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February 09, 2013

Are You Allowing Stress to Take Control?

Hello from Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Continuing in our e course on healthy lifestyle and longevity and how you can help yourself live longer, stress has been the cause of a lot of medical problems for a lot of people. While many people think that the effects of stress are - literally - "all in the mind", it goes beyond that, and the effects can be devastating.

What most people do not know is that stress was never intended to be a long term condition. Stress was originally intended as a measure to react in "fight or flight" conditions - in other words, life threatening or dangerous situations.

As such, when stress comes to exist, your body starts diverting all possible resources to a few basic organs - which might be needed to flee or fight for survival.

The response was never intended to last for a long period of time, since usually the "fight or flight" situation would be resolved - either way - within a matter of minutes.

Once resolved, everything in your body was supposed to return to normal again within a few minutes (provided you were still alive!) but during that time you needed to be able to perform at abnormal levels.

One of these temporary priority changes is the redistribution of water in your body. Water is temporarily diverted from a number of organs to offer ample supply to muscles and lungs.

Additionally, to ensure an ample supply for as long as is needed, water is also withdrawn from the lower back region - which explains why many people suffering from chronic stress will also complain about chronic back pain. (Interesting right?)

There are a number of things to keep in mind when dealing with stress:

a. In many cases, stress is a matter of choice. While it is true that our attitudes determine how we react to stressful situations, it is also true often we create unnecessary stress, or allow others to stress us out. How much stress you experience will partly be a matter of character, and partly a matter of choice. Some things are worth stressing about, and some are not - analyze your unique situation, and decide for yourself.

b. Stress is - in many cases - created from being disorganized. If you are not able to discern between what is urgent and what is important, and treat both the same way, you will be creating stress for yourself. Urgent things need to be taken care of as soon as possible, but in as short a period of time as possible. Important tings need to be scheduled, and the proper amount of time devoted to them.

c. Many people simply have to live with huge amounts of stress - some of it might be due to their careers, and some of it might be due to circumstance or the environment. If your stress originates from a source you cannot change, find a way to deal with it. Explore different stress-reducing activities, and see what works for you. For some people it is better to indulge in physical activity, and for others it is better to engage in relaxing tasks or hobbies.

Stress is a very real threat to your longevity - so make a point of keeping it down to the absolute minimum. In the end, only you can make the changes necessary for your health and well-being.


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