08 Oct Why Ignoring Your Stress is Killing You Faster
Are you feeling more stressed than ever before? Is your mind racing thinking about what you need to do each day?
Are you busy every minute of the day?
Well you’re not alone!
Every year life just keeps getting busier. There’s just so much more to deal with – whether it’s managing your kids and their activities, working, more deadlines and targets to meet, reduced staffing and heavier workload, traffic – there just never seem to be enough hours in the day to fit everything in.
As a result there just isn’t enough time to relax, have fun or even sleep.
But did you know that simply rushing around being busy all day is a stress on your body? Yes, most clients I see think that being suer busy is normal and that you’re not actually stressed until you start feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
But that’s just not true! You see, your body is designed to adapt and it will continue to adapt to more and more stress until you do reach that point of feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Unfortunately though there’s always a lot of damage along the way and unless you do something to take control of your stress the insidious, invisible effects will eventually take their toll on you!
Our bodies are hard-wired to always respond to stress in the same way – as if we were about to be chased by a tiger! Now of course being chased by a tiger can be more or less threatening depending on how far away the tiger is, so the degree of stress is not always the same.
Just know though that when your stress hormones rise in response to any perceived threat (lack of sleep, too much or too little exercise, a low calorie diet, work or family pressures, illness, traffic etc) many changes are taking place inside your body. This is not a bad thing, but it’s bad when it continues to happen all the time!
Hormones are chemical messengers and we have hundreds, if not thousands of them, all doing their bit to maintain perfect health. So if you constantly have your adrenal glands switched on, pumping out stress hormones virtually 24/7 month in, month out, that’s going to have a devastating effect on your health.
It’s going to mess up the delicate balance between all your chemical messengers that affect every cell of your body. And that is why the list of known and scientifically proven stress related disorders and conditions is in the hundreds!
You see the chemical messengers for your endocrine or hormonal system are working together with the other chemical messengers from your immune system and your nervous systems. And yes, you have more than one nervous system – there’s your central nervous system which includes your brain, spinal cord and nerves coming off it, plus your gut or enteric nervous system and even your heart has its own complete nervous system!
Having constantly high stress hormones causes many other hormone imbalances and depletes the chemical messengers in your brain needed for happiness and motivation. It also increases nasty inappropriate inflammation throughout your body and that inflammation alone is ageing you much faster, slowly and silently killing you! And it will cause you to gain weight too!
Below I’ve created a diagram that helps you to see some of the effects of stress throughout the body but before you take a look, I want you to know that it’s not all bad news!
Of course, there will always be things that you cannot control but taking action to reduce the stress in your life and making some simple changes in the things you do on a daily basis can go a long way to helping you stay sane, happy and healthy for a very long time.
You can also change how you react to your stress with some simple methods including hypnosis and Emotional Freedom Technique so that you don’t need to risk it with antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs.
I’ve experienced the effects these changes can make, because I too suffered with unmanaged stress and anxiety from childhood, right through into my forties. That was after my health started falling apart and I studied naturopathy and started making these changes myself.