What is stress?
Stress, it's a word often spoken of, but generally misunderstood. Why do we seem to have such a big problem coping with it in our lives now? What does it do to us? What can we do to help reduce or alleviate it?
There is good and bad stress. Exercise is an example of good stress. When you put your body through a challenging workout, it's stressful on your heart and lungs, your muscles and connective tissues. With enough rest, hydration and proper nutrition, the body gets stronger dealing with that stress. But that's not the kind of stress we're talking about here. We're talking about the kind of stress that wears you down, makes you feel tired, anxious and depressed.
Here's a simple explanation of why stress is listed as a risk for heart disease. When you're exercising, your body releases fat into the bloodstream, to be used for energy. When you're stuck in traffic, or stressed at work, the same physiological response occurs. Your body releases fat into the bloodstream. But since you're sedentary, the fat is carried, in the blood, back to the heart. This causes the buildup of plaque in your blood vessels, around your heart. Stress causes negative hormone release that leads to that heart risk, or feelings of negativity and depression.
Why do we seem to have such a tough time coping with stress now? There are many reasons- people's lives have never been busier, people are worried about a weak economy and their job status. Due to people's busier lives, they don't make time to exercise and eat better.
Explore the solutions on this page to learn how to help reduce and alleviate your stress.
Everyone needs 6 to 9 hours of sleep per night. This is when your body and your brain recharge. Without REM (deep Rapid Eye Movement sleep) sleep, your brain will not function properly. If you're having trouble sleeping, try to set a consistent sleep time routine; same time, dark room, comfortable temperature (65- 70 degrees), quiet, don't watch exciting or disturbing TV programs, stay away from your phone or emails close to bed time, perhaps soothe yourself with music or positive reading before going to bed.
This can be done at any time of the day. Find a quiet, dimly lit room, and follow this :04, :06, :08 technique. Breathe in deeply for four seconds, hold that breath for six seconds, and then slowly exhale through pursed lips for eight seconds. This simple technique, performed for even just five minutes, can really change your perspective in a hurry.
The many health benefits of exercise are widely known. But exercise also causes the release of positive hormones that make you feel better, physically, mentally and emotionally. So if stress causes the release of negative hormones, fight back with positive hormone release through exercise. If one of your stresses is lack of time, check out the section of this site called time efficient workouts. That will help relieve your stress, without compromising your tight schedule.
Following healthy nutritional habits will help your body manage stress. For more in depth information on this, check out the section of this site called life changing nutrition.
Water is critical to you feeling better. Over 60% of your body is water (70% of your muscles). Water is involved in circulation (90% of plasma is water), breathing, elimination, sweating, etc. Most people are walking around dehydrated. Try to drink at least half your body weight, in ounces of water daily.
I know that this is easier said than done. Your brain is very fertile. Just plant more positivity in your brain. Start and end your days with something that positively motivates you. That "something" could be a book (like "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff"), or a video. Maybe you could post your goals right on your bathroom mirror. Motivation, like bathing, needs to be done everyday. Life will try to beat you down. Don't let it. Stay positive. Be grateful.
Advice from your trainer
Stress causes negative thoughts and feelings, it causes the release of negative and dangerous hormones, and keeps us from from being able to resolve our stress.
Try these solutions to your stress, and let me know if you have any questions or problems. Leave your questions and comments in the "Get in Touch" section at the bottom of this page.