What are Stressors?
Stressors are external events that cause an emotion and/or physical reaction. The impact of an event is determined by how your judge it. Do you judge it negatively or positively or do you view it as a neutral event without much impact on you? Think of a time when you felt stress. How did your body respond? What were the symptoms you experienced?
The “Fight or Flight” Response.
Some of the ways the body prepares itself to meet danger:
- Stored sugars and fats are released into the bloodstream to provide quick energy
- The heart pumps faster to provide more blood to the muscles
- The breathing rate is increased to provide more oxygen to the blood
- Blood-clotting mechanisms are activated to protect against possible injury
- Muscles tense in preparation for action
- Digestion ceases so that more blood is available to the brain and muscles • Perspiration increases to help reduce body temperature
- The pupils dilate and the senses of smell and hearing become more acute
Symptoms that could indicate too much distress:
- Dry Mouth
- Chain smoking
- Stomach cramps
- Stroking beard/mustache
- Hair twirling/ pulling/tossing
- Clenched fists
- Nervous cough
- Mouth noises (i.e. tongue clucking)
- Inability to talk
- Talking too much/too fast
- Lump in throat
- Lack of sexual interest
- Menstrual irregularities
- Fingernail biting
- Leg wagging
- Rocking back and forth
- Tic in eye or elsewhere
- Desire to “run away”
- Desire to “hide out”
- Muscle spasm or tightness
- Continual boredom
- Clammy hands
- Lip biting
- Ready tears
- Under or Overeating
- Inability to be alone
- Sleeping too much
- Heart palpitations
- Proneness to errors
- Decreased productivity
- Alcoholism/drug dependence
- Butterflies in stomach
- Stomach knots
- Excessive giggling
- Ulcers Indigestion
- Skin problems
- Lashing out
Which of these symptoms do you experience?
Everyone experiences stress. Why do some people get sick and others seem to be resilient? Resilient people have good coping skills and have a sense of personal power. Personal Power means you have an inner security that you have the capacity to meet whatever challenge you face and that what you do makes a difference. The good news is these skills can be learned!
“…although we cannot avoid stress as long as we live, we can learn a great deal about how to keep its damaging side-effects, ‘distress’ to a minimum.” Hans Selye, MD
There are skills and tools you can learn to build your coping and resiliency skills to help you transform your stress and stop its damaging effects on your body. Contact Fit to Live if you are interested in one-on-one stress management or stop emotional eating coaching.
3 Types of Stress
How do you want to spend your energy … Being creative and fun or being sick? Stress is the body’s reaction to the demands of life. Stressors are external events that cause an emotion and/or physical reaction. Most people think of stress as emotional but there is more to it than that.There are 3 types of stress you experience; physical, chemical and emotional stress.
Physical Stress can be caused by poor posture, poor mechanics when doing physical tasks, or poorly designed workstations or equipment. If you are not fit or overweight your body has to work harder, just doing everyday tasks, so it is more stressed.
Chemical Stress is added if you have poor nutrition or if you smoke, use alcohol or drugs. Toxic chemicals in our food, water, air, personal care and cleaning products accumulate in our bodies and add more stress.
Emotional Stress is caused when we judge any event negatively. Life can throw you curves. How you respond to it makes all the difference. Do you feel powerless or do you take charge of your reactions? We get into negative thinking habits that cause us to be unhappy and feel stressed. These negative emotions can actually be hard wired into your brain so you go to a negative place automatically. You can learn skills to create new neural pathways and stop these negative thinking habits.
Stress is cumulative. What do we usually do when we are feeling stressed? Our diets are usually worse and we don’t take time for exercise or time to rejuvenate. I remember in college being stressed about finals, my boyfriend and I ate a whole chocolate cream pie and ½ of a cheesecake. Not only was I stressed emotionally about finals, I then added a sugar and fat overload that my body had to process!
We only have so much energy and time. The more physical, chemical and emotional stressors we allow into our lives, the less energy we have to spend on being creative, vital and fun.
There are some stressors we can’t do anything about. For example, if you are experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one, it is crazy to think you won’t feel emotional pain. You need to go through the grief process.
When you’re going through extremely emotionally stressful times, control your physical and chemical stressors. This frees up energy to handle the grief more effectively. In other words, make sure you exercise and eat nutritious foods when you are under stress. This will help reduce the total amount of stress you are experiencing. Commit time to learn tools and skills to shift your emotions and change your physical response to stress. You want these skills in your arsenal when life is difficult. You will take charge of your emotions rather than your emotions being in charge of you.
You always have control over the total amount of stress you allow into your life. Going through a difficult time? Get rid of toxic chemicals in your home, eat nutritious foods, and exercise. You will have more energy to handle any crisis and not feel drained. Learn some resiliency skills. You will have more energy to have fun and enjoy life even in tough times. Sounds good to me! Want More Help? If you are interested in a more detailed article on this topic or would like one-on-one coaching to learn the skills to shift your emotions and your physical response to stress at the time you feel it, contact Fit to Live.
Want More Help?
If you are interested in a more detailed article on this topic or would like one-on-one coaching to learn the skills to shift your emotions and your physical response to stress at the time you feel it, contact Fit to Live.