A huge surprise to most is just how intense the effect of stress and overwhelm can have on your body. We’ve all experienced the well-known ways stress gets to us such as lack of sleep, high blood pressure or headaches. Compounded stress over an extended period of time can actually raise your chances of a heart attack. Are you in constant need of a massage? Your muscles can tense up so badly that in some areas you might lose the ability to relax them. Stress may even be the cause of developing type 2 diabetes! Your liver’s glucose production is kicked into overdrive when you’re under stress; prolonged exposure then increases your risk of developing diabetes.
It is so important to de-stress and kick your habit of overwhelm. You can begin with something as simple as taking five long, slow, deep breaths. For just one minute, let go of all the swirling thoughts of what you need to do. Even close your eyes and imagine a pleasant, relaxing scene. Focus only on inhaling slowly until you can’t possibly inhale any more – maybe even mentally counting off 5 seconds. Be sure to let your belly relax so you’re allowing your lungs to fully expand. Then exhale slowly until there’s no air left to exhale, also for 5 seconds. Observe how it feels to simply breathe. Your to-do list will not change dramatically in the one minute it takes to do this, but you’ll feel so much better!