We were recently asked the following question: “What factors does stress have on one’s body?”
For the answer we tapped Peggie Dickens, counselor and life coach:
Stress, as we have heard in the media, is a force that knows no boundaries. It can take its toll on our well-being whether physical, mental or spiritual. Stress can be chronic or acute but both play roles on our bodies. If stress is chronic, we might develop things like Chrones disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), high blood pressure, lack of focus, and many bodily ailments. The list bodily ailments could go on and on actually. If stress is acute, meaning a short period of time, we might feel irritable, tired, frustrated, worried, depressed, fatigued and many more discomforting feelings.
It’s important to know that each of us interprets stress differently. Certainly there are situations and incidences that each of us would label as stressful but each of us has our own way of coping. Some may internalize it, some may let it out for the world to hear and others may even deny it. One way to look at stress is to actually look at the word. The opposite of stress is ease. So if we have stress (which we may cope with poorly) we may indeed have dis-ease. It may be helpful to consider stress as the “dis” in our lives. We may also look at stress as dis-comfort, dis-able, dis-connected, dis-satisfaction, dis-regulated, dis-parate, dis-valued.
So, what do we do with all this “dis”? As we all know, stress is a part of our lives whether it is a traffic jam that makes us late for work or a deadline that we have no idea how we will meet. Life can be full of small and huge stressors. So how do we cope? One of the most important things to live through the stress is to take impeccable care of ourselves. Make sure you sleep enough, eat nourishing foods, exercise, and most importantly, take time out for your self. That’s right, your self. Treat yourself as if you are your best friend. If your best friend is under stress, you might suggest a hike in the woods, a delicious lunch out, a massage, take the dog to the park, meditation. Each of these activities will help reduce your interpretation of stress in your life. Each time you take care of yourself, your resiliency to cope with what life dishes up will became stronger.
Do you have a question for Peggie? Post it in comments and we will get you an answer.