ARTICLES . . .
Stress and Your Health - by Kristine K. Pasto, Holistic Health Coach
Graham Clarke, the National Health, Safety & Environmental Manager states, “80% of all modern diseases have their origins in stress.” Work deadlines, traffic jams, busy family schedules, holidays, and many other everyday situations cause stress. Stress is any event that causes change or demands readjustment in the body. From an evolutionary perspective it was the way we stayed safe in the presence of physical challenges. Over centuries our stress has changed considerably but our response has not which means our bodies are not designed to handle long-term stress.
Long-term stress causes internal weaknesses that can lead to chronic and serious health problems. Our stress response shuts down digestion, constricts veins, and causes the adrenal glands to pump out a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol blocks insulin. action and eventually wears out the pancreas. Some of the medical conditions caused by or accelerated by stress are, heart attack, stroke, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic disorders, reproductive problems, memory loss, depression, accelerated aging, migraines, anxiety, insomnia, addictions, irritable bowel syndrome, and arthritis.
In addition to the obvious stressors there are hidden stressors such as food sensitivities, environmental toxins, immune system challenges, heavy metals, and past trauma that hurt the quality, happiness, and fulfillment of life.
For immediate short-term stress management try breathing, meditation, visualization, exercising, and laughter. Anything that brings down the heart rate and allows a change in thought pattern will help you manage stress immediately. Long-term stress is the body out of balance. To re-balance the body, you must identify and remove anything that is causing harm, confront emotional issues that are rooted in out thought patterns, and provide the missing physical and emotional nourishment to allow the body to re-balance.
Healthy living involves engaging in a healthy nutritional plan, socially active lifestyle, regular exercise, sufficient rest and sleep, and finally, proactive strategies to reduce the impact of chronic stress.
Kristine K. Pasto, Holistic Health Coach