Stress has a crazy way of sneaking up on you. You know the feeling...your heart is racing, feeling dizzy, or even feeling numb. Whether you are at work or at home, stress can creep in and overtime cause issues with your health. Of course, there are times where being stressed can be helpful. For instance, if you are being chased by a bear or lion it is natural to have an internal stress level that pushes you to run away as fast as you can. However, why is it that even during times where our lives are not in danger we still have stress?
Answering that question can be complicated. Yes, stress can happen from having a deadline or being in traffic when you are running late for an appointment. Yes, stress can happen when you are trying to clean up the house for your guests coming in 5 minutes. Yes, stress can also arise when you are trying to care for someone you love. The thing is not the stress that's the issue. It's more so how we deal with the stress. How the stress makes us feel and what actions follow because of the stress.
A lot of our ongoing stress levels are caused by our thoughts about certain circumstances. Those thoughts can linger in our minds lasting even last for years for some. The thoughts can lead to lots of negativity that end up weighing down on you.
For me, I was stressed for years and would come from me wanting to be successful a student with the pursuit of becoming a doctor. With my dad being disabled, I knew I needed to be able to carry my own load. I would have to be able to care for myself and be independent. Though that circumstance is true, my stress took it to another level. I was so stressed that lots of my hair would fall out and I started to have panic attacks. This would happen for years....10 years to be exact. BUT when I began to change my thoughts, that led me to address my stress level. My journey to reduce my stress led me to think more positively about my life situation and life choices. And...thankfully, it led to my hair FINALLY growing back and me not having panic attacks.
Stress for you may manifest differently. It may start out as having certain thoughts just like mine did, but later can lead to you actually having some other physical manifestations like high blood pressure, heart issues, or even diabetes. My newest concern is for people are undergoing stress due to COVID. There is so much stress that surrounds us all. Yet, we aren't paying attention on how to reduce it.
My excitement comes when I can help with relieving the stress by putting lifestyle medicine to the test. In lifestyle medicine, we look at ways to reduce your stress levels and help improve your overall health. It's a stepwise process that will infuse more healthy habits into your day to day life. Trust me, I've done it. I've done a lot of mindset work to help me to get to a place where my stress levels have decreased. I meditate often. I also give myself some grace. After years of putting so much pressure on myself, I have learned to forgive myself from the years of self-abuse of doubting if I was good enough, smart enough, or even pretty enough to be successful. It's a daily battle, but I finally feel like I'm on the winning side of it.
I want to do the same type of work with you. You deserve to actually LIVE your life. The less stressed you are the more productive you can become. Let me help you do that. If you are interested in transforming your life and your health, let's start off with this perceived stress scale. From there, we can work on figuring out where your stress is coming from and ways to attack it.
Try it out! I think it will reveal a lot on what you are going through and will give even more tips on how to start feeling better today!