Thursday, April 9, 2009

Financial Stress Taking its Toll on Your Health

Are you feeling emotionally-drained from the current economic downturn? If so, you are not alone. Millions and millions of people are said to have been experiencing the toll of the poor financial state of the nation and the entire world. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association shows that at least 80 percent of its respondents were most affected by money and the economy. Americans are reporting sleeplessness, anger, and fatigue are on the rise and that many deal with it by overeating and consuming junk food. The problem is so acute that economic stressors are surpassing those of daily work tasks and personal relationships.

Stress is a chronic condition, experienced in particularly high levels by people living in developed countries, and is ranked among diseases and disorders such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and cancer. Feeling out of control and believing there is no way to offset stress are among the most commonly communicated sentiments about emotional frames of mind.

Chronic stress creates its own spiral of events in the body. When we are stressed and do not provide our bodies with proper support, health problems begin to occur. Chronic stress weakens the adrenal glands, immune system, can cause weight gain, and eventually leads to disease and illness. Stress also puts tremendous strain on the heart. A person who is harried and stressed out is less likely to stop and take time to relax, meditate, eat a nutritious meal, or obtain adequate rest. These lapses result in further disturbances in sleep, eating habits, personal relationships, and other major lifestyle factors and habits.

Many people turn to taking prescription drugs, which is also on the rise. Drugs are expensive and generally only cover the problem up rather than getting at the actual cause. Here are some ideas for dealing with stress naturally and remedying the causes at the root. During times of acute stress, it is important to remember not to allow your most important asset go by the wayside - your health. If you don't have your health, everything else will suffer. Here are some ideas for dealing with stress naturally and remedying the causes at the root:
  • Don't load yourself up with more work/tasks/obligations than you can manage. If you are doing this, eventually something will have to give and it will be personal relationships and your health.
  • Make sure to eat a healthy diet - no matter what. Don't eat pre-packaged, processed, unnatural foods. Instead, allow extra time to make food from scratch. Buy local and organic whenever possible. Make larger amounts so you will have additional meals from your effort. Freeze your food and reheat later - in the oven or stove, not in the microwave. Microwaving has many harmful affects - one of the worst being that the super-heating of microwaving kills nutrients in foods.
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour each night - around 10 p.m. Engage in relaxing activities before bed so you will be naturally tired enough to fall asleep within a few minutes. Avoid drinking alcohol and eating refined sugar or carbohydrates before retiring. These substances are unhealthy and upset the natural winding-down rhythm of your body.
  • Get regular, moderate exercise at least 3 -4 times per week for 30 minutes or more.
  • Find a good relaxation technique or activity you enjoy - massage, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, pilates, or martial arts are good choices.
  • Be certain to budget money for important preventative health care items - whatever those may be for you, whether it is good, healthy, organic foods, supplements, or preventative health maintenance or care from a knowledgeable health care practitioner. Skimping on your health now will lead to problems later - often those that are more difficult to manage and are more expensive.
  • Remove toxins from your environment as much as possible - look through your house and locate items that could be causing problems and increasing your toxic load, anything from plastic to chemical cleaners to devices that may emit radiation. Plastic can often be replaced with metal, wood, or glass (in many instances). Consider replacing old bedding, towels, or clothing that may be chemically-treated (most conventional fabrics, mattress coverings, and upholstery is). But only do so if you are financially capable of taking on the cost, if any.
  • Maintain perspective. Whatever your situation, things could be worse and focus on being thankful for the things you do have. A positive outlook will help combat problems and issues going on in your life, and help to minimize the effects of stress.

1 comment:

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