This past week has been about trying to solve or rather deal with the things that cause my stress. It is hard to define what exactly these "things" are when at the time of the attack I did not feel stressed about anything in particular besides the fact that my chest hurt which is a symptom of my anxiety. I made a list of potential stressors in my life and addressed them individually.
#1 Obviously work, although this is unchangeable in most aspects I found ways to adapt it to my lifestyle. I scheduled myself to only work two shifts at one time allowing myself at least two days rest in-between. After two solid days spent in the hospital with no sunlight and being pushed to my limits, it allows me to recuperate. I also decided to not schedule myself for any overtime.
#2 Working out - This would usually be considered a stress reliever. However, I was work out 5-6 days a week regardless of work schedule for 45-90 minutes. This was not necessarily making me feel more stressed as the fact that I felt that I "needed" or "had to" workout. I have a goal in my mind of where I want to be and was impressed with my progress, so I was obsessing over it to a certain extent. Still, not a bad thing when you want to compete, but if this was causing any of my stress I was going to alter it somehow. I only cut down to four days a week unless we were traveling out of town then I would not make it a habit to make it to a gym on those weekend days.
#3 Making time for GOD - I consider myself a spiritual person. I love going to mass, reading scripture, listening to worship music, and praying. Making this more of a priority is something I am still working on.
#4 Cleaning and Organization - This included bills, the house, cars, yard, etc. Keith and I took a whole weekend to ourselves to solve this problem. It may have been 4th of July, but we celebrated by cleaning our house and getting more organized and it felt great.
#5 My body - As Americans, we do not put the best things inside our bodies on a regular basis. I have a healthy diet, but do cheat from time to time. The things that I intake that affect my stress included food that upset my indigestion and items that contained caffeine. I researched a few things about chemical imbalances in our bodies and how it affects our mood, health, and well-being. This brings me to my next topic.
Stress And What It Does To Your Body
I read a really useful article about chemical balances in the body and how it affects a person's well-being and aging process as well as the level of stress. This article written by Dr Lam talks in-depth about adrenal fatigue. Dr. Lam is a physician whose focus is on preventative health using natural therapies. He is married to a dietitian that specializes in adrenal fatigue syndrome and is a practitioner of anti-aging health. They are the authors of a book Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome: Reclaim Your Energy and Vitality with Clinically Proven Natural Programs. Their website, linked below, has tons of useful information, but is rather lengthy and if physiology was not in your college curriculum then it may be over your head. There are a few resources that I have found that are easy to read and straight to the point, but as far as reliable, I do not know. Even though I have learned this in the past, going in-depth in this one particular subject with a more concentrated focus has increased my understanding. I truly feel that we have the control to change our environment and have more control over our health. Also, most people do not understand how over-the-counter medications can affect them in the long run including supplements/vitamins. He basically explains how vitamins such as vitamin C and B vitamins can actually affect your adrenal system and can be used in treatment as well as be harmful when taking in excess in the wrong way.
On another note, I'm researching this more and more on a regular basis to see if this is something that I may or may not have a problem with, but I think that a lot of physicians in America do not focus on fixing the well-being of the patient and treat the immediate problems where as we may have something more going on chemically that is causing us to get sick in the first place. It is not an easy fix and takes time. Do I want to be on medications for the rest of my life...no. I have faith that with time, I can accomplish anything. Living with panic attacks or generalized anxiety is not uncommon, but if kept inside or untreated can put a person in a dark place. This is why I made this public because for those that are not willing to reach out to someone close, can hopefully find comfort in knowing that they are not alone. On that note, check out the video if you do not like to read and please ignore my shirtless husband and cat LOL. I also have a new introduction video on the home page. Good night and...
Until next time...