5 things you should know about stress, before it's too late

It almost seems cliché to write about stress around the holidays. It’s such a broad term and it seems we’re reading and hearing about it constantly this time of year; but what is stress – really? And why is it so important to understand it and manage it? Can homeopathic remedies help?  Let’s take a deeper dive on the topic of stress and how to cope with it.

1) What is Stress? Web MD defines stress as “the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.”1 This definition of stress reveals how complex and far reaching stress can be.

2) What are Stress Triggers? From physical to mental to emotional, the potential triggers are numerous. In the physical realm, it might be lack of sleep, over exertion, injuries and even exposure to viruses and other infectious agents. Mental and Emotional stresses are often thought of as the same, but in reality they are two unique things. Mental stresses are in the scope of the mind and can happen with thought processes like worry and anxiety. Whereas, emotional stresses have more to do with a reaction to news or stimulus, like anger, guilt and loneliness. Emotional stress can contribute to mental stress, and mental stresses can certainly trigger emotional stress. 2  Regardless of the cause, the body's adrenal response is cortisol.

3) Not all stress is bad. No discussion of stress would be complete without mentioning that some stress may actually be a good thing, so avoiding stress triggers is not necessarily the answer. We know that controlled physical stress from exercise leads to improved physical and mental health. Additionally, a recent review of scientific research led to the conclusion that short term stressful situations can improve immune function, rather than suppress it. This results from the release of hormones that provide the body with an energy burst, but remember that these benefits do not apply to chronic stress.3 That's partially because too much stress can lead to excessive amounts of those hormones building up in the body; and this can lead to numerous health problems.

4) Why Stress Matters. When considering the topic of stress it’s important to distinguish between “Acute” stress and “Chronic” stress. Healthline defines acute stress as “your body’s immediate reaction to a new challenge, event or demand,” while chronic stress happens if those situations are not resolved and allowed to persist for long periods of time.4 Both long term and situational stresses can cause more serious mental illness.  We also know it impacts our physical well-being. Web MD reports that stress can contribute to headaches, high blood pressure, heart disease, skin problems and even diabetes. 75-90% of all doctor’s office visits are related to stress and 43% of all adults suffer from the adverse effects of stress. The costs of stress are astounding, and they are not all health care related either. OSHA considers “stress” a work place hazard and estimates annual costs to American Industry at 300 Billion. The sooner you can get your body to return to normal after physical, mental or emotional stresses, the fewer long term effects you will suffer. That's where homeopathy can be so handy. When worry simply will not turn off, a safe natural remedy can stimulate the body's ability to calm itself. After physical stress, it can help you treat symptoms like muscular soreness and other effects of lactic acid buildup.  The problem is that our bodies should return to normal levels, but our stress filled lives can lead to excessive amounts of those hormones building up in the body; and this can lead to numerous health problems.

5) What to do for stress. For most of us, stress is unavoidable, so the key to optimal health may lie in managing stress. First, if you suspect that you suffer from chronic stress, or a more serious mental illness, seek help from your doctor or another health care professional who specializes in these matters.  Keeping it simple, for acute stress, try and recognize what your stress triggers are. Then make a conscious effort not to “over do it”. Take frequent breaks to try and limit stress to small doses. Exercise regularly, but within your limitations and give your body time to recoup. Get plenty of rest, eat nutritious foods more so than not, and use homeopathic remedies to address symptoms as needed.  For a more comprehensive guide to managing stress, we like Help Guide's 6 Step Strategy to Stress Management

1 The Effects of Stress on Your Body, Available online at Web MD - http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body
2 7 Kinds of Stress, Elson Haas, MD Available online at Care2.com http://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-kinds-of-stress.html 
3 Stress is not all bad, Available online at Health Status http://www.healthstatus.com/health_blog/depression-stress-anxiety/stress-is-not-all-bad-it-may-boost-immune-system/ 

4 What’s your stress type? Available online at Healthline - http://www.healthline.com/health/whats-your-stress-type

 

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 Please note: these statements are based upon traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Homeopathic remedies to help manage stress symptoms

Nervous Tension - Tissue P: Whether the stress results from mental strain (sadness, anger, work, study, tests, deadlines, pressues, sleeplessness...) or physical strain (pain, illness, growth, convalescence, pregnancy), this remedy offers balancing vitality and healing support that is safe for all ages and stages.
Tranquility #74: Every single remedy ingredient in this unique combination’s calming, nerve-stabilizing formula, applies to situations in which stress, fatigue, grief or emotional turmoil can cause a downward spiral of sadness, weariness and sleeplessness. As its relief is non drowsy, non habit forming and 100% worry free for all ages, it can be applied whenever dark clouds are hovering nearby.

Anxiety / Depsression #304:  1-800 Homeopathy's Best Selling Stress Combination! This calming formula offers steadying support when worry, stage fright, exam stress, performance jitters, anxious thoughts or emotional turmoil disrupts your day or your lifestyle. Its stabilizing influence can be called on for restless, agitated nerves, sleeplessness, irritability and fatigue, as well as the effects of homesickness, grief or sadness.

 

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