Marvelous Girl Has Moved!

How stress can lead to unhealthy habits

Posted on: March 24, 2009

Photo by woodsy

Photo by woodsy

Everyone faces stress one time or another. It confronts us at our jobs, follows us into our personal lives and strikes us in unseen circumstances. And, with today’s challenging economy, more people are experiencing stress.

If not handled properly, stressful situations can lead to unhealthy choices, like sleeplessness and poor food choices. More serious cases could even lead to chronic stress and clinical depression.

According to the American Institute of Stress, stress is America’s number one health problem. Heart rate and blood pressure soar, blood sugar rises and clotting occurs more quickly under stress. Repeatedly invoked, these signs could contribute to hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, ulcers, neck or low back pain and other diseases.

“If you don’t respond to stress wisely, and let it continue to affect your day-to-day activities and lifestyle, then it could turn into a rollercoaster of unhealthy decisions,” said Rudy Revak, president and chief executive officer for Symmetry Corporation.

The following are some tips to keep in mind:

– Work It Out! Take frequent trips to the gym to release stress. Or, try going to a martial arts or kickboxing class to let out the frustration. This not only alleviates the stress, it helps you stay fit.

– Just …Relax. Treat yourself to a walk in the park or make an appointment at the spa for a massage. Another option might be to treat yourself to something you enjoy, such as reading a book, playing with your grandchildren, or painting. Sometimes all you need is some “me” time. This helps your overall well-being.

– Take Your Vitamins. Stress can manifest from a deficiency of important nutrients like vitamin A, B, C and E. Therefore, eat a good portion of fruits and vegetables and consider incorporating vitamin supplements into your diet.

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