We all experience stress throughout our day. The more things that we juggle and keep us busy, the more stress we experience as a result. What parent doesn’t have to rush to carpool kids to activities, prepare dinner, and get the proposal out, stay connected to your social networks, interview for the next job?
But here is the deal, as we become more busy and stressed, that stress builds up and is harming our physical and mental health. Not having the space to vent, detox from your stressful day becomes even more dangerous in the long run.
What this means is that prolonged stress build-up is not good. Stress can cause impaired memory and learning, it can trigger hormones to produce increased sugar production in the body, you may find yourself breathing faster or shortness of breath, your blood pressure can rise, impair your body’s ability to fight infections, increase risk for irritable bowel syndrome, and cause muscle tension resulting in head, neck, back, or shoulder pain.
What can you do to relieve stress? Laugh, Exercise, & Sleep. Laughter relaxes the body, helps to reduce stress hormones, improves mood, and helps to reduce conflict with others. Exercise improves your mood, increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, you will feel more energized, and can improve muscle strength. The benefits of sleep is amazing. Having at least 8 hours of sleep per night improves memory, can lower stress, improves your mental and physical performance, keeps the weight off, and may make you live longer.
Next time you are stressed, don’t tweet your anger, find a funny joke and laugh, take a 15 minute walk, take a deep breath and count backwards from 10 slowly, and get some well-deserved sleep.