Waiting for Your Adopted Child is Very Stressful

Certainly, stress reduction is important for everyone, but a new study  suggests women especially need to monitor their stress to avoid heart problems. “Women who have heart-related symptoms while under stress, need to tell their doctor right away,” said Jeffrey Rothfeld M.D., a cardiologist at Bradenton Cardiology Center.

When you mix older parents who adopt with the ever-increasing risk of heart disease, studies of heart attack patients found that 15 to 30 percent of those admitted to a medical center had suffered from severe emotional stress. “High levels of stress make other risk factors such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure worse,” Dr. Rothfeld said.

Being able to identify stressors in life and releasing the tension they cause is critical in learning to cope with everyday pressure, as well as significant traumatic life events. Below are some common triggers that can affect mothers at all stages of life.

•    Illness, either personal or of a family member or friend
•    Death of a friend or loved one
•    Problems in a personal relationship
•    Work overload
•    Unemployment
•    Pregnancy and/or infertility
•    Financial concerns

“Identifying and addressing issues is the best way to reduce the release of stress hormones, like adrenalin, into the bloodstream that increase the likelihood of both heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest,” Dr. Rothfeld said. Some common techniques for coping with stress while you wait for your child to come home:

•    Eat and drink sensibly - Abusing alcohol and food may seem to reduce stress, but it actually adds to it.
•    Stop smoking - Aside from the obvious health risks of cigarettes, nicotine acts as a stimulant and brings on more stress symptoms.
•    Exercise regularly - Choose non-competitive activities and set reasonable goals. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins (natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude).
•    Relax every day – Choose from a variety of different techniques, such as meditation, to unwind.
•    Get enough rest – Even with proper diet and exercise, you can’t fight stress effectively without rest. You need time to recover so the time you spend asleep should be long enough to relax your mind as well as your body.

We can all help ourselves by recognizing what stresses us out and establishing coping strategies to help control how we respond to these situations, he said. Amen.

Tell me all about your non-stressful adoption story here!

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff