It manifests in each of us differently. For some it leads to anxiety, stomach aches, headaches, tight muscles, insomnia, poor nutrition, irritability, depression, anger, drug or alcohol abuse, chest pain, fatigue, or some mix of the above.*
*These are just a few common effects of stress.
For me, it leads to migraines, tight muscles and asthma attacks. Yes, asthma attacks.
Who knew, right?
Wednesday morning I was hit hard with a headache, one that felt like someone was stabbing me in the left eye over and over again with the pain radiating from there to the rest of my head. It was awful. I went straight home after work, skipped the gym, and took a nap. I went to the chiropractor later that afternoon and within an hour my headache was on it’s way out the door (after a morning FULL of pain meds not doing anything. Have I mentioned how much I love my chiropractic care?) We discussed possibilities of what caused this headache after weeks of being nearly headache, or at least really BAD headache-free.
Thursday morning I was hit with an asthma attack. I was at work when my stomach suddenly growled for a snack, immediately followed by feeling like someone decided to stand on my chest. I decided to go in back, eat a snack and when I didn’t feel better, took a puff from my inhaler. A few minutes later, I took another one. Within moments I was coughing like a crazy woman, shaking (darn drugs!) and bent over in the back trying to calm myself down and breathe.
It was in that moment that I put the two days together.
Yes it was possible my left eye was straining to some degree on Wednesday or that I ate something that triggered a migraine waiting in the wings. Yes it was possible the severe weather changes from -10 to 20 to 68 to 15 degrees sparked my lungs to flare up. But I also know I’m stressed.
My chiropractor asked me yesterday “have you been stressed?” to which I responded “not any more than usual.” We returned to our discussions about how “not any more than usual” doesn’t say much when my body has been in this constant state of protection for years and I’ve struggled to work through some of the stress and rather, my body has been holding onto it – in my muscles and causing all this misalignment in my spine, sparking headaches, allergies, asthma, and gut issues. The body is all connected.
So the question lies, what can we do about it?
Take part in regular physical activity, meditation, yoga, and other forms of relaxation.
I get regular exercise which has done wonders but for me, it’s not always enough. I need to spend more time focusing on yoga and meditation, working through and to get rid of the stressors in my life and relax.
It manifests in each of us differently.
But how we handle it leads to how it affects us.
How do you handle your stress?
What tips do you have for staying relaxed?
Sorry stress is getting to ya girlie! There’s that fine line between working out and relaxing to keep our stress in check…I’m not always the greatest at realizing this line but I think running has been helping me a lot! Love those endorphins!
Hope you get to feeling better…and maybe nailing down the specifics on what is stressing you in your life that you can either fix or at least change your mindset. Something I’m working on every single day!
<3 <3 Feel better!
Seriously girl, I swear endorphins are the greatest thing ever!
What a great post…even if it was the result of some sad unpleasantness. 🙁 Stress. I definitely exercise to reduce it. It’s almost ritualistic. Having dealt with anxiety my whole life–and just now beginning to label it–I’m working on patience as a stress relief. That sounds weird as I write it, but trying to mentally relax by reminding myself that not everything has to happen right now, today.
“trying to mentally relax by reminding myself that not everything has to happen right now, today.” <-YES!!
Love this post!! So sorry you have been dealing with stress love. Mine comes in forms of stomach aches. 🙁 I hate using my inhaler for the same reason, and I love my chiropractor as well. They work magic! 🙂
Serious magic! And my Chiro read this post and shared it with our community, which I was really humbled. but it really speaks truth to the power.
Ugh, stress is the worst. I usually stress eat and a few times I noticed my hair falling out a bit – but nothing like this. Stay strong and stress free!
Sorry about the stress, but I can totally relate. I’ve been super stressed lately with some really hard Chemistry homework, my job, & trying to finalize a baby shower for my sis next weekend. My hands/fingers tingle & tongue gets kinda numb (how stress affects me) & I have the horrible tightness in my upper neck/back. Boo…. I usually deal w/it by working out, which helps some, making lists, & then if that doesn’t help I usually fall victim to stress-eating and/or crying my eyes out until my husband cheers me up. Stress SUCKS & I really don’t handle it very well. Hope things get better for you!!
This is such a wonderful post. Stress-induced asthma attacks? It sounds horrible but makes sense. It’s so important to slow down and breath often. Thank you for sharing!
I’m sorry you felt so bad! Stress gets to me too – I grind my teeth all night and them wake up with a jaw and head ache. Ugh. My chiro helps too, but really I just need another few hours in the day!
I’ve been learning more and more how to better handle stress, after having lots of physical reactions to suppressing it for so long. While exercise definitely helps, I have found that it’s also super important for me to relax and stretch afterwards. Not just jump into the next thing I have to do in my day. I have also worked on some mindful, breathing techniques that have seemed to help as well. Stress is definitely hard to get a handle on, at least for me. But I’m working on it!