Now You're Stressed Out

These days, we’re all stressed out!  Between the demands of work, family, friends, and home life, we’re expected to juggle it all without complaint.   While some stress can be beneficial from a psychological standpoint, this chronic cycle most of us get caught up in is definitely not.  Are you suffering from too much stress?  Would you recognize the signs even if you were?  Well, at The Family Center, we’re here to help our community combat this common problem.

 

It Takes a Physical Toll 

Of course, we all know that stress is a psychological issue, but severe stress—especially over a long period of time—can affect your body, too.  Have you been feeling lethargic lately?  Like you don’t have the same amount of energy you used to? 

 

Maybe you’re experiencing frequent headaches or colds.  Stress has been linked to a weakened immune system in numerous studies, so you could be opening the door for other diseases.  Or simply wearing your body down with anxiety.  Either way, it’s not going to get better until you target the source.  Aches, pains, excess tension—even alarming chest pains and erratic heartbeats—could all be attributed to your “stressed out” status. 

 

Look at Your Eating Habits 

Stress seriously plays into the gut-brain connection.  This growing theory aims to understand why our gastrointestinal system is so sensitive to emotions.  Whether we’re talking about elation, like butterflies in the stomach, or anxiety/dread (hence the term gut-wrenching experience) it’s a very real phenomenon.  Depending on your individual connection, stress can have very different influences on your appetite. 

 

For some, it involves overeating and weight gain.  Others have the opposite reaction resulting in a lack appetite and subsequent weight loss.  Still, both can include upset stomachs and gastrointestinal distress ranging from diarrhea to nausea and constipation.  It’s also a known trigger for acid reflux! 


In the short-term, these affects are definitely unpleasant—maybe even disruptive.  But in the long-term, they become far more serious.  Have you heard of GERD?  Short for gastroesophageal reflux disease, this disorder occurs when your stomach acid reaches the food pipe.  It’s known to cause frequent acid reflux, heart burn, and other more serious issues if left untreated.  Feeling stressed may also contribute to gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and an irritable colon.  While it’s important to address these conditions as they arise, you also need to consider how you handle stress.

 

Take Back Control 

Ultimately, stress is unavoidable.  When you think about it logically, it serves a practical purpose—to push you through difficult times in your life.  What happens when those difficult times seem to stretch over weeks, month, or even years?  Then, it may be time to reach out for help.  If you’re consistently feeling stressed with no end in sight, talk to the professionals at The Family Center.

 

We can work together to uncover the source of your stress and develop strategies for handling it (better).  Even it’s a simple breathing exercise or reorganization of your schedule.  But the last thing we want is for de-stressing your life to make you anxious.  Remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own!  There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you’re chronically stressed out.  Or with receiving it from The Family Center.  If there’s a way you can regain control of your life (and stress) why wouldn’t you take it?

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