I have to say with my line of work my stress level is fairly minimal. The biggest of my worries throughout my days are thinking about paying bills (which always manage to be paid), wondering if the train will come on time, hoping that my students will LOVE and be totally inspired by my classes. It’s pretty minimal, my stress level.
I’m not curing cancer or running the country, but I am responsible for providing a service to others. My job not only brings me joy and happiness, but it brings (or so they tell me) others happiness as well. Ahhh, isn’t that lovely!? So then, why should I have any feelings at all of stress? One thing that all of my stressful thoughts have in common is that they all haven’t happened yet. They’re worries…what ifs, silly really. If I lived in the moment then I wouldn’t have nearly any stress at all. I don’t live in the jungle and need to run from lions or anything. I thrive on city life and am invigorated by traffic, crazy people screaming as they walk down the sidewalk…I’m saying NO to stress. I’m living my life in the moment. Easy to say, right? Here are some reasons WHY to live in the moment and NOT SUCCUM to all the worries. Below there are also a few easy steps we can take to achieve this STRESS FREE or much less stressed state.
The WHYS This is the part where I tell you what stress does to us physically.
THE BIGGON’ Stressful thoughts or situations produce a hormone in the body called cortisol. Cortisol is secreted from the adrenal glands and is a good thing when it’s used properly. What it was meant for in evolutionary purposes was for heightened awareness in “fight or flight” circumstances. It was meant to be released into our systems in a short term “bursts”, …aka like running from lions. With our societal evolution we are “s#sttressed” not by the fear of being eaten, but by SO many other factors. This ups our cortisol levels for a sustained time producing the below negative effects:
- Impaired cognitive performance
- Suppressed thyroid function (think slowed metabolic function)
- Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
- Decreased bone density
- Decrease in muscle tissue
- Increased blood pressure
- Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences
- Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes and the development of metabolic syndrome.
The HOWS This where I give you ideas to counterbalance the effects of all the stress in our world. Check out these former blog posts and ideas for getting your mind and your bod back in balance.