We are living in an environment where we are constantly stressed out and under pressure....from the moment we get up in the morning until we go to sleep in the evening. As you might be aware not all stress is bad for us - as long as the stress we are experiencing is in our comfort zone (e.g. before an interview, or big presentation), it will help us stay motivated, alert and focused. However, the problem arises when we are experiencing chronic or toxic stress - meaning that our body is in the so called "fight-or-flight" state for longer periods of time on a regular basis. Because of all the hormones released in the body, this is the type of stress that can have a negative impact on our health and wellbeing in the long run.
What I have observed over the years is that the majority of people will arrive at work in the morning and they are already completely stressed out! So many of us rush in the morning out of the house, without even taking 5 minutes for our self! And this type of behavior continues throughout the whole day - running form meeting to meeting, trying to meet deadlines, trying not to miss out on social life in the evening. Meanwhile we very rarely listen to our bodies, and take the much needed rest.
We all know that toxic stress has a negative impact on our health, and yet not only we never slow down, but we also never question the impact it could have. Obviously we are all different, and deal with stress differently - some people might be more sensitive to stress, while others not so much! But if we don't pay attention and slow down, sooner or later stress will have impact (in some form) on everyone. So let's have a look at some of the physical effects such a stressful lifestyle can have on our health and wellbeing......the following can be related to such a lifestyle:
- insomnia and sleeping problems
- digestion problems
- high blood pressure
- burn out
- in some cases even heart disease
- weaken the immune system
In addition to all the physical aspects, stressful lifestyle can have a negative impact on:
- our relationships with friends and loved ones
- can lead to divorce
- our happiness
- our emotions and the way we see reality really
So knowing all these, what can we do to be able to slow down and deal with stress better? As I said before, we all different and there is no one solution for everyone. There are many methods (which we will discuss next week), but each one of us needs to figure out what works best for me and my lifestyle.