, purge the pantry . . . anything that gives you the feeling of order.
The important thing is to get control of our anxiety and fear naturally before they cause health issues. I help women discover a lifestyle of natural wellness, and I’d love to help you!
Sister, there’s a better way to live this life!
We all know that stress, sleep, and sadness are three words that don’t pair well together. Too much stress usually equals too little sleep, which in turn leaves us more tired, more cranky, and more stressed. So how do we stop the vicious cycle? Get my free guide to learn how we can stay more calm and relaxed during the day and enjoy better sleep at night to live a happier life.