Living in such a fast paced society we may find it difficult to know what it really feels like. It is our norm, the only thing we have been exposed to. Yet, our body is not designed to function in this way. While it would be nice to have an owner’s manual for our body. Something that explains the warning signs (or indicator lights) when if there is a problem. Imagine how easy managing our health would be then! Have a question, check out the owner’s manual!
Unfortunately, life is not designed this way. Because we do not have an owner’s manual it is completely up to us to know our body. Know what it feels like to feel good, to suspect there is a problem, understand how each system is connected to the other. We need to learn how to identify symptoms, causes, and effects. Most importantly, we need to know how our body optimally functions so we can provide it with the care it needs to thrive.
Modern day society has led us to believe that stress is normal. To be successful in life means pushing ourselves harder and longer. However, this comes with a high price. The price we pay is not immediate, but rather a series of symptoms, or indicator lights, that add up over time. Eventually, our body simply quits on us, leaving us with a major health crisis.
Below are several symptoms to help you determine whether or not you are stuck in stress overdrive:
- Food cravings – Our craving for salty or sweet foods intensifies when we are under stress because it provides energy and replenish our systems. Have your cravings increased?
- Negativity – Stress causes us to be more judgmental and irritable. Have you been cranky lately?
- Sleep deprived – Being over-stressed makes sleeping soundly more difficult. Do you wake up in the morning feeling exhausted?
- Belly fat – High stress creates higher levels of cortisol in our body. This excess contributes to extra weight around our middle section. Have you been frustrated with your inability to lose weight?
It is possible to reverse this stress cycle if we make the effort. Here are a few ideas to offset the stress in our lives, especially if we find ourselves in stress overload:
- Take time each day to breathe slowly and deeply for at least 5 minutes.
- Go outside and walk or simply sit and enjoy the scenery.
- Enjoy a relaxing bath.
- Try yoga.
- Create space in your home for meditation and practice quieting your mind for 10 minutes.
- Call a good friend.
- Get a massage.
Remember to be aware of your body’s indicator lights. When given the warning, be proactive and don’t let stress take its toll on your body unnecessarily.