Stress And Diet!


Think of all the things you do in a day.  Perhaps feeling tired, irritable, or nauseous can be stress related.  Too much stress without some relief can cause some serious health issues for you now and later in life.  Heart disease and high blood pressure can be a result of being stressed-out.  In you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, stress can worsen it.  Those headaches that you may often get, can be related to stressful situations. How about that depression and/or anxiety you sometimes or often times feel?  Don’t be surprised that chronic stress is also related to more frequent episodes of depression and anxiety.  

I mentioned nausea earlier.  Stress can make ulcers worse, cause heartburn, and even irritable bowel syndrome.  Other culprits of too much stress in your life worsen asthma and Alzheimer’s, interrupt sleep, accelerate aging and even cause premature death.  

So, now that you have realized that you have some of these symptoms, what do you do about it?  Here are some ways you can fight back.  Try breathing deeply, as just a few minutes can calm you.  You don’t need any special equipment or location for this.  You can do this while at work, while driving, cooking, or anytime you start to feel stress taking over.  

Focus on the present.  Don’t get too anxious about what you are going to next or feel guilty about something you may have forgotten to do.  Take some “me” time and perhaps a walk, a stretch, or healthy snack break will bring your focus away from stressful things occurring.

I have found that when I am in traffic, I try use the time as an opportunity to catch up on the news, listen to some soothing music, or listen to an audio book.  It takes my mind off of the traffic and really does lessen the stress.  

Once you begin making some of these changes in your life, look ahead to some bigger changes that can become a new way of life for you.  Start a regular exercise routine, as studies show that this can elevate your moods and give you more energy.  Learn some techniques such as yoga or meditation which will relax you. Not only will you will your mood improve, but the long-term health benefits can be quite significant.



Tips for Managing Stress as a Family


Webster’s Dictionary defines stress as “a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, some stress can be positive (in that it helps one develop the skills needed to cope with different situations in life) and some stress can be negative. Negative stress causes anxiety that can affect the way we think and behave. Negative stress can even affect our health. And, although we think adults more affected than adolescents or children, anyone can experience stress. As parents, we should be aware of the situations that can cause our children stress and carefully watch for how stress presents itself in our children.

Stress can be caused by a natural disaster (like an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or wildfire). It can also be the result of bullying, poor grades, or what our children hear on the news (school shootings or other community/world violence such a terror attacks). Symptoms of stress can commonly include:

  • Feeling sad or frustrated
  • Feeling fearful, irritable, angry or guilty
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Crying
  • Reduced interest in usual activities
  • Wanting to be alone
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Nightmares or bad memories
  • Reoccurring thoughts about an event
  • Headaches or stomach problems
  • Increased heart rate, difficulty breathing

As a parent, it’s our responsibility to help our children cope with stress. Talking with our children about a stressful situation can help alleviate their negative feelings. Monitoring their exposure to an event (what they watch and hear on television reports or in adult conversations) can help bring a rational balance to the situation. Other suggestions for helping your child cope with stress can be:

  • Maintain a normal routine – Ensure they wake up, go to bed, eat, etc. at the regular time. This brings a sense of stability.
  • Encourage expression – Take the time to talk with and listen to your child. This will let your child know his that his fears and worries are understandable, and his thoughts and feelings are important to you.
  • Watch and listen – Any change in behavior can be a sign that your child is having trouble coping or coming to terms with an event or situation.
  • Reassure – Let your child know how your family, the school, the community is taking steps to ensure his safety.
  • Connect with others – Make an effort to talk with other parents, teachers, school counselors, health professionals, and anyone else who can help give support in the effort to ensure your child’s well-being.

Recognizing the symptoms and being able to help your child cope with the stress in his life can turn a negative situation into a positive developmental experience. Read more about stress and how to help your child cope with it on one of these sites: