It’s the end of the semester; or you’ve just finished up a huge project at work; or you’re on your honey moon; or you just moved into your dream home - you’re looking forward to some time to relax, and low and behold you get sick! I remember having a pattern of this in my life, and admittedly it took me quite a while to figure out that I was the common denominator!
So, yes, in other words, often we’re causing our own illnesses. Stress is the culprit of many health issues. If you break down the word disease, it is dis – ease! While stress isn’t always a bad thing, not managed correctly it can be detrimental to our health, and/or causing us unhappiness.
Recognizing the signs early, and taking proactive measures is the best way to prevent damage from stress. How can we recognize stress before it causes the damage?
Know yourself and pay attention to your physical body. We all hold stress in different ways. When you pay attention regularly, you’ll catch yourself grinding your teeth, scrunching up your shoulders, or tensing your muscles.
Pay attention to your emotions, they are great triggers. Most of us simply react when we feel frustrated, disappointed, or angry, rather than using it as a way to look inside and see what’s going on.
Pay attention to your thoughts. Are you being kind with your words to yourself, or are you beating yourself up about things? As Don Miguel Ruiz shares in The Four Agreements, “don’t go against yourself with your word.”
Think about situations that could cause stress and set yourself up to flow through it rather than resist it. Resistance is what makes negative stress. Having unrealistic expectations can set us up for stressful situations.
Realize that stress is bound to happen – it’s more important how you react. Take ownership of it. Proactively take care of yourself so you’re better equipped to deal with it. Eat healthy, get sleep, exercise. Avoid abusing your body and your mind. While there’s no way to guarantee preventing every illness or negative situation, you’ll undoubtedly decrease a lot of unnecessary illness, and you’ll absolutely enjoy life more!