Traffic jam? Stress. Family disagreements? Stress. New boss making waves? Stress, big time.

A decadent wedge of cheesecake and a little relaxation before the TV to put the mind at ease over it all...what? MORE stress?

Yes, indeed.

We're very aware that high-pressure, high-emotion situations trigger those damaging cortisol-overload reactions in our bodies, but not all stress culprits are as obvious. Indulging in comfort food and escaping through modern technology are, unfortunately, two examples of those possible "stealth stressors." Read on--and arm yourself to meet these stressors head-on.

Surprise Stress-Maker #1: Nutrition (or rather, lack thereof)
You already know that allergies, intolerances, and other sensitivities can put stress on your body, causing problems in its overall function. When foods are among those triggers that cause reactions, this can greatly affect your digestive and immune systems, energy level, sense of wellness...just about everything. But hear this: Even if you have no particular food sensitivities, the everyday choices you make in your diet can still serve as stressors.

The ideal diet for your body contains vegetables, protein, and healthy fats obtained from whole, free-range, organic, and hormone-free sources. These components work with your body to fuel it, keep it strong, and fight off invaders that cause illness and infection. But ingest sweets, unhealthy fats, additives (even some "safe" foods, including farm-raised salmon, contain chemicals and hormones), or just too much food in general, and the result is stress on all the major organ systems of the body. This leads to inflammation, pain, and a weakened immune system--yes, a variety of discomfort as well as increased vulnerability to viruses and bacteria.

Your Stress-Buster: Keep a food journal for a week or more, recording what you eat and how your body and mind feel over the course of each day. Then look for patterns and "connect the dots." Depending on your body's own reaction, foods may be the cause of your fatigue, digestive difficulties, brain fog, weight gain, or moodiness.

Surprise Stress-Maker #2: Electromagnetic Stress
Did you ever think of "electromagnetic pollution" as a body stressor? Trust me, it is. There is mounting evidence that cell phones, fluorescent lights, computers, microwaves, and even the electric clock by your bed can exert effects on the body, ranging from vision and immune issues to cellular and energy challenges. Yes, the very devices that organize and simplify our lives, over time, buffet us with untold quantities of electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and other radiation that is potentially dangerous to our overall health. And that's before you add a few bonus waves from big events like air travel and medical imaging procedures.

Your Stress-Buster: Keep your cell phone off and out of direct contact with your body when not in use. When you make or take a call, protect your head and brain by using a headset. You can also purchase wristbands, jewelry, and other personal items that have magnetic properties to assist in rebalancing the body in our increasingly connected, electromagnetically charged world.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, So what does it all mean, Roberta? If my own phone or the simple indulgence of a cup of hot chocolate can be so harmful, am I to be fearful of everything?

In a word, no. Fear, in and of itself, gets you nowhere (except back in line for more mindset-type stress). Awareness and vigilance, on the other hand, give you back control. Add the new knowledge to your wellness toolbag along with a renewed commitment to act in order to minimize these potentially stress-inducing exposures. Start now: Review those stress-busting tips, and begin putting them to work today.

It may take some time and a bit of connecting the dots in order to work out which triggers are causing the most trouble for you, in your own circumstances, with your own body's unique characteristics and history. But the reward--a path to lower-stress living--is well worth the effort.

Author's Bio: 

Roberta Roberts Mittman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., M.S., is a nutritional and lifestyle consultant, holistic mindset mentor, and nationally board-certified acupuncturist. Using natural, drug-free techniques, Roberta opens the door to complete mind-body health. Roberta's goal is not only to relieve patients' illness and discomfort, but to help them set realistic goals for physical and mental preventative care and overall wellness. Roberta believes in empowering individuals to be their own best healers.