Everyone is stressed out these days. We have the ability to reach each other in a moment, access work from anywhere, and keep up with friends and family on social media, even if we don’t want to know what they’re doing. There are so many different things coming at us from all directions that it’s hard to process them all. Of course we’re stressed, but are we becoming addicted to it? If you need a drug and alcohol treatment center in Wilmington NC, please call Legacy Freedom today!
When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol that sends your body into “fight or flight” mode, which increases heart rate and blood pressure and makes you feel charged up and ready to get active. Researchers have found that the body can become addicted to the adrenaline rush cortisol provides.
Even though daily life doesn’t require such a response, we can feel it if we deliver a speech at work or have a fight with our spouse. When we’re stressed, we produce more of the hormone and it remains in our systems longer rather than tapering off and moving out of our body like it should.
Society encourages feeling stressed. How many times have you heard someone say it, even just today? We all want to seem like we have important, fulfilling, busy lives, so we talk about how stressed or overwhelmed we are because we have so much to do. We also want to be successful at work, so we take on more duties and work longer hours. Technology has allowed us to, so we don’t have many excuses for not being available any time of the day.
The downside to feeling stressed and constantly running on the “fight or flight” feeling is that our bodies want more of it even though we don’t need it. When cortisol lingers, it can cause moodiness, memory problems and weight gain. Stress itself causes insomnia, muscle aches, stomach problems and frequent colds. Put all of those together and you have a recipe for an unhealthy and unhappy person.
In order to control the levels of cortisol in your system, you need to lower your stress levels. Here are some suggestions for lowering your stress levels and keeping those cortisol hormones at bay.
● Get some sleep. Aim for eight hours. Some people need more and some need less. Just make sure you’re getting enough so that you feel well-rested when you wake up.
● Exercise. Take a walk through the neighborhood, run with your dog or sign up for yoga. It will release endorphins that can replace the stress hormones.
● Cut back on caffeine and alcohol. They raise cortisol levels. Drink green tea instead of coffee.
● Unplug. You probably don’t need to work after hours. Turn off your cellphone or laptop in the evenings.
● Reassess your relationships. If you find you’re more stressed out after talking with a friend or loved one, take some time to reevaluate the relationship. You don’t have to cut them out of your life completely, but set some boundaries so that you don’t feel worse after you spend time with them.
● Take time for yourself. If you have a hobby you enjoy, schedule time to do it every week. It’s important to take time to do fun and creative things that you enjoy.
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