Emotional Wellness: Fighting Stress

Fight or Flight

Fighting Stress

We all have different levels of stress and in some cases the stress can even show up as anxiety.  Stress as we know can create the normal “fight or flight” response.  This response can automatically send one’s body into overload. This response can be helpful in times of emergency or might be helpful when someone is being chased or at risk of harm. But, outside of those extreme times, instead of flight, our bodies are in a continuous fight without little to know direction, outlet or purpose. Causing a number of problems in our lives.

During stressful periods, such as after the loss of love ones, we are repeatedly overcome with emotions that can make you confused and unclear. When in a state of stress, the body releases stress hormones; known medically as stress cardiomyopathy but sometimes known as “broken heart syndrome.” It is said that this level of stress hormones in the body can be 2-3 times higher than it is in those experiencing a heart attack. Meaning that overtime, your immune system can be affected and cause you to experience illness.

So what can you do to fight stress?

The quick and easy answer is to build up and maintain your immune system.  This can be a gift that keeps on giving.  As discussed in the blog 5 Ways to Maintain Wellness; this can be done through a combination of exercise, prayer/meditation, support, rest, relaxation, hydration and eating healthy food. I would add one last thing to specifically address stress.

  • Breathe!– Because during stress we are in a state of “fight or flight”, our bodies naturally respond.  In most cased the response is in our breathing.  Our breathing becomes shallow and we may have reduced abilities for oxygen to enter the lungs and limit them to expand. Remember take in a deep breath through your nose, then exhaling, brings you release and oxygen to the brain. To practice take 3 deep breaths every hour and watch your energy and mood improve with time.

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