Stressed OUT!

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Being on the brink of the end of the summer and gearing up for the school year, it’s important to discuss the topic of Stress.

First, it’s important to recognize the huge impact stress has on health. I’ve always read things here and there about how stress impacts your health, but I never really saw the impact until it started to affect me. I developed a lot of physical reactions to stress which opened my eyes to just how stressed I actually was. Stress is a funny thing because sometimes, mentally, you don’t acknowledge what’s going on. Your body will give you signs you’re stressed, because stress is a way for your body to keep you alert and ready. When the body faces negative stress, without any periods of relief, the body will lash out (in a sense). This is how stress tension builds. It’s important to know yourself, and recognize when you’re stressed, in order to prevent your body from relaying the impacts of your stress and even prevent stress from ever occurring.

Impacts of Stress

Mental

1. Memory Loss

2. Difficulty concentrating

3. Pessimistic thoughts

4. Constant worrying

Emotional

1. Moodiness

2. Inability to relax

3. Feeling overwhelmed

Physical

1. Skin Rashes

2. Migraines/Headaches

3. Loss of Sex drive

Stress can also lead to behavioral problems like eating too much or too little, sleeping too much or too little, turning to drugs or alcohol and developing anxious habits. Long term stress can eventually cause serious heart, sleep, skin and weight problems.

But lets focus on what we can do to rid ourselves of stress and prevent future stress because, let’s face it, that’s way more fun. So here are some ways to kick stress in the butt.

1. Exercise (I swear by this!)

Exercising is great for relieving stress because is a great way to rejuvenate your body all the way to the brain. The brain produces pain-killers called endorphins and If you’ve ever seen Legally blonde “exercising produces endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don’t kill their husbands…they just don’t”. Well, you get it.

2. Breathe

I know this sounds way too simple to be true, but just take time to yourself to take long, deep breaths in (*inhales*) and out (*exhales*). Just focus on breathing for a couple minutes and you’ll feel your head getting less cloudy.

3. Eat healthy

Eating the right, healthy foods like oatmeal, dark chocolate (yes, chocolate!), and foods high in Vitamin C, boost your mood and brain function.

4. Go for a walk

Or take a break from whatever is stressing you or whatever you’re working on. Take a step back from life and give yourself some breathing room so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Find a hobby or activity you enjoy and go do it! (Personally, mine is shopping. But, it’s not fiscally responsible, so I switched to Yoga.)

 

Image courtesy of CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr 

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