Stressed Out? Listen To Your Body

Have you ever slept poorly, worrying about something, and awakened with a terrible headache and tense jaw? Maybe you have been run ragged by the kids all day and end up with stomach pain and diarrhea. So, you blame the weather or bad luck? Maybe this is your body telling you that you are really stressed out.

According to Dr. Kenneth I. Savage of the Medical University Community Hospital Physician Care Group in Tampa, FL, headaches and stomach problems are some of symptoms the symptoms of stress and excess tension. Dr. Savage says that a certain level of stress is normal but when the amount of stress you are dealing with becomes excess your body just cannot handle it and you start having the kinds of symptoms mentioned above.

In the worst cases stress can elevate the blood pressure, aggravate heart problems, or cause severe mood disorders. Lesser amounts of stress are more common and are causes of familiar health problems. Do any of the following sound familiar?

I itch all over!

Urticaria can be a sign of stress and tension so long as you are sure you were not just in poison ivy. Stress attacks your body, depletes your energy reserves, and weakens your immune system according to Dr. Savage. This can result in the release of abnormal levels of inflammatory substances in the skin which will cause you to itch and then scratch. If you are really tense this phenomenon can worse preexisting skin problems such as allergic dermatitis or an irritated scalp with seborrheic dermatitis.

TIP: Go for a walk or go bike riding. Sunlight and exercise can be beneficial says the good doctor. Sun exposure causes the body to synthesize vitamin D and it can elevate you mood and general sense of wellbeing. Exercise helps keep the immune system functioning properly as well.

Oh no, Herpes

Tingling on the lips followed by emergence of a cluster of blisters – herpes again and just before an important meeting! Herpes on the lips is caused by the virus Herpes Simples Type 1. Although the first infection comes from catching the virus from another person you can relapse when you are stressed out and you immune system weakened.

TIP: Learn to say no. Dr. Savage suggests that we manage stress by learning to control its source. If you staggering under an impossible workload see if you can possible delegate or share certain tasks. If you are helping out at church or your children’s’ school remember that you do not need to volunteer for everything.

AAAAAAH CHOO! Sick again

It may not be a surprise that you are getting sick when half your office seems to be coming down with something. But, if you tired and stressed and short on sleep you are not only more likely to catch something but also more likely to get really sick.

TIP: Sleep, sleep, sleep. Sufficient restful sleep not only allows you to wake up feeling refreshed but it also replenishes your immune system and reduces your vulnerability to colds and other infections carried home from school by your children or into the workplace by your colleagues. Trying going to be earlier by and hour and it might change your life.

Ow! My stomach hurts.

Sometimes our response to stress just makes the stress worse. Going to work, running errands, missing meals, burning the candle on both ends? It is no wonder that when you skip meals, eat junk food, or don’t get enough rest that you experience diarrhea or constipation, stomach pains or even ulcers.

Tip: Plan. On Sunday buy healthy food for the entire week. These should food that you can prepare and eat one day and eat the leftovers the next. You will always be less stressed if you have the meal situation under control. Make sure there are always healthy snack foods like fruit, yoghurt, or easy to carry snacks like granola available at all times.

Ow. My jaw hurts!

Sometimes, unfortunately, we carry our stress with us to bed. With a head full of problems to solve you may find yourself tensing your jaw and grinding your teeth at night. This is called bruxism. If you wake up every morning with a tense jaw and pain at the jaw, around the ears, or just a headache talk to your dentist. You may benefit from a dental splint worn at night to keep your jaw relaxed.

TIP: Relax before going to sleep. Practice yoga for 10 minutes, listen to soft music or read a book so that your dreams are sweet and without stress.

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