Coping with the Effects of Stress
It's a little embarrassing to talk about, but stress can have you running to the bathroom. When we’re stressed, our body produces hormones and chemicals, such as cortisol and adrenaline. These can cause an overproduction of stomach acid, causing acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) - a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid flows into the esophagus, causing burning. Some foods, such as tomato sauce, alcohol, and caffeine, can aggravate symptoms.
Focusing on relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and breathing exercises can help reduce stress and anxiety. These exercises may actually alter the brain’s neuro pathways, helping you become more resilient to the affects of stress.
Deep breathing – one breath in to the count of five; hold; then release to a count of seven – slows that rapid heart rate caused by anxiety or stress. There are many actions you can take to help reduce your stress; but the first step is to identify what’s causing the stress. I often recommend that clients jot down a few notes at the end of each day about their stress level, triggers, and how they feel they are coping.
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