Conquering Chronic Stress with Mind-Body Tools
Author: Shoshana Belisle, MSW, MA, RYT, Namaste Wellness Advisor
Stress is a daily reality in most people’s lives. Stress is a physical and emotional reaction that we experience when facing pressures, changes, or challenges in life. Some stress is actually good for us - it forces us to learn, adapt, and grow. The problem arises when stress is either overwhelming or goes on for far too long.
Unfortunately, our bodies often can’t tell the difference between imagined threats and actual threats to our survival. Too much work, too little rest, toxic media, and relationship challenges all trigger the same release of stress hormones in the body that would occur when facing imminent physical danger.
Brief, occasional stress is no big deal. But ongoing overactivation of the body’s fight-flight-freeze response leads to many health challenges, including mood disorders, headaches, digestive problems, heart disease, and more. Chronic stress may even compromise your immune system and make you more susceptible to the cold or flu.
Staying healthy requires that we bring awareness to our daily stressors, do our best to reduce the chronic stress (“allostatic”) load, and build our capacity to heal and bounce back. These simple, easy tools activate the “rest and restore” system and can be included in your daily self-care toolbox:
Conscious, deep breathing
Taking a quiet walk
Talking with a trusted friend
However, sometimes the burden is too big to manage on our own and we need support. After all, we believe that Life is a Team Game.
You can call upon Namaste as your Wellness Team. Wellness coaching, as well as yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and fitness are proven to reduce chronic stress and bring you into balance. Or arrange for an in-home Namaste massage to experience an immediate sense of physical and emotional relief. Yes, stress is part of life, but the unhealthy effects of chronic stress need not be part of yours.