Stress is one of the major negative factors that affects our society today. It affects us and the people around us. It can also be detrimental to our health. As humans, we are drawn by a primal force called a “fight or flight” mechanism. This is a response where the body releases adrenaline and norepinephrine when we feel like we are in danger. For example, you see a snake and you jump or run. This is a good response and is highly necessary. However, when you are in a traffic jam and you get irritable or angry, your body will release the same stress response.
Stress is definitely easy to come by in this day and age. Some people experience this stress response all the time. This is unnecessary and can result in symptoms and poor health.
Common Symptoms of Stress ::
- Physical – Muscular: headaches, grinding teeth, jaw pain, neck/back pain. Nervous: migraines, sensitivity to light/sound, diarrhea, moodiness. Weight gain, weight loss, hair loss
- Mental – Anxiety, depression, disorganized, crying, forgetfulness, moodiness, irritability
- Behavioral – grooming, appearance, rushing, overreacting, perfectionism, sleep problems, tiredness, alcohol use, spending, gambling.
It’s important to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit!!!
Stress Management That Works ::
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques. Try breathing exercises (breathe2relax app.), meditation (Meditation Made Simple app & Insight Timer), prayer, yoga, or tai chi.
- Exercise is a great coping skill. It releases natural “feel good” hormones called, endorphins.
- Eat Healthy. Avoid too much sugar. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. When you’re stressed, you’ll probably want comfort foods, but all that will do is create consequences and emotional eating.
- Go for a walk. There is something about nature that sets our minds at ease.
- Start your day slow. Reduce the time urgency.
- Time Management. Set priorities first and everything else will follow. There is only 24 hours a day. You can’t do it all.
- Set Barriers. Say “NO” to things that would add more stress in your life.
- Spend time with positive people
- Make time for hobbies and interests
- Get enough rest and sleep. Studies show that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep.
Things to Avoid ::
- Caffeine, alcohol and drugs
- Negative talk or people
- High sugar, high fat foods
- Too much commitment
- Triggers that cause stress
Nichole Barras, BS, CLC, CPT
My love for health and wellness began while I was in college. At the time, I was not living a healthy lifestyle. This was the turning point for me. While attending college, I began to make health my primary focus. I obtained my personal trainer and group exercise certification. I worked in a medical wellness center and later became an Assisted Fitness Director in a Fitness Center. I am currently working in a medical bariatric program where I help people with behavioral health and exercise programming. I have been working in the fitness profession as a trainer/health coach for over 15 years. Not a day goes by that I am not thinking of ways to help people be their best self yet! FITNESS AND HEALTHY EATING is a mindset and a journey. My coaching approach is to teach and motivate you to be the best you can be without going to the EXTREME. Take it one step at a time and when you fall, get back up and continue on your journey to being a better you.