EVERYDAY LIVING, Fitness, health, New Face of 60, Style, SUPER AGERS, WELLNESS

ABOUT THAT STRESS THING….

A stressful thought…….you get the idea…..ice, heights, deep holes without railing……helicopters….

When I decide on a topic I want to write about, I spend weeks researching the internet soaking up as much as I can on the subject. I find the best articles tackling the topic, take notes, and then start to formulate my own take on the challenge in a way that resonates with me and, I hope, will hit you the very same way.

But, as great plans go…..here I am at the gym this morning thinking:

WHAT IF SHARE THE PROCESS WITH ALL OF YOU?!

Rather than sliding up after I’ve completed the blog with my big old ANSWER, how about me bringing you into the discovery stage? Here is my thought. If I can start presenting certain challenges I’m experiencing, we can share a group “boo” over how they’re affecting our lives. Then, maybe together, we can discuss (via the comments) ways that we’ve been able to get past the struggle – or what has proven helpful. But the important part is that we are all a part of the the struggle. Everyone shares, everyone gets a tip or method or some fabulous little trick to help us all kick stress!

I want to talk about stress because I think I can share a value-add piece on actionable coping strategies for everyday. I think it’s safe to say that we all deal with stress, right? But it looks and feels different for everyone. I’d be willing to bet that some of you might even be stressed in your life right now and not even know it. I know I’ve been there before.

THIS IS WHAT MADE ME THINK ABOUT THIS…..

well, other than the fact that it’s a very common human struggle…and, everyone with whom we chat appears to have this niggling stress thing…..

During my last trip, I was reading a random article about something I can’t remember (sorry, I have no idea which article this was) and they mentioned the physical manifestations of stress. For whatever reason, this was the only part of the article that stuck with me; and it has continued to pop up randomly in my brain. Basically, the article discussed the physical effects of stress – like how our bodies physically respond to it. I was mesmerized by it! I’d never taken much time to think about it…..there was a LOT of information to ingest on the topic.

Since then, I’ve been paying more attention to my body’s warning signs of stress. And just thinking about stress in general – like what is it? What triggers it? How can I see it coming?

As I’m sure you probably know from your own experience, stress can be a good thing. It can motivate us and kick us in the butt to get things done when we need it most. But too much of it (like most things in life – I immediately go to dessert thoughts) can be a bad thing. In a sense, being “stressed” is sort of like being in 911-emergency-mode. It’s our body’s way of responding to threatening or demanding situations in an effort to protect you. The old “Fight or Flight” idea.

WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING??

When you feel threatened, your body responds by releasing stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which throw you into emergency mode. Your heart beats faster, blood pressure rises, muscles tighten, breath quickens, and your senses become a little sharper. Coupled together, these physical changes increase your strength and stamina, improve your reaction time, and even enhance your focus. Your body responds this way in order to prepare you to either fight or flee the “dangerous” situation.

HOW CAN I IDENTIFY WHEN I’M STRESSED?

For me, It seems to creep into my shoulders (aka The Rock Garden – as lovingly named by my massage therapist). But I did a little looking around on the internet and here’s what I came up with. Not only can it cause physical aches and pains, but It can also begin to impact just about every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system and upset your digestive and even reproductive systems. I also read that (wow this is intense) It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, etc. WOW!

Okay, but I don’t really want this article to be a “rant” where I share the info and then just let it go…..all the while wondering how each of you is handling it daily. Sooooooo,

LET’S CHAT….

So, this time let’s get the conversation going and see – what is it about stress that is most challenging for you?  We’ve shared a few things to get your brain moving but PLEASE add and discuss in comments below:

  • How can you identify when you’re stressed?Does your life fall apart when you’re “stressed”?
  • Why do some people pretend it’s cool to be stressed and busy and scrambling around all the time?
  • Can you share your trigger? How do you get it to go away or lessen?

Help a gal out,

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