Welcome to week 6.
This week we are looking at stress and the best ways to eliminate it from your life.
Stress is the bodies way of reacting to a stimulus, positive or negative. When something triggers a response (whatever this may be) chemicals are released into the body that help us react. A good example is when something unexpectedly scares you and you find yourself with a sudden rush of energy, increased heart rate and sense of awareness. There are 4 main common causes of stress, these are;
Environmental – like the example above, anything around you that could trigger a response.
Survival – this is the fight or flight response. If you believe something is a danger to you, your body floods your system with adrenaline, allowing you to react faster, run for longer and have an increase in awareness.
Fatigue – this is often caused by overworking and not giving your body a physical or mental rest. It is very common and can occur at work, school or home. It can also be hard to identify and many times most of us try to just shrug it off and ignore it.
Internal stress – if you have ever caught yourself worrying about a certain situation that you have no control over, or about something silly that really doesn’t have that much of an outcome on your life, you have experienced internal stress.
Sometimes, you may not even know you are stressed, and how we show stress can be very individual. Below are some common symptoms of stress, some of which may surprise you!
- Over or under eating
- Chest pains
- Fatigue for no clear reason
- Sadness or depression
- Muscle pain and tension
- Weight gain
- Weight loss (the bad kind, most is muscle mass!)
Its quite clear from the examples above that stress can have some negative effects on your body, so its also important to understand how to best avoid and eliminate stress from our daily lives.
We’re not big fans of stress at Xercise4less, so we have shared some of our best tips below on how to help manage stress.
- Staying positive. At the end of each day, write 3 things you are grateful for or 3 things that made you smile that day. Its surprising how this can affect your mood.
- Stay active. Try doing at least one bit of physical activity every day, even if it’s just a small walk.
- Work smarter. Prioritise tasks in your life or job that are going to make a bigger difference first.
- Reduce or stop unhealthy habits. The main habits are smoking, drinking alcohol, having a poor diet and not sleeping enough.
- Don’t be afraid of some ‘me time’. Its perfectly fine to have some time to yourself every now and then.
- Don’t stress by yourself! Talking to someone about your stresses can often lead to new ideas on how to solve them, or simply lift the weight off your shoulders from baring it alone.
- Take control of your stress. Don’t just sit around and worry about it. Write everything down that could be stressing you and next to it, write as many ways as possible to solve it. Then do it.
- Say no. Saying yes to everything can lead to having too much on your plate, which can be stressful. Manage your time well and know how much you can afford to take on at any given time.
- Don’t worry about time off if you are ill. This can be from training or from work. Rest is super important, and most of the time the impact of a few days off isn’t going to be substantial to your career or training plan.
- Try relaxation techniques. Mindfulness is very good for promoting a calm mind and there are plenty of apps available to download.