6. Limit Stress Factors
Once we’ve become more familiar with our stress triggers, we can start to recognize other factors that contribute to our stress.
A good example for me is hunger. I am 10 times more likely to get stressed out and upset over something if I haven’t eaten then if I’m handling the same exact thing but I have eaten. So on the road to dinner I get road rage, but on the way home it doesn’t bother me so much. My tip here is that I can avoid hunger and avoid the stress that usually comes along with me being hungry by carrying around snacks like nuts and avoiding skipping meals.
Another factor that’s very common is not getting enough sleep so you’ll notice if somebody hasn’t gotten enough sleep will be super cranky and a lot more likely to get stressed out.
We have some articles about sleep and tips for sleep on our website. So I encourage you to check that out if you think that this might be something that applies to you.
Normally, when we think about stress we think about it as experience, or an emotion that we feel. But it’s important to recognize that stress is actually a physical condition and when we experience stress it actually turns on an entirely separated part of our nervous system: the sympathetic nervous system.
Basically you can think about in the wild, the fight-or-flight response where suddenly you’ve seen a bear and your fight-or-flight response goes on, your body is getting ready to help you run and escape that situation. So recognize that when we’re feeling stressed out, our body is physically going through changes. So we release the stress hormone, cortisol for instance.
Cortisol is known to inhibit digestion which is why stress can cause stomach issues and digestive issues. It also has been linked to insomnia, has even been linked to infertility and metabolic syndrome which is often characterized by excess belly fat.
We should start to recognize that stress is not just some pesky thing that we feel sometimes. It is actually a physical condition and is very stressful on our body. If we acknowledge this, then it’s going to help us lend a little more importance to stress relief activities.
Another aspect of this tip is recognizing that certain things in our lifestyle and environment can also stress our body and our organ systems.
- Excess of alcohol stresses your liver.
- A diet of processed foods loaded with chemicals is going to be stressful on your digestive system, your gallbladder, your liver.
Improving our physical health by improving our diet for instance, is actually going to relieve the stress that we feel because our organ systems, our overall health is going to be less stressed in general.
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