Did you know research has revealed that the stress hormone (cortisol) has been found to be significantly higher in women with endometriosis compared to women without this disease? To be honest I was not surprised when first reading this fact.
Commonly, when experiencing stress and at the same time managing a chronic disease, the symptoms will begin to reflect one another. When your stress is high your pain will be high and when your pain is high your stress will be high. The symptoms you experience are directly related to the stress you experience. So, it is highly important for women living with endometriosis to learn how to manage their stress.
Sometimes, finding relief from stress is as easy as remembering to relax and take care of yourself. When you start to feel like your endometriosis pain and stress are getting out of control try to practice these simple tips.
1. Breathe: Deep breathing is one of the most basic stress management techniques you can practice. It requires very little, no fancy tools or equipment are needed. You can practice anywhere at anytime. And hey not only is it highly effective, it’s free!
Here is a basic deep breathing model to follow: Start with an INHALE, expanding your belly, opening your ribs, filling your lungs full of air. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds and then EXHALE. Begin letting air out from your upper lungs to lower, release your ribs, belly, tension, and let the air slowly flow from your mouth. Extend your exhale for 5 to 7 seconds.
3. Take a Body Inventory: Scan your body for the areas that are feeling tense, in pain, or stressed. I have blogged about this process before here. Understanding where your pain and tension is held in your body is key for learning how to release your pain and stress.
4. Relax: After taking a body inventory you can better determine how to relax. You can take a hot bath, meditate, or anything that will ease your tension and stress. Personally, when feeling the pain and stress of endometriosis I like to practice yoga. Moving my body and releasing the trigger points helps tremendously.
How do you deal with the stress of endometriosis? Let me know some of the metods you have tired and worked for you.
Join us Friday October 26, 2012 @ 10:00 est for a twitter support group all about endometriosis and stress. Follow me @ElizabethNDrew #WomenHealthStress and I hope to chat with you there!