Have you ever heard the term “stress kills?” It’s not just in your head. It really does affect your body physically. Stress causes adrenaline to rise, causing a change in your breathing pattern and heart rate. If not controlled, excessive stress can permanently affect your body. Stress sets off a chain of unhealthy events. Besides what stress does that we don’t immediately notice, there is also damage caused by our reaction to stress.
Some people overeat, some under-eat. Some people drink or smoke. Some may choose unhealthy sexual activity. We all deal with stress differently. These unhealthy coping mechanisms can all lead to things that may make us sick, like high blood pressure, under nutrition, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. Lupus’s big trigger is stress and I have been dealing with it for as long as I can remember. I can’t speak for all autoimmune diseases but I’m pretty sure stress does not help in any case.
I am a pretty rational person. I find solutions for everything. There is rarely a personal problem I can’t solve. But in the process I carry a heavy weight. Although I don’t show it or know it, I am usually freaking out about something. I also have an explosive personality. I’m either all in or all out. Anyone who isn’t walking in the same direction makes me crazy. I don’t consciously do it, but inside my body reacts that way. I am highly sensitive to stress. It has caused me to be very sick at times. Some times I have ended up in the hospital and other times I have been diagnosed with a new disease. It is a serious killer for me. There have been times when I can definitely pin-point the relationship between stress and my illness. I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension soon after my parents’ divorce at the age of 26. I got severely ill after planning my wedding and went straight from my honeymoon to the hospital for about 3 weeks. When I got my last newborn baby in October, my immune system couldn’t fight an infection in my leg and it got way out of control. And just last week I was sent to the hospital with an infected abscess after freaking out about starting college again after 12 years. My body just can’t handle any stress. I have to avoid it at all cost. Even though I know this, I still find myself in these same situations. I know My Clean Cutting Board is mainly about healing with food. But when all areas in your life are not in perfect balance, you will not be where you want to be in life or in health. So it’s really all about healing spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Try and think of the most recent time you were really sick. Maybe you were bed-ridden with the flu. Maybe you had some virus. Maybe you had that intense migraine. Think of what was going on in your life. Could you attribute it to stress? Our immune system is weakened when we are overwhelmed with stress. Our normally balanced bodies get out of wack.
I am making more of an effort to pay attention to my triggers and try to remove them. It hasn’t been easy because I don’t always feel stress. I see the effects of it after but I rarely feel stressed out. I’m learning to not let others affect me. I’m trying to find ways to calm down without running to ice cream and chips too, which has always been my go-to stress relief.
I have found that exercise works well for me. I forget all my problems. Sometimes just vegging out on the couch for an hour, bundled in my Snuggie helps. Sometimes praying about it helps. Going for a walk on the beach definitely helps. I’m working on not turning to foods that will hurt me more in the long run. It gets much easier with time. The beginning is always hardest.
What do you do in order to reduce the anxiety of a stressful situation? Tell me what has worked for you. Don’t let stress consume you. After all the work I have put into eating right, I wonder why I still have symptoms. I think that until I figure out how to let things slide, I will always be looking towards healing. I want to finally get there. I will get there.