Guest Post - from Atlanta Mom of Three

I'm happy to introduce another guest blogger to you today!
Enjoy her wise words and tips to overcome chronic stress in your life.

Valerie blogs at Atlanta Mom of Three. She writes about marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, 
parenting and more. Check her out on Facebook and Twitter

Reducing the Stress Effect 

Please note that I am not a medical professional and that this post is simply 
a compilation of research I did on stress for the purpose of writing this article. 
If you have medical concerns, please see your doctor. 

We all know what it's like to have a "stressful" day or to feel "stressed out" because of a situation in our life that is mentally or emotionally hard, but did you know it's not just your mind that is feeling the stress? We are not designed to have highly stressful jobs, relationships (extended family, anyone?), and other situations that cause chronic stress. Small doses of stress are okay, and they are actually helpful to us because they protect us from harm, but stress that continues over time can and will affect your body too.

Stress Over Time

There are many, many physical side effects (or symptoms) of stress; some stand alone and others can actually lead to permanent ailments. Just a few of the possible ways that chronic stress can affect the body:

-Rapid Heartbeat
-Low Energy

While these are no fun, stress can also cause other, more serious, things. Behavioral changes in individuals experiencing chronic stress can be quite troubling. Losing or gaining too much weight because eating habits change can cause health problems, as can increasing one's use of cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. Long-term stress can cause a multitude of mental and health problems, including heart disease, depression/anxiety, gastrointestinal and/or menstrual problems, and sexual dysfunction.

Be Kind to Your Body

It goes without saying that we need to do everything we can to reduce the amount of stress we have in our lives. We cannot eliminate it but we can focus on keeping it to a minimum and also dealing with it effectively when it does come. Here are a handful of ways to manage stress:

-Learn relaxation techniques.
-Spend time in prayer or meditation.
-Participate in things that bring you enjoyment.
-Try positive self-talk.
-Talk things out, either with a therapist or a friend/family member.
-Manage your time. Break down large tasks into smaller ones and remove things from your schedule that are causing unnecessary stress.

There are websites and books full of ways to reduce stress in our lives, so it's wise for us to search for those ways that will work for us individually. Our bodies will thank us for it!
How do YOU reduce the amount of stress in your life?

Sources (Yoga) Photo Credit: RelaxingMusic via photopin cc

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