Stress! It's an unavoidable part of life. It protects us when we are in danger, helps us rise to a challenge, and can even help us focus in critical situations.
However, unmanaged stress, over time, can negatively affect our health. Leading to but not limited to:
- poor sleep patterns
- poor work performance
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- decreased immune function
- chronic pain
- poor blood sugar control
How we react to stress in our lives now can have an impact on our health in the future. Researchers at Penn State University report that our reactions to today's stressors predict chronic health conditions well into the future.
- What do you think your health will be like 10 years from now?
- Do you think you are managing the stress in your life effectively?
Stress impacts our nutrition. Our bodies respond to stress by releasing cortisol, a stress hormone put out by the adrenal glands. Cortisol raises your blood sugar and promotes the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat. In response to a rise in blood sugar, your brain tells your pancreas to release extra insulin, which in turn can lower your blood sugar levels quickly. This sudden drop in blood sugar levels can leave a person feeling hungry, irritable, and craving quick energy or carbohydrates.
- What are your eating habits like when you are under stress?
- Do you see a connection between stress, poor nutrition and health problems?
- How could you eat to better handle stress?
Stress increases your need for nutrients. The more malnourished you become, the more severely stress will impact both your body and your mind. In times of high stress, it is critical to add in vitamins and minerals such as B-Complex vitamins, calcium, magnesium and other antioxidants. High stress can deplete your body of these essential nutrients.
Are you suffering from TDD (Time Deficit Disorder)? If lack of time is stressing you out, you may fall into this category. Do any of the following characteristics describe you?
__You are a master multitasker
__You skip meals
__You use your lunch break to keep working
__You forget to drink water
__You eat in a car
__You eat at your desk
__The drive thru worker knows your first name
__You have a co-dependent relationship with your cell phone
__You text and drive
__You feel you don't have time to plan meals
__You don't exercise because it interferes with your work time
__You get less than 6 hours of sleep per night on average because you're working or thinking about work
__The only time you spend with friends is on Facebook or your cell phone
__You haven't been on a vacation in over a year
Now is the time to get control of the stress in your life, or it will control you and actually shorten your life!
Coaching you to “Feel Better, and Live Longer!”
Jody Anderson, RN, CHC
Succeed Health, LLC- Algoma