\”Stress\” can mean many different things, and it shows up differently for each of us. No matter what your stress symptoms are, life\’s ups and downs can certainly take a toll on your body.
Headaches, muscle pain, chest pain, fatigue, stomach upset, and sleep problems are just a few of the wonderful physical symptoms of stress.
Often, we don\’t realize that our physical health fluctuations are directly tied to life stressors — breakups, financial challenges, the loss of a loved one, career transitions.
On this week\’s Cup of Joy episode, Dr. Joy and Laine invited Dwayne Hall to share his story about the effect of life stressors on his physical fitness.
He shared that over the course of his adult life, he has experienced weight fluctuations. \”I didn\’t look much deeper into it than the fact that it seemed like it was a seasonal thing. You know, like most humans,, you gain a little bit of weight in the winter, then as you start to get into January, February, March, you\’re like, \’Shoot, do I really want to look like this when I start going back to the pool, or the waterpark, or whatever your hobbies are?\”
We often explain away our physical health symptoms in similar ways. We tell ourselves it\’s because we\’re getting older, or because the weather\’s cold, or because we just don\’t have time to address it right now.
As Dwayne considered his history of weight fluctuation, he started to see a connection.
\”When I started to think about it, actually started looking at older pictures of myself, and thought back to those events, there was something tied to that event, regardless of how I looked. So I noticed a picture that I was standing in the garage with both of my nephews. And I remember that was when one of the closest people in my life had passed away. It was probably two or three weeks after we had buried him. And so that was probably just a time where no one was taking care of themselves that were close to that event. And you know, you could look at everybody in the picture and say: you guys have been doing nothing but sitting around and sleeping and drinking and staying up late.\”
\”When I\’m in a high stress event, or in a phase of depression, I don\’t sleep. And I can probably get only two hours of sleep a day for months, versus six to eight hours, which I should be getting. So you\’re not taking care of yourself when it comes to sleeping. Probably not eating the best things. I mean, anytime that I\’ve gone through a big event, that\’s probably when I see Taco Bell the most.\”