Health by Heidi
|Posted on November 5, 2015 at 7:00 PM|
A client of mine said to me the other day, "Could all my stress be making me exhausted?" I answered, "Of course!" Stress wreaks havoc on the body in many many ways. I am sure we have all had sleepless nights from time to time due to stress. I have seen stress give people rashes or hives. I have seen stress prevent weight loss and even cause weight gain. I have seen stress cause people to cry, give them horrible headaches, make them cranky and depressed, cause them to overeat or undereat. Stress is a crazy thing.
The funny thing about stress is that most of the things that keep us awake at night are things we can't control. We can't control the weather. We can't control other people's actions or decisions. We can't control what our boss is thinking or what our co-workers are doing. Try as we might, many times we can't control our children, especially as they become adults. That doesn't mean we don't stress about these things.
My opinion about stress is this: Change the things that I can and let go of the things that I can't. It is a great theory but challenging to put into practice. If I find myself worrying about something, I try to take a step back from it and view it objectively. Is it something over which I have control? If so, I try to take steps to change the situation. The change may not happen right away, or sometimes at all, but if I am actively taking steps to make the situation better, I always feel better. For example, before the football tournament this year I was a little concerned about my body and how it would hold up. I wasn't losing sleep over it, but it was a valid concern of mine. Rather than just worrying about it until the day of the tournament, I put myself through extra drills and agility training so my body would be ready for the demands of tournament day. Putting in the extra work took away the concern and I felt great, not only for the tournament day but also the days afterward.
If I am stressed about something that I have no control over, I really try to let it go. A few years ago I was dealing with a lot of stress regarding something that was out of my control. A good friend of mine said to me, "You have to let this go. The stress and anger that you feel about this is only affecting you. It is not affecting anyone else. Let it go." That really stuck with me. I see it happen all the time now. We find ourselves upset with a co-worker or family member or boss, and we get so angry and frustrated and stressed that we start to have physical symptoms like headaches and sleep loss. Yet, the person we are angry with is fine. No stress. No sleep loss. No headaches. Our anger is only affecting us, not them. So let it go. Meditate. Take some deep breaths. Focus on calming words. Repeat to yourself that by holding onto the stress you are only hurting yourself. So let it go.
We all have stress. It is a part of life. It also takes practice to deal with stress in a healthy way. Change things, or let it go. It truly is as simple as that.