Is Stress Making You Sick?

If you are alive you are probably dealing with some kind of stress.  Stress does not discriminate against age, race, wealth, height, weight, nationality, or religion.  We all seem to experience some of it at various levels.  If you think about it, a little bit of it isn’t too bad.  If we didn’t feel some tension on certain things then we probably wouldn’t feel the need to accomplish what we felt stressed about.  However, we often times allow it to grow to intense levels consequently negatively affecting our health.

What Are The Symptoms?

Stress can show up in many different forms.  It can be physical, mental, and emotional.  Physical stress could be unexplained weight gain or weight loss, headaches, teeth grinding, excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, excessive sweating, rapid hear beat among many other signs.

Mental stress could be worry, bad dreams, bad decision making, impaired judgement, etc

Emotional stress is all the things like mood swings, anxiety, lacking confidence, tension, and irritability.

What Can You Do?

Now that we’ve identified the symptoms how do you manage it?

Starting with the physical again think diet and exercise.  You’d be amazed how much better you will feel after a brisk walk or long run.  Doing this daily could help you managed your stress if it’s not severe.

Eating less sugar and simple carbohydrates.  Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein will help keep your body and mind in balance.

Get plenty of sleep.  You’d be surprised at how much bigger things seem when you are tired.  Even 2 hrs less per night can make a big difference in your irritability.

When it comes to dealing with mental stress there a some simple things you can do such as scheduling breaks to avoid burnout.  Try to have fun at something each day and don’t forget to smile.  Smiling, even for no reason can trick your mind into feeling better.

For emotional stress you need to build a support group.  Share your feeling with your friends, family, and co-workers.  Don’t try to bottle up your feeling and do it alone.  Often times when you voice your challenges to others they become smaller than they seemed in your mind.

Final Thoughts

To recap, some stress is healthy.  It’s required for us to accomplish things in life.  Most of us when faced with normal stress are able to cope and overcome it.  If you have tried all I’ve laid out in this blog and still feel overwhelmed and helpless then you should probably see a professional doctor about your issues.

Here’s to Your Health!

Dr. K Bennett