Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chronic Stress and its Toll on the Busy Working Mom

How does chronic stress show itself? We see it in the form of digestive problems, irritability, insomnia, unstable mood, skin disorders, aging, weight gain, fatigue, poor wound healing, muscle tension and strain, back and neck pain, upper respiratory infections, a suppressed immune system, a range of diseases and more. The list is endless.
Many of us combat the symptoms of stress by self medicating behaviors such as overeating, binge eating behavior, emotional eating, mindless eating, overspending, drinking, smoking and other reckless behaviors designed to numb, calm or distract us from our stress.
The only effective way to deal with stress is by first understanding how your body reacts to stress (shallow breathing as opposed to deep and relaxed), poor digestion, overheating, sour stomach, muscle tension, etc. Once that's identified, it's important to identify the stress trigger (people, place, action, event) which causes you stress. Once you've found that answer, you may want to accept the idea that the stress trigger probably won't change... but the way you handle it can.
Of course, when it comes to reducing our stress, we can simply take on less. Most of our stress is self imposed based on expectations we've designed for ourselves. While it's true that a working mom can probably handle more than what's humanly possible, it doesn't mean it's not taking its toll on the way we look, feel and live. Also, when we find ways to take on less we are often better able to stay true to what's really important to us. 
How can you stress less? I'd love to know-comment and share!

This blog post was written by Debi Silber for

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