Stress - Is It Derailing Your Efforts?


Stress – our reaction to the things that happen.

We all deal with things differently. Something which is stressful for one person, doesn’t even register for another.

In the short term and in the right dose, stress can feel like it gives us a nice boost – we feel energised, clear headed, focussed and ready to take on whatever comes at us.

An overdose of stress can lead to some pretty big negatives – disregulated blood sugar, hormone disruption, reduced immunity, poor sleep, compromised digestion, a preference to store body fat… In short, too much stress can make it harder to reach your health and fitness goals.

It’s not often spoken about, but a lack of stress can also cause negative effects – a lack of focus, direction and purpose means we’re bored, lethargic and don’t achieve much…. In short, not enough stress can make it harder to reach your health and fitness goals.

So, we want the right amount of stress to light a fire under us, but not so much that we crash and burn.

The amount of stress that is is pretty individual – the way we perceive and respond to a situation is important, and there are a lot of things which impact this, like our attitudes and outlook on life, our past experiences, the control we feel of the situation and what else is going on in our life at the same time.

So the aim is to find out how to balance all of your life demands in a way which gets you going without overloading you AND also to view these demands as achievable challenges rather than unsurmountable tasks.

Seeing that most of us suffer with too high stress loads, addressing the balance for most of us will involve chasing relaxation in order to boost our feelings of happiness and allow our stress resilience to improve.

You might like to go for a walk or simply spend time outside, or perhaps listening to relaxing music is more your thing. You could try meditation or gentle mobility type exercise, getting a massage or having a laugh – all of these will allow you to switch off and will help to improve your resilience to stress.

Likewise, some practical actions can help to change our stress levels too.

Put a routine in place which helps you keep a balance of the right amount of structure in your day – neither an inflexible schedule nor reactive spontaneity.

Know your limits and don’t be afraid to say no – you can’t be everywhere at once, or be everything to everyone.

Focus on just one task at a time.

Keep working on your positive attitude – feel the negative emotions when you need to, just don’t let yourself wallow in them.

Maybe you’d consider turning off your electronics for at least part of the day too?

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