I was talking to a girlfriend the other day and she, somewhat enthusiastically, proclaimed that she thrived on stress. Her life is stressful and she likes it that way. How many of us fill, to the rim, our life's cup that one misplaced drop (sick kid, cancelled appointment, lost car keys) can send our day into a turbulent rage of chaos. The things we fill our days with aren't necessarily bad things. There can be too much of a good thing too. Some are necessary and some are optional fun things that become less fun when we're stressed about them.
Unfortunately, stress is addictive. Stress releases hormones and adrenaline. We feel like if we aren't stressed we aren't striving for success or excellence. How many of us feel that if our day is not jam packed and full that the little voice of guilt flares up or we are left alone with our thoughts and feelings or boredome. We begin to feel restless, nervous, lazy. Ironically, we tell ourselves how much we'd like for things to slow down and that we hate being so busy. What's the truth??? The truth is we are addicts.
Remember the after school specials or interviews with addicts?? They didn't want to be tied to their substances or behaviors but their actions and beliefs spoke differently. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we're fine and functioning well. That's like giving kudos to the "functioning" or "nice" alcoholic. Stress does more harm than we think...I am talking more of chronic stress than acute. (Acute stress being that you lost your wallet only to find it 10 min later and the stress is relieved.)
Belly fat. Stress releases a hormone called cortisol that allows the body to store fat in the mid section. The only way to get rid of it is to chill!! Our amazing bodies sense stress and start to store reserves "in case of emergency" to live off of if the time comes. stress also increases appetite and decreases digestion and assymilation. Bad Combo. But that's not the worst of it.
Charlotte Eliopoulos PhD., RN, MPH, ND says, "Chronic stress is believed to be a major culprit in the development of stress related diseases." Here's just a SMALL list of the effects of stress:
Reduced interest in sex
High Blood Pressure
Weak immune system
Note to the skinny minnies: Just because someone is skinny does not mean immune. Stress can just be silently causing issue...
Man, what a downer!!! Enough of that stuff. Let's learn to reduce it. My favorite is to start having FUN. Learn to play again...like a kid (I'm not talking a warrior round of chess). Color, jump on the tramp, build a fort, ride a bike for pleasure, have a game night, watch a comedy. When was the last time you had a good "my side hurts and I'm about to pee my pants" laugh.
Today's assignment is to do something just for the joy of doing it. No strings attached, no stress. Just a wonderfully inspiring happy thing. Sunbathe your face for 10 min. or plant a flower or watch the sun set or dance to your favorite CD or, or, or...
Quote of the day "Don't tell other people your problems. Eighty percent don't care and the other twenty are kind of glad it happened to you. Some days your the bug, and some days the windshield." We all have troubles but not all of us have good perspective. Have a great day.
PS...My husband, in support of Cinco De Mayo (and my Mexican heritage), is picking our sons up from school in a poncho and sun hat...He never ceases to make me laugh!!!