The Affects of Stress on Your Wellness

Our body reacts to stress with a fight or flight response. Adrenaline is released which elicits a number of body responses to prepare the body for a fight or to run away from the situation. Blood is diverted from the digestive tract to the limbs, blood pressure raises, your heart beats faster to pump more blood, your muscles tighten in preparation, and your brain becomes more alert. These responses came in useful when you needed to flee a saber tooth tiger but today our stress response has become dysfunctional.

Constant stress keeps us in that fight or flight response chronically which burns out the body. Our muscles stay in a contracted state, leading to chronic pain and the potential for injury. Our digestion sufferers due to blood being diverted away from that area. Stress creates an acidic environment leading to ulcers, inflammation, heart disease, hormonal problems, depression, and even cancer. Chronic stress is literally a poison to our bodies. It is the largest aging and disease factor, not to mention the number one cause of workman's compensation claims.

Reduction of stress in your life is not possible … things are always going to happen in life. Your reaction to stress is the key. Our minds have control over our bodies and how we perceive the world around us. Our minds can also create a lot of unnecessary stress. So for better or worse, our minds are the key to our stress and how we deal with it. There are many tools you can use to counteract the effects of stress or how stress affects you.

One of the easiest tools you can use is your breath. Most of us have forgotten how to breathe properly. If you ever watch a baby breathe, you will notice that they breathe with their whole body. Their bellies fill fully and it looks effortless. Pay attention to your breath. Put your hand on your belly and notice if the breath goes all the way down. Most of us breathe very shallow, only using the top part of our lungs. Try breathing all the way down to your belly, into your chest, and then blow it all the way out. Do this a few times and notice how your heart beat decrees and you feel calmer. Try this when you feel stress coming on and see how differently you react to the stress.

There are other stress-reduction techniques that when practiced on a daily basis will help you flow more easily through life. Writing in a daily journal, positive affirmations, motivational books and CD's, stay away from television, observe nature, Tai Chi, Yoga, and massage therapy are all very beneficial for your wellness. Find one or more that you can practice on a regular basis and you add years to your life.