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BellaOnline's Gynecology Editor


How Stress Can Impact Your Life

Guest Author - A. Maria Hester, M.D.

Stress is an inevitable and potentially destructive force in our lives. The demands of work and family play a vital role in the amount of stress we experience. However, there are many, many other potential sources of stress that we may encounter. Regardless of the source of stress, our health may suffer significantly.

Everyone experiences stress on a regular basis. Some stressful situations last very briefly, such as getting caught in a traffic jam on your way to an important job interview. On the other hand, trying to take care of 2 infants and a newborn baby while juggling the responsibilities of a demanding job and a terminally ill relative can make anyone physically ill.

A recent study reported in the Online First issue of Hypertension found that participation in a stress-management program in the workplace not only reduced fluctuations in heart rate it also decreased blood pressure in office workers. However, there are many other potential health consequences of stress; some of these are listed below.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress

* Difficulty falling or staying asleep
* Headaches
* Irritable bowel syndrome, which can cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation
* Depression and anxiety
* Mood swings
* Poor concentration
* Abnormal dietary habits, such as eating too much or too little
* Skin problems
* High blood pressure
* Difficult to control diabetes
* Difficulty getting pregnant

Things You Can Do to Decrease the Stress in Your Life

If you do not exercise regularly, make a commitment to yourself to join a gym, buy a treadmill for your home, or even walk regularly with your friends. Exercise releases endorphins which active in the brain to improve your overall sense of well-being.

Get plenty of rest. Not sleeping well compounds the problem of stress in your life and a vicious cycle can begin.

Eat a healthful diet full of fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Do something nice for yourself on a regular basis. If you like to shop, pick a day or two each month to go to your favorite store. Even if you cannot purchase something on each trip just being in an environment you like can be very therapeutic.

Consider trying an herbal tea. I personally love Tension Tamer tea by Celestial Seasonings. Rose hips tea is also quite relaxing. There are countless other safe and effective natural teas on the market that can help you unwind. However, if you have any health problems it is best to check with your physician before trying herbal supplements.

Try aromatherapy. Several scents have the ability to soothe.

Take a nice, long bath. Place scented candles around your tub and turn on your favorite classical music. Have your hubby take the kids out for ice cream so you will not be disturbed during your unwind time.

If you need help, get it. You should not be ashamed if your stress level is so high that you need some professional help from your physician or a therapist. There are also a variety of workshops available that may help you tremendously. Remember, stress literally has the potentially to destroy your life as well as shorten it. Do not let your pride get in the way of the most valuable asset you have, your life.
Change PhotoTIME is a precious commodity now days and to waste it can be frustrating. We have created a workshop that will help you become a less stressed mom and a more productive and efficient mom so that you can create more time with your family and YOURSELF.
To sign up for a one-on-one workshop e-mail sue@changehappens.org

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Content copyright © 2014 by A. Maria Hester, M.D.. All rights reserved.
This content was written by A. Maria Hester, M.D.. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Dr. Denise Howard for details.


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