Given that stress has been linked as a co-factor in 95% of all disease processes, a keystone of holistic, alternative health and healing is learning how to effectively manage it. This learning process begins with recognizing or identifying four specific types of stress affecting you and how these stressors are showing up or manifesting as symptoms in your life.

Stress factors broadly fall into four types or categories: physical stress, psychological stress, psychosocial stress, and psycho-spiritual stress.

Physical

Physical stresses entails trauma, intense physical labor/over-exertion, environmental pollution, illness, fatigue, inadequate oxygen supply, hypoglycemia, hormonal and/or biochemical imbalances, dietary stress, dehydration, substance abuse, dental challenges, and musculoskeletal misalignments/imbalances.

Psychological

Psychological stress entails emotional stress, cognitive stress, and perceptual stress.

Psychosocial

Psychosocial stress entails relationship/marriage difficulties, lack of social support, lack of resources for adequate survival, loss of employment/investments/savings, loss of loved ones, bankruptcy, home foreclosure, and isolation.

Psycho-Spiritual

Psycho-spiritual stress would be a crisis of values, meaning, and purpose; joyless striving; and misalignment within one’s core spiritual beliefs.

Overall, improperly, or ineffectively managed stress usually takes a toll on the body. When stress-related feelings, moods, emotions are pushed into the body, the soma, this is usually termed psychosomatic or psychogenic illness, including headaches, heart palpitations, physical/cognitive/emotional pain and sufferingconstricted throat and shallow, constricted breathing, clammy palms, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, allergies, asthma, autoimmune syndromes related to ineffective functioning of the immune system, hypertension, and gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea, upset stomach, duodenal ulcers, and esophageal reflux syndrome.

Prolonged stress can result in suppressed immune function, increased susceptibility to infectious and immune-related diseases and cancer. Emotional stress can also result in hormonal imbalances that further interfere with healthy immune functioning.

Coping strategies:

1.) Burn Off Tension.

Burn off tension. Physical activity can reduce cortisol levels and can help with coping with daily stressors. However, for many people sticking to a daily exercise schedule is itself stressful because they pick activities they do not enjoy. Instead of this choose to do something you love, such as gardening, taking nature walks, or yoga, which can slow the harmful effects of stress. Looking forward to the activity can keep you motivated and help de-stress and recharge.

It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep. Exercise can be used as a stress relief. This is often disrupted by stress, depression, and anxiety. All these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

2.) Get yourself organized.

Get organized. Disorganization and clutter can be stress-inducing, and it is unnecessary. Take some time to set up some systems. Something as simple as setting a location for your keys, can help reduce these daily nuisances. In addition you can plan. When it comes to other strategies that can help you manage. Create a time for exercise, plan healthy meals, and get on a regular schedule to ensure that you are getting enough sleep. Also, if you know you are going to be encountering a stressful period such as the anniversary of a loved one’s death, an upcoming surgery, a financial challenge, think ahead of time about how you are going to manage it. Having a plan can help to reduce your level of stress and prevent it from taking a toll on your health.

Do not get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life ,that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.

3.) Set aside some relaxation time.

Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Do not allow other obligations to intrude. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.

4.) Connect with others.

Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of strain.

5.) Do something, for yourself.

Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy. It can be from stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.

6.) Have a laugh!

Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight  in a few ways.

 

REFERENCES:

BrainLine June 15, 2011. Reviewed July 26, 2018

Larry Trivieri, Jr, The Health Plus Letter, Vol. 2, No. 2, www.1healthyworld.com

Kelly Bilodeau, Executive Editor, Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Posted January 25, 2021, 10:30AM

University of Miami psychologist Michael Antoni and colleagues, in Kenneth R. Pelletier, Ph.D. Between Mind and Body: Stress, Emotions, and Health in MindBody Medicine, Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. and Joel Gurin, Eds., Consumer Reports Books, Consumer Union: Yonkers, New York, 1993, 19-38, citation: 24