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By Stephanie Bish

Stress- Learn to Live in the 'Eye of the Storm'

Today's pace of life is fast.  There are higher demands on your energy, time, and money than ever.  You feel the pressure from work, family, financial obligations, cultural expectations, and nagging little inconveniences of life.  

Even in Ely, MN, the end of the road, location of the most beautiful wilderness scenery in the world (I might be a little biased...) there can be stress and the negative effects it brings.  We are expected to be on top of the latest locally and globally, to be tuned in and available 24/7.   

Stress does a number on our health.  In small doses, it is actually healthy to experience stress! But most people today live in a storm of anxiety and stress.  That stress, if left unmanaged, can lead to many problems:

  • The Immune System can be weakened, making you more susceptible to illness
  • The Heart - high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, blood clots,  hardening of the arteries, heart attack and heart failure are all increased with stress 
  • Your Muscles can be tense, leading to headaches, neck, shoulder, and back pain.
  • Your Stomach and Digestion can be affected - many stomach and digestion problems, like ulcers, are made worse by stress
  • The Reproductive System can be affected by stress, leading to infertility, impotence, pregnancy difficulties, and menstrual issues
  • Your Lungs can be affected by stress by increasing asthma.
  • Your Skin - stress can cause eczema and psoriasis to flare.
  • Your Emotions and Mood can be affected by stress, causing strain in relationships.
Everyone experiences stress, but stress is highly subjective, in other words, each person has a unique stress profile.  What might be extremely stressful to one person may not affect another.  
In order to reduce the effects of stress, it is helpful to reduce or eliminate stressful events and situations when possible.  For stressors that cannot be eliminated, it is helpful to change your attitude about it.  For instance; a rainy day that ruins your plans could cause you stress, or you could decide to find a silver lining in that cloud, and choose to use the day for a special book you have wanted to read.  
Establishing a stress reduction routine , as well as taking time every day to 'disconnect', can help.  We won't be able to eliminate stress, but can learn to live in the 'eye of the storm'. When a storm is raging, it often has a calm, quiet center.  You can learn to live there.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Slow down and be still- 5 or 10 minutes of unplugging your mind and body from the busy-ness around you can really reduce stress.
  • Cut back on technology - experiment with less computer, TV, and phone.  You might really like it.  If you can't do it every day, choose a day a week that is your tech-fast day.
  • Receive massage and bodywork.  Regular massage and bodywork are proven to reduce stress and its effects.  
Life isn't a sprint, it is a marathon.  In order to be in it for the long haul, you need to address the issues that most affect your health and well-being.  Learn to live in the 'eye of the storm' and you will create a better life.  I'd love to be part of that plan.  Give me a call today and start your stress reduction routine.

About the author: Stephanie Bish owns 'Blissful Body by Stephanie' in Ely, MN; also serving Babbitt, Virginia, Tower, and the Arrowhead Region.   As a Massage Therapist,  Structural Integrator, and Reiki Master Teacher, she enjoys guiding people on their path to well-being.

 You can check out her website at www.elymassage.com.  Call 218-235-1732, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set an appointment. 

 If you would like to use this article in your publication, you may if you use it in its entirety, including the author information.

 

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