We hear every day about the things that can kill us—smoking, drugs, drunk driving, cancer, too much sun that will cause cancer, obesity, and other addictions. And while we know that stress can actually be bad on our health, how many of us are aware that it can actually kill us?
Stress manifests itself in many ways—stomach pains, headaches, backaches, anger, accelerated heart rate, and even depression. But what is going on inside of our head while we stress is the killing of many neurons—our brain cells are dying off. The stress, according to research cited in an article on the subject, increases the production of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol attacks the brain cells and kills them. With one of the many things that we stress over being the lack of being able to remember important things—appointments, birthdays, just where we put our car keys—this will prove to be nothing but a vicious cycle as our stress kills the brain cells and then we are capable of remembering and doing less, which then stresses us and kills more brain cells . . .
Exercise psychologist Jenny Evans echoes this by saying, “These brain alterations can have significant consequences on the way we interact with others, our ability to learn, remember, make decisions and accomplish long-term goals. They also make it more difficult to successfully manage stressful situations in the future, leading to a vicious cycle.”
Changing the Habit
So how can we stop it? For most of us, quitting our job, going on vacation, or changing our habits completely isn’t necessarily feasible. However, it’s important that we do something—we need to take the time to not be stressed. Our future and the quality of it depends on our taking time for ourselves.
It isn’t easy. We are all busy and often overwhelmed with life, family, and work, and don’t believe that we can take time to do anything restful. But a nap, a movie, time spent with a child reading or just talking can make a world of difference in our stress levels and overall health. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to but duties on hold every once in a while. Someday, you with thank yourself.
Wingate Wilderness Therapy is a unique program to help struggling teens and young adults move forward in life again by experiencing natural living. To find out more and how we can help, call us at 1 (866) 439-0775.