Chronic Stress and how your Environment can help Reverse It
by Kelly Anderson, Oct 2016
I’ve been there. Lived there in fact. And I sometimes still visit there, but much less frequently. You may know the place too, and have possibly unpacked your bags and started moving in.
It's the land of chronic stress. It’s a big, dark, ominous place and too many of us live there for too long, struggling to catch the next train out. The problem is that the longer we stay there, the more damage it does to our health, both physical and psychological.
The American Psychological Association reports that “untreated chronic stress can result in serious health conditions including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.” and that “stress can contribute to the development of major illnesses, such as heart disease, depression and obesity.”
Aside from the health effects, stress can keep us from being our best at work and in relationships. Productivity is hampered, and we move through the day without being mindful and present, and therefore don’t accomplish what's truly essential to our goals and dreams.
In my previous 9-5 life I let stress get the better of me and had constant feelings of anxiety, which led to health problems and ultimately not doing my best work or being happy. I tried to do it all, take on too much at once, and I didn't practice self-care. It caught up to me and I knew I had to do something about it.
My research led me to conclude that the key to relieving chronic stress is not to quit our jobs and live on the beach (too bad). It's simply to change everyday behaviours. If we create positive behaviours that turn into habits, we'll not only be calmer and healthier, we’ll thrive and enjoy an abundant life.
But we all know that changing our behaviours isn’t easy. It takes hard work and consistency and positive reinforcement.
Fortunately, I've found that we can set up the environments in which we live and work to encourage and reward new behaviours and strengthen our mental and physical fortitude. Strategic refreshes to our home and workspace will set us up to be successful in moving away from chronic stress to living more peacefully and productively and in alighnment with our goals and values.
If you're ready to get serious about tackling stress to move toward living intentionally and abundantly, click below to download a FREE guide to creating spaces that promote peace and productivity.