Stop Worrying About Things That Don't Matter

Woman in Thought

Stress is not negative of itself. It’s a natural and sometimes helpful reaction to a difficult situation. It’s a sign to our body and mind that we need to wake up and take action. However, if we remain in a stress heavy state too long, it can have a negative effect on the body. It’s up to us to learn to control stress levels for better long term health.

All animals have a “fight or flight” mechanism, including humans. It’s our reaction to stress, whether we’re set to run or enter combat. Evolution handed us this gift, enabling humans to survive all manner of adverse situations through a complex series of chemical reactions in our body. Fortunately, most of us don’t face these dire circumstances; however, we do encounter our own daily stresses in life, whether it’s helping the kids to get to the bus stop on time or facing the boss to ask for a pay raise. Our issues are different but the body reacts in the same way.

At first, we lose our appetite in stressful situations as we focus on the problem at hand. Adrenaline and corticotrophins activate. Adrenaline, or epinephrine, is a great neurotransmitter. We feel wired, alert and slightly nervous. Making energy – eating – is a function for resting. We’re girded for action.

However, the effect of adrenaline wears off. Cortisol, a steroid hormone, signals the body that it’s time to recover the energy you just used and eat. So if we are constantly in a stressful situation, but not engaging in any physical action, we simply end up constantly eating, and likely eating foods deleterious to good health.

Methods to reduce stress:

Address the problem that’s causing you stress. Nothing makes stress disappear like vanquishing the demons chasing you.

Get sleep. The American Psychological Association conducted a survey showing we don’t get enough sleep, which causes more stress than we’re already feeling.

Eat healthy. If you can’t immediately take on what is bothering you, make sure you have a balanced diet so that you aren’t craving the carbs and fats that are natural stress reducers.

Take an inventory of your problems. Consider the things that are troubling you and consider whether they are actually worth worrying about. Some may need help with this, so call a friend or trusted professional.


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Thanks to everyone at Columbus MRC for being helpful and caring. I am happy to report my first "everything's normal" blood test in years!


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