top of page

Stress: The Inside-You Story

I was sitting in that comfy “lounge” chair at the doctor’s office a while ago when he explained that I was grinding my teeth down to the nubs. “You are going to need to get a mouth guard for sleeping,” he directed. I noticed my jaw tense up and the muscles in my face stiffen. Then I caught myself… darn, my stress meter had risen. The thought of making another appointment, the cost of that appointment and adopting a new nighttime habit were already adding to the physical tension and stress in my body. And that’s just what I was noticing.

The irony being that my dental stress was adding to the stress that was already causing the teeth grinding to begin with, not to mention a myriad of other internal reactions that we are often not even aware of until they become bigger issues. The mouth guard was going to manage a symptom, but I knew I needed to start managing my stress better as well.

Stress can cause headaches and migraines

Stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life. However, when stress becomes chronic, it can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health.

The body's natural response to stress is called the fight-or-flight response. This response is triggered by the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones prepare the body to either fight or flee from danger.

The fight-or-flight response can be helpful in the short-term, but when it is activated too often or for too long, it can have negative consequences for our health.

Some of the physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Headache: Stress can cause tension headaches or migraines.

  • Muscle tension: Stress can cause muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, back, and other parts of the body. Over time it can be challenging to relax these muscle groups, creating a generalized ache in these areas.

  • Chest pain: Stress can cause chest pain, which can be mistaken for a heart attack.

  • Rapid heartbeat: Stress can cause the heart to beat faster than usual.

  • Shortness of breath: Stress can make it difficult to breathe (your muscles tighten in your torso restricting you breath space)

  • Sweating: Stress can cause sweating, especially on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

  • Nausea: That tight feeling in your belly that makes you question if you have to run to the bathroom or not. Eeek.

  • Insomnia: Stress can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.

  • Changes in appetite: Stress can cause changes in appetite, such as overeating or loss of appetite.

  • Fatigue: Stress can make you feel tired and exhausted

The physical symptoms of stress can vary from person to person. Some people may experience only a few symptoms, while others may experience many. If these symptoms are severe, definitely consider consulting your doctor, especially if they do not go away after a stress reduction plan is in place.

Walk to feel better now.
Walking in nature is a great tool for stress reduction

If you are noticing any of these stress symptoms it is time for you to take your control back. YOU HAVE THE POWER to make changes in your life to stop the stress cycle. Below are a few approaches that work successfully and you can start right away. However, changing your lifestyle, your mindset and developing a mindful life approach is essential to keeping the stress at bay.

It's time to de-stress. Try these approaches and start cultivating a stress-less lifestyle.

  • Go for walks: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. It releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.

  • Get enough sleep: When you are well-rested, you are better able to cope with stress.

  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet can help to improve your overall health and well-being.

  • Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help to calm the body and mind.

  • Socialize:: Spending time with friends and family can help to reduce stress and improve your mood.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol can worsen stress symptoms.

  • Learn to say no: Learning to say no to requests that you cannot or do not want to fulfill can help to reduce stress.

  • Take breaks: When you are feeling stressed, take a few minutes to step away from the situation and relax.

  • Get out in Nature: The great outdoors or even staring up into the leaves of a tree can have a quick and powerful healing effect.

Managing stress is important for your physical and mental health. By following these tips, you can reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. A stress-less life comes with a change of perspective as well. Subscribe to my newsletter for upcoming classes and workshops for managing stress, the mind and the body, so you can live a happy and healthy life.

10 views0 comments


bottom of page