How Stress Affects Your Health
Stress is damaging. Physically and emotionally, given enough time, stress will wreak havoc in all aspects of your life. Stress makes you fatigued, irritable, depressed and anxious. You are more likely to make poor choices when stress is high. Aspects of self-care, like getting enough sleep, regular exercise and eating well, become an afterthought as stress demands your attention.
Stress and osteoporosis have an intimate relationship. The more stress you have, the more likely you are to have osteoporosis and people with osteoporosis report higher levels of stress. Whether you are working to avoid osteoporosis or prevent it from worsening, reducing stress in your life is a necessity.
It is true that reducing stress is easier said than done, but you can take useful steps. Having a plan to reduce stress and improve overall well-being will help your process. Here’s how:
- Set up for success. As mentioned above, stress makes it harder to take care of yourself and not taking care of yourself increases stress. Make yourself the priority by making appropriate diet choices, allow enough time to get eight hours of sleep each night and exercising more often. These three will improve your physical health and boost your energy throughout the day. More importantly, the influence on your mental health is incredible. Your moods will be less depressed while your concentration and problem-solving skills improve.
- Reduce the negatives. Take an inventory of your stressors and identify ones that create the largest unwanted impact. Work to eliminate or modify these to reduce stress. Be cautious, though. Spending too much effort trying to change something that is unchangeable only leads to increased stress. Choose your battles wisely.
- Add positives. You can never eliminate all negatives. Adding positives helps find balance and then tip the scales in your favor. If your positives can outweigh the negatives, you will feel more empowered and optimistic about the future. Rather than being glued to the couch, go for a walk outside or meet a friend for dinner. Listing and scheduling your positives will make them easier to complete. The sense of accomplishment you receive will shrink your stress.
- Relaxation. You know you need to relax and so do the people around you. Learning how to relax can be confusing and challenging at first. Explore your options. Relaxation techniques begin with deep breathing and end at complex meditations. Too many people give up on relaxation far too quickly. Completing multiple trials throughout the day for weeks at a time is the only way to know if the relaxation is a good fit for you. The vast majority of people achieve some benefit from relaxation. You should be no different.
- Therapy. Feeling that you have to combat osteoporosis alone builds frustration and hopelessness. Consider beginning therapy to increase supports and learn techniques to manage stress that are individualized for your situation and needs. Stress is overwhelming; osteoporosis is, too. Professionals are available to help you.
Osteoporosis assaults your body and your mind. Doctors give you many recommendations to care for your body. Following the tips above will ensure your mind is a priority as well. After all, a healthy mind leads to a health body.