stress bogBy Momwise Ogechi Ucheatu
The human mind is like a computer, it keeps working and working! Scientists have discovered “that the brain functions as an input-output system. Stimuli received as input from sensory systems are processed and a corresponding response is generated” (Psychology Today, 2012). Just like a computer is shut down from time to time to either re-boot or re-charge, we must also take time out periodically to unplug from life’s demands in order to function at an optimal level.
As wives, mothers, business women, sisters, daughters, friends (and the list goes on…), we owe it to ourselves to pause and take stock of life’s current inventory. Are we taking on more than we can handle? Are we putting unrealistic expectations on ourselves? Are we setting attainable goals? These questions can help us prioritize our lives to ensure a balanced state of mind.
Your mind is a very powerful tool. Your thought can affect your words and your words long term can impact your emotional, mental and even physical well-being. Never ignore it when your mind starts to work overtime, and your hard drive starts to crash due to information overload.
Have you ever experienced a “a state of mind” when worry and stress prevents you from enjoying the simple things of life? Have you ever had a loss of appetite due to an impending deadline? Have you ever woken up multiple times at night thinking it was morning due to an important meeting the next day?
Dear reader, if this is you, you are not alone. Studies show that “women are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms of stress than men, such as having had a headache (41 percent vs. 30 percent), having felt as though they could cry (44 percent vs. 15 percent), or having had an upset stomach or indigestion (32 percent vs. 21 percent).” The study also revealed that “married women report higher levels of stress than single women, with one-third (33 percent) reporting that they have experienced a great deal of stress in the past month (8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale)” (American Psychological Association, 2018).
Personally, I can honestly relate to the statistics. As a wife, a mother of two young children, a full time management consultant, a daughter, sister, friend, volunteer (and much more), I sometimes feel overwhelmed due to life’s demands. Whenever I am under a lot of pressure, I tend to cry more often and eat less. I have learned that in those moments, the most important tool for survival is a healthy “state of mind”. For me, this means listening to uplifting music and inspirational messages. For others, it could be a few hours at the spa. To some, it could be as simple as switching off the cell phone for a couple of hours just to get some uninterrupted sleep. Whatever the case may be, I encourage you to be intentional about your “state of mind” because your emotional health is critical to your overall health and wellness.
We would love to hear from you. How do you manage stress? How do you maintain a balanced state of mind?
Please leave us a comment below!