Being stressed out can make it really hard to reach your health and fitness goals!
Not all stress is bad!
The stress response is your body’s way of protecting you. Stress is your response to the challenges you face every day. A good response to stress is when it helps you stay focused, energetic and alert. It even helps you rise – to meet different challenges in life. An example, could be a promotion at work. Or the birth of a child – or even getting a new job.
is over quickly (in a matter of minutes or hours
can be part of a positive life experience
inspires you to action
helps build you up —
it leaves you better than you were before.
lasts a long time
is negative, depressing, and demoralizing
de-motivates and paralyzes you
breaks you down — it leaves you worse off than you were before.
Another thing that can help you identify good and bad stresses, is your ability to RECOVER from stress.
Stress can affects your mind, body, and behavior in many ways, everyone experiences stress differently…. Each and everyone of us, of us has a unique “recovery zone” of stress. whether that’s physical or psychological, and our recovery zone depends on several factors.
Our attitude and outlook — People with optimistic, proactive and positive attitudes are more stress resistant. And people who view stressful events as a challenge, and realize that change is simply a part of life, have a far larger recovery zone and are far less vulnerable to stress.
Our life experience — Past stress can build us up or break us down. Depending on when and what that stress was and how it affected us.
Our genetic makeup and epigenetic expression – Some of us are genetically more “stress susceptible” than others, especially if we meet environmental factors that then epigenetically “switch on” or “switch off” those crucial genes. (There was a study found that older people carrying a certain gene polymorphism suffered major depression only if they had something bad happen to them in childhood. The folks with the genetic variant who had normal childhoods were fine.)
Our perception of control – Stress can be more traumatic when we feel trapped. If we’re able to successfully ‘fight or flee’, we’re more likely to recover better. But if we feel unable to change the situation, we’ll go to the next-stage stress response, the “freeze” response. This is when we feel helpless, hopeless, and paralyzed. We may also get more stressed if we’re “control freaks” — constantly trying to grip, grab, and grasp everything tightly.
Our natural personality type – If you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, it’s easier to take stressful events in stride. People who are more vulnerable to stress may feel like they don’t have any control or influence different events around them. This could lead then to feel “pushed” and “pulled” by the needs and wants of others.
Our support network – A strong network of really great friends and family (even your pets) is a powerful buffer against the stress of life. On the other end, loneliness and isolation worsens stress.How we deal with our emotions —
We should be able to calm and soothe ourselves when feeling stressed or even overly emotional. This ability will help us to handle adversity and stress better!!
Our environment – Feeling overwhelmed?? Get outside, go for a walk. Even get to a space with windows!! This can be calming, and help to get the stress under control.
Breathe – Incorrect breathing can cause anxiety, stress and even depression. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain, —it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind
To control the stress in our lives, we need to balance the demands – meaning we want the “good stress” to keep us motivated, but not so much that we break down and burn out.
Don’t let the stress of your new fitness goals burn you out!!
manage your stress!
learn to balance our life demands, workload, and exercise/nutrition responsibilities; and
view these responsibilities as an achievable challenge or an interesting problem to solve, rather than a HUGE mountain to climb!!
Boost your body’s happy chemicals!!!
Here are some things to do!!
a relaxing walk (especially outside);
being out in nature;
getting moderate sunshine;
listening to relaxing music;
mindfulness practice and meditation;
snuggling a loved one or pet;
yoga, gentle mobility, and/or slow stretching exercises;
gentle swimming or water immersion (such as a hot tub);
relaxing in a sauna;
Don’t be held captive by your “default settings”. Learn how to respond to stress in a better way. GET RID of old habits. You can evolve from the person you are, into the person you WANT to be.
Do not think you have to be what you have been!