Does Stress Affect Your Overall Health?

An Example of Mary's Stress and Health

How can stress affect your overall health? Let’s take Mary for example. She is a client of mine. She had the “habit” of taking on too many things and as a result she would suffer with anxiety attacks, headaches, and stomach problems. She loves to volunteer at her children’s school and at church.

It’s not WHAT she was doing that was stressing her because she loved everything she was doing; it was how much time she spent doing what she was doing that was the problem.

In addition to volunteering a few times a week at church and at her kids school, she was also caring for a home, children, and husband. She couldn’t keep up with the demands of the household and volunteer work. It was her family that suffered. As a result she continually had headaches, anxiety attacks and stomach problems.

Furthermore she was continually yelling at her children, short with her husband, and would have bouts of crying and depression, followed by heaps of guilt.

Does Mary's life sound like your life? Does stress affect your overall health? Mary is a perfect example of many women today. Their passion for serving and doing what they love overlaps into their home life thus causing stressful situations. Life doesn’t have to be like that.

There are better ways to deal with the stressors. Don't let stress affect your overall health.

After looking over Mary’s passions, stressors, and symptoms we recreated a more ideal plan for her that will reduce stress the in her life. We looked at Mary’s schedule and determined that she only has 2 hours a week to volunteer for school and 3 hour a week to volunteer for church. With that in mind Mary can choose what she really wants to do.

After 2 months of trying out this new way of volunteering, here is what she said, “Kelly, you are not going to believe what I am going to tell you. I don’t think I have ever lived a more fulfilling life then I do now. I am happy, my children are happy, my husband looks forward to coming home, and even my dog is happy. I no longer am barking at my kids.”

“Before, my stress was so out of control, I would yell at my kids to get things done. Now, because I am calm and not stress, my kids are calm and do things without creating a war. I always felt ‘if they would just do what I say, I wouldn’t have to get so mad at them.”

But what I realized is that because of my stressed and anxiety and I was dumping my problems on them. But in reality my stress caused them to be stressed which caused them to react like I was. It was a horrible turn of events. I shudder to think about what I was doing to them.”

“Plus you are not going to believe this: I haven’t had one headache or had stomach problems in two months. Kelly, you are a miracle worker! Thank you, thank you, thank you. And my husband and kids want to thank you too. Oh and about volunteering at church and school, I always felt guilty saying no, but after seeing what was happening to my family and myself, it was the best thing I could do for us.”

“I don’t’ feel guilty because I know my family comes first and there is always someone else who is willing to help. Now volunteering is fun, I’m doing only what I want to do, really want to do and say no to the rest. It feels good to make my family my priority –and even better to have a happy home life!”

Although, I wouldn’t call myself a miracle worker, I would go as far to say a miracle took place in their home. Mary never wanted to be mean to her children, her serving the church and school was actually her love FOR her children. But her priorities got off track. With a few little changes and reprioritized her family life and volunteer time she created a happier and healthier home.

Stress management doesn’t need to be done alone. Don't let stress affect your overall health. We have a women's support groups that can help, also, if you are looking for a bit more help, our personal mentoring program with Kelly may be the answer. We have many programs to meet all financial needs.

For additional resources with stress management goal setting, and can stress affect your overall health please visit Signs of Stress,  Take a Stress Test,   Take a Stress Management Questionnaire,  or Goal Setting Articles for more great ideas to help you reduce stress!

This page is not intended to replace medical care and proper diagnosis. Does stress affect your overall health? Please seek proper medical care for correct diagnosis and treatment.

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