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STRESS: The Enemy of Your Physical and Mental Health - How to beat it

May 5, 2023
Iose Cocuzza, BCHN®, CGP, BFRP
Core Spirit member since Apr 10, 2020
Reading time 3 min.

If you want to stay healthy, besides many lifestyle changes you might want to make in your life, the number one change that can have an enormous impact on a physical and mental level is learning how to manage stress.
It's as simple as that.

In an article published in the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, they mention studies that have shown that short-term stress might boost the immune system, while chronic stress has a significant effect on the immune system that ultimately manifests an illness.
Interesting fact (also scary): emotional stress is a major contributing factor to the six leading causes of death in the United States: cancer, coronary heart disease, accidental injuries, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.
The relationship between stress and illness is complex.
Mainly because the susceptibility to stress varies from person to person.

The first step to managing stress is to identify what causes you stress. Once you know what your stressors are, you can start to develop strategies for dealing with them.

Stress can be caused by anything, from everyday demands to major life events. While a little stress can be motivating as I mentioned before, too much can be harmful to your health.
It can lead to headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, and trouble sleeping. It can also make you more likely to get sick.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, there are steps you can take to manage it.
Here are some tips on how to manage stress and improve your health.

For immediate relief from stress, you might try to:

  • Take a few deep breaths (this is my favorite tool because it is very effective and gives some degree of immediate relief)
  • Go for a walk
  • Listen to music
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Take a nap

For more intense and/or chronic stress in your life:

  • Make time for relaxation. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help you reduce stress levels.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.
  • Eat a healthy diet. What you eat can have a big impact on your mood and energy levels.
  • Get enough sleep. When you're well-rested, you're better able to cope with stress.
  • Talk to someone. If you're feeling overwhelmed it can be helpful to talk to a friend, family member, or therapist.
  • Set realistic goals
  • Learn to say no
  • Take breaks
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol

You can apply some or all of those tips, depending on your personality and the stress level you are experiencing.
And please DON'T GET STRESSED if you can't find the time to apply all those tips at the beginning of your lifestyle-change journey.
Start with one or two tips.
Stress management is an ongoing process. It requires practice and discipline.
There will be times when you feel stressed, even if you're following these tips. But by learning how to manage stress effectively, you can improve your physical and mental health, reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases, and live a happier and healthier life.

*Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/

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