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4 Ways Stress Destroys Your Body

4 Ways Stress Destroys Your Body

In the morning as we wake up to the sound of our blaring alarms, we never take the time to enjoy the scenery or feel the calmness. Our brains race towards time, work, responsibilities and stress. We try to cram everything we could possibly do in the first hours of our day. Therefore, we fail to even stop and enjoy our morning coffee or our morning breakfast.

However, recently there have been trends among the rich and famous where elevating stress has become the most important routine of the day. This is due to the many side effects that are found through research and studies. Documentation on how stress reduces our mortality as well as affects our bodies internal function has been proved repeatedly.

How does stress affects one’s body? That’s the question we are here to figure out.

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1. The Biggest Cause of Migraine.

We have all been there, the pinching pain and the suffocating feel of vertigo. Migraines are known to be the most painful ailment one can have, as its blinding pain makes death seemingly beautiful. The pain, which begins from the corners of your forehead and spreading all the way through your brain and down your spine, tends to destroy your ability to concentrate as well as enjoy regular motor functions. Therefore, you prefer to be in bed, avoiding the light for the next days or you become dependent on medication, which subsidizes the pain.

Migraines and stress are as related as brothers and sisters, this is because when you’re constantly stressed, your muscles are tightened and are on constant alert. They become constantly anxious and stiff; this causes a huge tension and strain especially near your skeletal muscles hence inducing brain-melting pain such as migraines.

Therefore, to avoid such nightmares, always resort to a stress-free lifestyle.

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2. Major Cause of Gastrointestinal Problems.

During the period of A-Levels examinations, I recall I constantly had stomach cramps and sometimes they were so terrible that I was forced to be bedridden for days before I could sit for my next exam. Trips to the doctor, medication as well as exercise failed to help. However, a trip to my school counselor helped me better understand my problems.

The amount of stress I was in has disrupted my digestive system and the ability for my body to absorb nutrients. Furthermore, due to constant pressure, I failed to understand my body’s need for proper solid food and thus I pushed my body to its limits. This caused ulcers and various bacteria accumulation in my digestive tracks, which eventually lead to my painful GI experience.

As experiences become great teachers of our time, I tend to focus more on my diet especially when I’m reaching a pivotal point in life.

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3. The Cause of Various Dermatological Issues.

You constantly notice that during the most intense periods of your life, your body somehow seems to be failing you. You start having various breakouts and skin issues. Usually, you’re either prone to acne or hives which can be painful and could be creating insecurities within yourself.

Hives are considered the most common problem related to stress. They’re a form of scaly rash that forms in certain parts of your body. They itch and hurt at the same time, making it impossible to manage. However, usually Aloe Vera creams and sandalwood paste helps to calm the hives down.

These problems are due to your skin reacting to the agony and pressure it faces for a certain period. It’s due to the weakening of your immune system allowing you to be more prone to any form of diseases. Hence if you’re visiting a dermatologist, their first question would be “Are you under any stress?” which leads to a conclusion where if you love healthy skin then you need to lead a stress-free lifestyle.

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4. One of the Causes for Neurological and Concentration Issues.

Sleeping is one of the most important routines of our lives to ensure our body is both healthy and active. Sleeping ensures your neurological health and increases the ability to concentrate as it diminishes triggers that could cause otherwise. However, people who are constantly stressed form a symptom called insomnia. Insomnia is an issue where the person finds it impossible to fall asleep and runs with a minimum of 1-2 hours of sleep per day.

This stress-induced insomnia eventually leads to unpredictable neurological disorders which in turn leads to concentration issues. At work or at home this becomes a constant battle, which ironically increases your stress. Furthermore, this becomes one of the biggest contributors towards high blood pressure, respiratory problems, and cardiovascular issues.

Hence, the best medication would be either sleeping pills or a lifestyle change to a stress-free life.

As a conclusion, we are living in a world where we strive for a life of luxury. However, this pressure creates a lifestyle full of stress and discomfort. Therefore, the best way to avoid a life filled with defects is to focus on a routine filled with calmness and peacefulness for both mind and body.

Featured photo credit: Shenkeri Chandramohan via scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.net

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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