Stress is a normal physical response. Everyone feels stress. You may feel stress when you have too many errands to run, when you are given a promotion at work, or you can certainly feel stress in your daily commute through Atlanta traffic!
During stressful times, your body responds physically by producing hormones to speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a big burst of energy. That physical reaction is called the “fight or flight” response.
Some stress is good and some stress is bad. But when stress happens too often it can take a toll on your body. So that’s why we want to discuss where stress comes from and how you can effectively manage it.
Where does stress come from?
Take a look around you. The environment in which you live can cause stress. Pollution causes stress and comes in the form substances or energy – think trash or smog and noise or light pollution. Your environment includes your family, home, neighbors, community, and geographic location. The people whom you choose to surround yourself can either be uplifting and positive or upsetting and negative. Being isolated or overcrowded can also cause stress depending upon which situation you prefer.
Your diet may be causing you stress. The food that you eat either nourishes or starves your body. Do you eat mostly processed foods with chemical additives and empty calories? Doing so creates a toxic environment inside your body and allows you to become more susceptible to sickness and disease.
How much physical activity do you get? Science and medicine have proven that exercise negates the effects of bad stress on your body and in most cases it does so better than any prescription medicine. On the other hand, a lack of physical activity can make even small amounts of stress seem monumental.
Take an inventory of what you’re feeling right now. Are you worried, doubtful, fearful? Do you feel happy, confident, or at ease? Your attitude and how you choose to react to stress can either cause you more stress or help you release stress. Often times people manufacture stress in their thoughts that then manifest themselves in their bodies and environment.
The good news is you have choices here. You can choose to take control of all of these factors in your life. Or you can choose to be a victim to stress and succomb to headaches, ulcers, back pain, sickness, disease, obesity, depression, unhealthy relationships…
Take a moment this evening to look at these four areas of your life. Identify the stress points. Then allow yourself to decide whether you will take control of that stress or simply accept it.