The idea that stress affects body wellness is not new. Even when I was in nursing school over a decade ago it was well understood that stress elevated HR, increased the release of cortisol and unleashed the gates of holy hell in the body. Chronic stress was even worse.
Since that time, more and more studies have been done that clearly demonstrate the link between stress and illness. You hear it in the news constantly. Look at the instances of PTSD. Stress is right in the name “post traumatic STRESS disorder”. I do have PTSD, but I blog about it elsewhere. I’m not ready to merge those blogs just yet. If you want to read about that journey, message me and I can send you the link.
But back to normal, everyday stress. I know for me, having fibro, my symptoms are greatly magnified when I am under stress. I do feel that the increased stress I experienced in the spring of 2012 probably led to the advent of my autoimmune disease. Did it cause it? Probably not. But it might have laid the groundwork for it to manifest the way it did in such a violent way.
I try to minimize stress as much as possible. For awhile, I was doing yoga. That helps me tremendously. Just centering myself, meditating, focusing on breathing.
I listen to music. I have very eclectic music tastes and depending on my mood, I can go from listening to Eminem to the soundtrack from Frozen. Getting those emotions out helps. I also find that even when I’m in a good mood and happy, reiterating that to myself is good. I often play my wedding soundtrack and relive all those loving and warm feelings.
I know exercise helps with stress, although for me it can cause more. But I try.
And talking. One of my BFFs is my outlet.
Living with my parents isn’t easy. I am eternally grateful that I am not homeless, but it is like I’m 17. I can do NOTHING right, from cleaning my room, doing my laundry to raising my daughter. It is a source of endless frustration. My friend has generously offered to be my outlet. She will get random texts about stupid things that I experience. I don’t expect a reply. I don’t expect advice. I just need to express to another human being what I am going through. That has been such a help.
Writing helps too. This blog helps. And the warm words of encouragement help me get through the really rough times. So thank you 🙂