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.