I know you have probably been there.
You have a tight knot in your stomach. Your breathing seems a little fast. You also feel tightness on your shoulders.
Stress and anxiety are the two things that every one seems to be facing these days. Both can seem like they go hand in hand.
I’ve had my personal battles with these issues. Truthfully, I am still battling and doing everything I can to reduce stress.
The purpose of this blog post is to share with you why you should reduce your stress as a woman. I will be sharing what happens to a woman’s body when there is chronic stress. I’m also going to give you some tips on how you can lower those stressful feelings.
Before I get into all of that, let’s look at some brief definitions of both words.
What is Stress?
Stress is a feeling of being under intense pressure. It can be triggered from events or negative thoughts surrounding an event. You are basically responding to triggers with what psychologists call ‘flight or fight.’
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a strong feeling of nervousness or feeling uneasy about an outcome of an event. For example, many experience social anxiety because they feel an eminent threat of being judged in social circles.
Prolonged Stress and Anxiety
The ‘fight or flight’ feelings we get when we are under pressure was designed to help protect us if we were in danger. Our adrenaline kicks in and we will do whatever we need to do to survive.
Also, feelings of nervousness before speaking in front of a crowd is not such a bad thing. I still get nervous when I speak in front of people. I believe those feelings will help us get through those tough moments at times.
Still, these small events do not compare to the prolonged stress that women can face.
It seems that we are experiencing stress in every area of our lives and all at once. It’s overwhelming to have to go to work or work from home, take care of the house, nurture children with little to no help, and marriage can be stressful too.
When stress and anxiety becomes prolonged then you will begin to have issues. The body is effected negatively in response of not having time to regroup.
The writers over at Everyday Health lists specific issues that plague women when we are overly stressed. There are 10 noted effects:
- Changes in menstural patterns
- Hair loss
- Eating disorders
- Upset stomach and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Skin acne or itchy rashes
- Changes in mental health
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Increased forgetfulness and decreased productivity
- Increased chances for heart disease
- Susceptible to the common cold and flu
You can read more about these specific effects by following the link to the article The Physical Side of Stress.
How Stress Can Negatively Impact the Brain
If you want to maintain a healthy mind and avoid having a mood disorder such as anxiety disorder, then you have to decrease the stress in your life.
I know you have a lot to do on your on list. You might have some unfinished business. The kids might be running around, making noise, and you haven’t slept well since your first child was born. You do not want to have to deal with becoming
- Super forgetful and overly emotional
- Fearful and developing anxiety issues
- A horrible decision maker
These are just 4 of the effects that stress has on the brain. This article lists 12 different things that are happening to your brain right now when you are experiencing chronic stress.
Take Care of Your Temple
Your body is a temple. A temple is considered to be a very sacred place. You have to do everything possible to stay healthy so you can get everything done on your to do list one day.
Let’s start by eliminating many of the things that are causing you stress and start adding more activities that will get your mind on more enjoyable things. You want to be able to let off that fight response you experience when things get too crazy in your life.
This is one of my favorite stress relievers. You can ask my husband. I constantly hound him for a back massage or a foot rub after a long day of chasing children up and down the stairs or cleaning. I’m always picking up my 2 year old who weighs nearly 35 lbs (at the time of this writing). Sometimes my day just doesn’t go right and I need a little something that will help me normalize my mood.
Massage therapy has worked for me. I can assure you that if my husband didn’t agree to massage my back or feet I would have to make appointments to see a licensed massage therapist. It’s not in my budget to do twice a week. If you happen to have the means to invest in massage therapy then you will understand how critical it is to be able to relax with this technique.
Just take a look at all of the benefits of massage therapy.
Exercise to Reduce Your Stress
One of the things I loved to do in when I was younger was to take out my frustrations on the dance floor. I was not a party girl, but I studied dance. So, when I needed to let off a little steam I used dance as a way to create a better mood.
Dance worked because exercise has been proven to reduce stress as endorphins are released. Also, dance is a creative outlet. Although I was being instructed on how to move in my dance class, I was still able to use my creative talent to get my mind off what was bothering me.
You should do the same. Find an exercise routine that you can love. Commit to doing it 4 times a week for 30 days. You will see a big change in your stress level and your body (which is always a good thing).
I have made reducing stress a priority in my life. Take a good look at what is going on in your life, and if it is too stressful then it is time to make some changes.