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Dr. Carrie Jones: 10 Ways To Destress This Holiday Season

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Out with the Old and in with the New

Fall has fallen and in many areas we are moving right into winter. This means ‘tis the season is right around the corner. As much as we love the holidays, they are a time of stress for many of us that one might come to believe a 10 month break in the calendar was done on purpose.

You see, the stress response is not triggered by what happens in life, rather how you respond to it. What is deemed stressful to you may not be perceived in that manner by someone else and it’s your response that determines the difference.

Biologically, the stress response is meant to be short lived. We encounter a situation, our stress hormones quickly activate and when everything is said and done they should return to normal. The problem is our stress hormones respond to ACTUAL stress (your in-laws are here unannounced), ANTICIPATED stress (your in-laws are on their way) and IMAGINED stress (there is always a chance they will show up – they always do).

Even if a situation doesn’t exist, if in your mind it exists then it’s imagined and anticipated and your body reacts as if it’s actual.

Stress can be emotional, psychological, biochemical, hormonal, physical and environmental. We experience all of these aspects on a daily basis however, they are pushed to the maximum around the holidays despite our best efforts.

Another unfortunate fact is that stress is cumulative. That means back-to-school shopping in August/September rolled right into last minute Halloween costumes in October, combining with Thanksgiving preparation in November and ending on a month of celebration this December.

Did you ever let yourself recover from the summer?

Your stress hormones are also quite talkative. In fact, they communicate faster than teenagers on myspace. All of your hormones (not just the stress ones) check in with each other every second of every day. Because your body works as an entire system functioning in unison, it is very important to understand that some of your symptoms may be in an effort to get you to slow down and take care of yourself.

So, how will you de-stress this holiday season?

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