Stress. Is being completely stressed out the new norm?

I can’t help but look at my inner circle, work mates and any mom I see at the park with pure exhaustion on her face and think “Yep. This is what we all signed up for.”

Grueling schedules that require non stop rushing from one place to another.

No time for conversing with friends in real time. ON the phone. Or even better, IN person.

And forget watching your favorite TV show when it airs! That’s what 11pm is for when you’re folding laundry.

Unfortunately all this new norm stress is making us sick. And not just the sniffles. We’re talking chronically ill.

Stress has been linked to overeating and obesity, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and inflammation which then has also been linked to diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, diverticular and other gut diseases. The list honestly is exhausting. And if you don’t want to read the several research articles on this; many listed in this one paper, check out the American Psychological Associations 2015 Stress in America research work.

Unfortunately what their work indicates is that stress rates every year in America, especially for Millennials and women are growing. And stress just doesn’t jack us up internally with migraines and low back pain, we become mean. 47% of us in 2015 snapped at our spouses, up from 41% the previous year. And 25% of us yelled or were short with our coworkers, up from 18% in 2014. I can only imagine what those statistics would be now given the past year as a political battleground unfolded on social media between friends and family.

But to get to the Blue Zone, one of the major components is not avoiding stress, that’s highly unlikely. The key is to CONTROL and cope with stressful situations. And they typically do this on a daily basis.

Okinawans pay homage to their ancestors a few minutes a day, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap and Sardinians do happy hour (and not by themselves, hiding in their closets away from home chaos).

During Week 4 and 8 of my New Year’s challenge this past year, I revisited 2 disciplines that I’ve dabbled in before: meditation and yoga. Both of these things, even when I say the words calm me. Another one I discovered during my Moving Naturally week was walking (by myself). Or perhaps just without children. I actually think it would have been quite joyous to be with a friend to chat about nothing, be our own Seinfeld episode and not walking at a tortoise pace with whiners in tow that have to pee every 100 yards.

Week 2 from last week; Purpose also goes hand in hand here. Figuring out your purpose and revisiting the things that make you happy on a daily basis can easily defuse a stress attack.

So this upcoming week from June 19th- 25th we’re going to focus on what is causing us to lose it (even in tiny moments during the day) and how to overcome it (in a way that doesn’t stress us out more). Join the discussion on Facebook here. And don’t forget to like my page.

In the meantime, tell me what your go to stress busters are now. Please comment below.

Hugs and Peace, Kim

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