The Antidote to Stress
Anxiety, stress, and sadness negatively impact your physical health. Heaven knows that I know this. Further, these stressful emotions can trigger chemical reactions in your body that can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. This is hardly new news. The thing of it is: I seem to need constant reminders and hear this time and time again because I’m under a HUMONGOUS amount of anxiety, stress and even a little sadness of late. And the result is that I feel like absolute CRAP. What does this look like? Fatigue (the likes of which are beyond description), weight gain, zit outbreak, more hot flashes than usual…suffice it to say that it ain’t pretty.
However, the Silver Lining is that there are ways to cope, beginning with building the parasympathetic system. In case you don’t know, the parasympathetic system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. It is also called the rest and digest system. I’m going to write more about it because a) I’m fascinated by it and b) I need to get much more acquainted with it!
But in the meantime, the antidote to stress and anxiety are:
- being in nature
- (learning to) meditate
- alone time
I’m working very (very!!!) hard on incorporating these restorative activities into my life. What works for you?
* Photograph by dear Elizabeth Messina