Its that time of year again, many of us look at our lives and pledge to change the things we're not happy with. Taking time to assess our lifestyle choices is a positive thing to do especially if we develop achievable goals to move forward with.
Do you have a new year resolution? I wonder if its in the years top ten:
1. Exercise more
2. Eat better
3. Cut down on alcohol
4. Stop smoking
5. Spend less time on Facebook / Twitter
6. Learn a new language
7. Learn a musical instrument
8. Spend less money
9. Secure dream job
10. Average eight hours of sleep a night
Maybe it's in last years ten favourite choices:
1. Lose weight
2. Get fit
3. Eat more healthily
4. Save money/spend less
5. Get a new job
6. Spend more time with people who matter
7. Try new experiences
8. Get out of a rut
9. Visit a country you’ve never been to
10. Read more
These are all great choices but I'm always surprised to find that people don't resolve to reduce stress. I believe that stress management would help people achieve a lot of their other goals. We often eat badly when we are stressed, drink more alcohol, spend more money, and find it harder to stop smoking. If we make stress management a priority then 2014 may well be the year we eat better, loose weight and stop smoking too!
Stress goes on and on without relief can lead to a negative stress reaction. This can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.
Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try and relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these coping methods tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.
Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. Up to Seventy-five percent of all GP visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
Long term stress affects your thoughts and feelings too. You might notice signs of stress in the way you think, act, and feel. You may:
Feel unable to deal with even small problems.
Feel frustrated and angry.
Feel jumpy or tired.
Find it hard to focus on.
Worry too much about small things.
Imagine that bad things are happening or about to happen.
My new years resolution is to make time to manage stress. There are many options to choose from and holistic therapies such as reflexology can be ideal for many people. You don't have to choose this route though, maybe walking or reading would work for you, a soak in the bath with relaxing music or simply taking time out of your busy life to sit still and quieten your mind.
Whatever you decide to tackle this year I wish you luck and have a great 2014