Sunday, June 14, 2009

Surviving Stress

These days, it seems that stress is the #1 factor impacting my health and the health of many others that I know. From financial worries to chronic health conditions to the multifaceted and fast-paced aspects of modern life, many of us are suffering from stress on some level or another, and I submit that stress universally impacts the health of millions, both as a cause of disease, as a symptom, and as a 21st century illness or syndrome in and of itself.

Many subsume their stress with alcohol, sugar, caffeine, unnecessary spending, and various forms of addiction and emotional sublimation. We all feel the effects, and we all react in our idiosyncratic way to the vicissitudes of life.

On a personal level, I have lately turned to acupuncture, herbs, supplements, meditation, exercise, and dietary and nutritional changes to assuage the effects of stress. Further challenging myself to pursue optimal health and wellness, I have engaged the counsel of a wellness coach who helps to keep me on track as I navigate some challenging personal times.

All of these changes and approaches have indeed decreased the severity of my Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, improved several aspects of my health, and pointed me further down the road towards optimal wellness. Still, certain chronic conditions continue to rear their heads, and I struggle to make more headway in those areas.

The pace of life frequently seems largely untenable, and we manage our lives as best we can amidst the tumult. We eat well, keep hydrated, exercise, seek leisure and fun, connect with family and friends, pursue creative projects and spiritual renewal---all in the name of balance and wellness.

It's a bumpy road, and all too often we lose sight of our own self care as we focus like a laser beam on our latest to-do list and the unending tasks before us.

Personally, I need to take an enormous breath, sit back, and reassess what's really most important in my life. Failing to do so would simply be an invitation for the stress monster to sink it's teeth deeper. In my commitment to wellness and optimal health, it's ultimately a commitment to creating the healthiest, most satisfying and productive life possible.
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