Worrying Can Cause:
- Lack of sleep or insomnia
- Panic attacks
- Fast heart rate
- Inability to concentrate
- Muscle tension and muscle aches
Web MD explains that when you worry for a long time, you have excessive fuel in the blood that isn’t used properly (like pinned up energy to use for exercise or activity), which can cause a host of other major problems like:
13. Suppression of the immune system
14. Digestive disorders
15. Short-term memory loss
16. Premature coronary artery disease
17. Heart attack
Stress is not what causes health problems. It’s how you handle stress in your life. If you don’t handle it well (or at all), and you just worry about it – eventually it WILL come out and attack your body. You cannot pin all that anxiety up without exploding eventually.
6 Ways to Handle Stress Better
If you catch yourself worrying, here are a few things you can do to control it so it doesn’t affect your health:
- Exercise – People who worry, tend to be very frustrated because they can’t do anything about their current problem. Exercise, hands down, is the best way to relieve stress and get out your frustrations. It also will help you fall a sleep better so you don’t stay up thinking about your problems.
- Eat healthy – You need to fuel your body with good food if you want to feel good. Unfortunately, people who deal with a lot of stress tend to eat poorly, and eat more – as if to get some type of temporary satisfaction when they are so unsatisfied with other areas of their life. Poor choices may help you feel better for a moment, but they will leave you lacking the energy you need to handle the rest of the day – and the weight you gain will leave you even more discouraged.
- Slow down – many people who are stressed out, try to keep busy to keep their mind off things. They tend to work longer hours, stay entertained, avoid quiet and self-medicate themselves with alcohol or drugs. What they need most is what they avoid most – silence. This is where yoga is very good. You get to stretch tense muscles, control your breathing, meditate and even pray. Remember, you can’t go 100 miles an hour without eventually crashing. You need to purposely slow your body down to prevent wrecking your health.
- Rest – This is something that often times will not come naturally. You will have to FORCE your body to rest. Even if that means taking a mild sleep aid (like Tylonel PM), it is imperative you get the rest you need to stay both physically and mentally healthy. If you miss rest, you are setting yourself up for a ton of other problems – and you’ll have even more to worry about, with no energy to do anything about it.
- Limit or avoid stimulates – If you are a big coffee drinker or smoker, you are probably making things worse. You need relaxation, not stimulation. If you don’t plan to give it up, then you need to give your body a way to blow off steam. Take a walk or jog, workout, play a game of tennis, go to the batting cages or driving range, or take some boxing lessons. If you are going to stimulate your body, let your body use that stimulation to be active.
- Get help – If you feel you can’t do any of these things on your own, or you have tried them and you are still dealing with excessive stress and anxiety, see a doctor. Seek professional counsel and talk with a friend. It is super important that you have people who care about you monitoring you, supporting you, and helping you through this difficult time. Whatever you do, don’t go it alone.
Are you a chronic worrier? Read 9 Steps to End Chronic Worrying
Are you an enabler? Do let yucky stuff hang around a little too long? Do you let people and things get you down? Do you beat yourself up unnecessarily after you make mistakes? Maybe you do even worse and dive into self-destruction when life gets tough.
Did you know you have more control over yourself than you think? You do! You may not be able to help what happens to you, but you sure as heck can change the way you respond to it.
Leap of Faith
Let’s look at my recent Zip-lining experience for a second. First, you should know I’m scared of heights. I don’t like them at all. I also am not very fond of trying new things. I’m a one of those girls who likes to take things slowly. I prefer to test the waters before I take the plunge, if you know what I mean.
Well, with Zip-lining there was no “testing the waters” first. My first experience was hooking in and taking a leap off a 30 foot platform and zipping across a mountain top to another 30 foot platform 100 feet away.
Not only was I anxious about the leap of faith I was about to take, but the guides chose me to go first. Go figure! As tough as I’d like to pretend to be, I am definitely a “go last” kinda girl. This day was different. It was a day I decided to react differently to my situation and it really opened my eyes to how I treat a lot of stuff in life.
Don’t Look Down
How often do we focus on looking down, instead of looking ahead? Normally I would ALLOW myself to stress out and let my fears boss me around, focusing on the negative. I would think of all the “what ifs” and leave no time to think about the fun part. I would be consumed with wondering how I can get out of it or how I could get everyone else to go first to buy me some more time. Of course, during this extra time, it would just allow me more time to worry, stress out, and be more afraid. Stupid! Stupid!
Practice Makes Perfect
Instead of reacting like I have “practiced” reacting in the past, I decided to practice a new reaction. I decided to just hook in, take a deep breath, and let the rational side of me lead the irrational me. I chose to just take the plunge without allowing myself to stress out for one more minute. I focused on the landing (goal) and told myself I am fully capable of doing this – and doing it well. And you know what? I did it, and I didn’t allow my fear to ruin my fun.
I pushed doubt and fear aside and CHOSE to focus on the fun part. Zipping through the trees, enjoying amazing views, feeling the wind through my hair, and completely relying on my zipline to carry me without one single doubt.
Zipping Through Life
Not everyone goes zip-lining everyday, but zipping through life is no different. So often we let our fears ruin our fun. We live life focusing on the “what ifs” instead of just enjoying the moment. We let the forecast of tomorrows clouds ruin today’s sunshine.
You can choose to stress about all that COULD possibly go wrong or you can focus on everything that IS going right. No matter how bad life gets, there are so many things to be thankful for. Even something as simple as love. There are rich people who would die to have someone to love them. Or maybe you stress about your weight, yet there is someone who just dreams of being healthy.
Fitness is not just about lifting weights and burning fat. Like GNC says, it’s about”Living Well“. It’s about learning how to train your physical body, your mental body and your spiritual body to be as fit as it can possibly be.
Just Let Go
Holding on to stress, fears, resentment, depression and other bad feelings is not healthy – and it doesn’t help a single thing. Whatever is going on in your life right now that’s stressing you out, maybe you are holding on too tightly to it and you just need to let go – and KEEP letting it go.
It’s not just enough to let go once. Believe me, you’ll keep taking it right back. You will find yourself being sucked right back into fears and stress, so you will have to consciously and repeatedly let it go until it becomes a natural response.
Take your fitness to a new level and reshape your mind too – and zip through life with more ease!