The Hidden Cost of Stress
April is Stress Awareness Month
Most of us in our fast-paced, technology driven, multi-tasking lives have experienced some form of stress. Stress is a state in which internal stability is actually threatened or perceived to be threatened. When it comes to human beings, stress can be actual (real), anticipated and/or imagined while animals respond to actual (real) threat only which is an advantage to them.
Causes of Stress
Isolated events such as sudden unemployment, marriage breakup, death of a loved one are undoubtedly potent sources of stress, but chronic daily stressors are more insidious and more harmful causing long term biological consequences. Stress is cumulative-unmetabolized childhood events as far as from two years of age form unconscious beliefs which drive one‘s life. For those habituated to high levels of internal stress since early childhood, it‘s the absence of this stress that creates unease, boredom and meaninglessness which drives their addiction of accomplishment. These people have a strong sense of time urgency, can‘t relax, are insecure about their status, are highly competitive and are easily angered when life doesn‘t meet their expectations.
There‘s nothing wrong in being a “go-getter”, only if you are motivating force is your inner creativity and you are not working hard to prove your worth to the world. Some common symptoms of stress are anxiety in relationships, anxiety related to work, worry, fear, depression, hostility, irritability, resentment, chronic pain, headaches, neck pain, muscle tension, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, stomach ulcers, indigestion and sleep related issues. Symptoms are nothing but body‘s way to bring attention to your suppressed emotions and feelings .You may suppress symptoms by comfort foods, alcohol, recreational drugs, internet, over exercising, social withdrawal or take medications which provide relief for short time but if root cause is not addressed long term serious health consequences happen. Most people are more externally aware such as traffic, weather, and time of the day or their bank balance but have lost internal awareness of physical sensations in the body, feelings, discomfort. Let‘s dedicate this month to connect with ourselves as disconnection with self is the primary suffering. ?
Here are few tips to become self aware:
1. Take a body inventory or run a body scan from toe to head few times a day to connect yourself to your inner world. Body awareness is the ability to recognize how your body reacts to stressors in your life and is the most powerful step to healing.
2. Breathing is a fundamental necessity of life which most of us take for granted. The easiest way to connect to body is through breath, use breathing to increase awareness of inner peace.
3. Build Mindfulness muscle at least 10 minutes every day. When eating just eat, when talking to your kids, just talk, when walking –just walk.
4. Take relaxation breaks every 2 ½ hours throughout the day for 3-20 minutes.
5. Remind yourself that you don‘t have to do what everyone else is doing. Comparing self to others is a form of self abuse.
6. Connect to nature – It doesn‘t rush, yet accomplishes everything.
7. Pray, meditate or practice slow deep breathing exercises for at least 11 minutes before bed to increase melatonin levels.
8. Connect with someone you care about today. Tell them how much they mean to you.
9. Devote 10 minutes every day to doing something you love.
10. Say “No” to something that bothers you in your life today. Acknowledge an inner conflict or fear. Share it with a partner or friend, and encourage them to do the same
11. Laugh deeply each day- the brain secretes all the good chemicals even if it‘s fake.
Thank you for reading!
Dr. Priya Duggal, ND (Naturopathic Doctor)
Dr. Priya Duggal, ND is passionate to asisst everyone live to their full potential and uses “Compassionate Inquiry” -A psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Gabor Mate, Md as a modality to assist her patients cope with stress related health conditions.
Book an appointment with Dr. Priya by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org OR contact our clinic directly at 647-874-4490.