Wednesday, March 11, 2009
SURVIVING A STRESSFUL ECONOMY
I received my current issue of Energy Times yesterday, and I was immediately drawn to their article “Surviving A Stressful Economy”. How fitting. The part of the article that caught my attention spoke about the effects of stress on the body. Let me share with you what I read.
Effects of Stress
If you’re constantly worried , you can end up exhausted because your energy is being channeled into that worrying. Unrelieved anxiety can create lasting mood disturbances. According to Nancy Molitor, PhD (psychologist and public education coordinator w/APA), she began seeing these mood disturbances around the fall. Now she is seeing that anxiety replaced by depression. Then in some people, this leads to catastrophic thinking which if ultimately left unchecked winds into a downward spiral. Stress left unchecked can lead to increased consumption of unhealthy foods resulting in weight gain. According to the article, it can also lead to impulsive decision-making.
How To Manage
Psychologist, Jana N. Martin, PhD suggests turning off the TV more often (sounds familiar) or not reading all the stories about foreclosures, disasters, and suicides. She suggests looking at a loss of income as an opportunity to follow your life’s passion. Judith Orloff, MD (assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA) says “You have to develop courage.” “It means going toward something in spite of fear”. Kathleen Hall (founder of The Stress Institute in Atlanta) suggests using affirmations , such as “I am strong, I am grateful for life”. According to Hall, your brain believes what you say to it. Music and laughter are other ways to break up stress.
Also, working on your inner resources is the beginning of outreach towards others. Special talents, such as cooking, woodworking, or mechanics may be the start of something great. Hall suggests that you find groups around your special talents, likes and/or interests. This can become a great support to you and it could lead to a successful business.
Hall also suggest taking omega-3 fatty acids which have been associated with reductions in depression. Also, getting plenty of vitamin B6 which helps the body to produce a depression-fighting chemical called serotonin. Dr. Orloff recommends taking the minerals calcium and magnesium together to promote calm and improve sleep. And of course, we can’t forget exercise. It also helps to bust depression. And lastly, exposure to sunlight elevates your mood by stimulating your brain to produce serotonin so get up and get outside.