There is countless research regarding the effects of stress on your internal and external body. In fact, there is mounting evidence to support the complement of western medicine and alternative medicine to treat illness (stress reduction programs playing a very important role here). Stress is a very broad term, encompassing anxiety, worry, physiological & chemical body distress (eg being cold for too long, being over tired, being overworked) and so on.
There is a very strong connection between the mind and the body, yet many times it takes a physical manifestation to occur before individuals do something to minimize the stress. For instance, you’ll wait until you experience significant stomach pain, headaches or back ache, before deciding to become actively involved in meditation, Pilates, or mindfulness practice.
The ideal, however, is to consistently train your mind to become more resilient to the inevitable stress around you. For instance, if you’re struggling with financial worry, every time you receive a new bill, you are likely to be filled with panic, dread and physical illness as a result of prolonged stress. Negative stress tends to manifest in the head (headache pain) or the stomach areas of the body and thus can cause significant discomfort, resulting in further stress.
In order to minimize stress it’s important to design a plan to manage your current situation, stick to your plan and move forward. An example of this plan would be to stagger your pay cheque according to your urgent bills and lifestyle and to put away specific amounts of money to pay off debt and have some fun. As long as the bare minimum is being paid, you can reduce stress and then focus on new ways to increase your income.
Worry can become a habit, so much so that you can learn to create worries when one does not appear to exist. Thus, it’s important to also start paying attention to your worry cue’s. This will help you to direct your relaxation efforts to the right time and place. It is also crucial to learn when you are most likely to be stressed and use these times to implement stress reduction strategies, such as controlled breathing, acceptance of the situation and belief in your ability to cope with anything life throws at you.
Therefore, stress reduction (along with healthy eating and regular exercise) not only improve your overall mood, but have been shown to have such a great impact on your health that they can reverse illnesses, reduce your chances of becoming ill and reduce your likelihood of relapse – should you fall ill.
It is so easy to push your body beyond its limits and then feel disappointed when your body gives up and decides it needs a break. Changing your lifestyle to incorporate healthy living is the greatest gift you can bestow on yourself. Life has enough ups and downs – why make the struggle harder by ignoring your self. You are worth so much more and deserve to live a happy and healthy life
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