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Move, Breathe, Move, Talk

Stress Sucks!

Stress is a part of life that you can't totally avoid, but you can learn to manage it effectively. Unfortunately, when left unchecked, stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds.

Here are some of the many adverse effects stress can contribute to:

  • Heart Health: Chronic stress can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease.

  • Immune System: Long-term stress weakens the immune system, making you more prone to infections.

  • Mental Health: Ongoing stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and problems with memory and concentration.

  • Digestive Issues: Stress can cause or worsen digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers, and acid reflux.

  • Muscular Tension: Prolonged stress can lead to chronic muscle tension, resulting in headaches, back pain, and other musculoskeletal issues.

  • Sleep Disturbances: Stress can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or poor-quality sleep.

  • Weight Changes: Stress can affect appetite, leading to overeating or undereating and resulting in weight changes.

  • Skin Problems: Stress can trigger or worsen skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

  • Reproductive Issues: In women, stress can affect menstrual cycles and fertility; in men, it can affect sperm production and erectile function.

  • Respiratory Issues: Stress can exacerbate respiratory conditions like asthma and increase the risk of panic attacks.

My Personal Story: How Stress Impacted My Health

I want to share my story about stress and how it has impacted my health. Before I started coaching movement for mental health and happiness, I allowed stress to manifest into a medical issues - most of the time gastrointestinal stuff, sometimes breathing stuff and once as an enlarged lymph node near my right breast — and of course it skyrocketed my anxiety.

This vicious cycle took a toll on my mental health, leading to sleepless nights and overtraining, since exercise has always been my main “go to.” The problem was not the movement itself but rather the lack of balance—too much exercise without enough recovery. All these factors meant I needed many medical tests, which were not only expensive but also increased my anxiety. The cycle continued until I learned to better listen to my body, slow down, and find a balanced routine. Spending more time on the yoga mat and focusing on my mental health, happiness, and life purpose became crucial.

Move, Breathe, Move, Talk

First thing you need to do is identify the source: What’s bugging you? Take a moment to pinpoint those stress triggers. By understanding what's causing your stress, you can address it head-on and start to take control.

  • Get Moving: Shake it off! Dance in your living room - (silly as it sounds it works - try it if you don’t believe me), jog in the park, or hit the gym. Movement is medicine for the mind and the body!

  • Talk It Out: Chat with friends, family, or a therapist. Talking about your feelings can lighten your load and help you gain new perspectives. It’s amazing how a good conversation can reveal solutions you hadn’t considered!

  • Get Moving: You might have heard me mention movement once or twice? I wanted to mention it again just in case you missed it! Plus a strong reminder that balance is key and a little movement done consistently goes a long way!

  • Practice Mindfulness: Deep breathing or meditation can work wonders. Just a few minutes a day can bring peace and balance. Simple techniques like deep breathing can calm your mind and help you stay grounded.

And for additional information, plese chheck out my blog post from last year, "Move Your Body, Move Your Mind," for more great mental health tips!

Always remember, it's not about eliminating stress completely; it’s about creating strategies to lessen its impact and improve your life.

Stay strong, stay healthy, and keep moving!

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