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If you are a member of Earthly Essentials ~ The Community, stress management is a topic that we previously addressed in our Saturday Coaching Video Sessions. If you are not a member, I encourage you to head on over to join in on many more in-depth topics of holistic health, wellness, and self-awareness & growth with a community of empowering individuals.
Stress is something that we each experience, on some level, every day.
Avoiding stress is an impossible task since every day we encounter stressors. These stressors can be measured in different degrees of intensity by how the affect every part of ourselves and our lives. And we each react to our stressors differently. That is part of our uniqueness!
Stressors can be “normal” things, such as: work related, our children and parental duties, family dealings, and even the exhaustion from all of the responsibilities. At the same time, stressors can be much larger; things such as: financial troubles, illness or health troubles, and even our fears and worries. No matter what stage each of us are at in our lives, stressors will occur daily.
Addressing our stressors and discussing stress management is a crucial topic when working toward a better version of ourselves because stress affects numerous things. It affects our positivity, the motivation we have, how well goals are accomplished, our understanding of self and true needs, and stress affects our overall level of wellness.
But what is stress really?
Defined: stress is how the body reacts to a situation or event (stressor).
And this is true! Stress is a state that our body, mind, emotions, and spiratuality experience because of the exposure to some sort of unpleasant factor. And as I previously stated, we each experience different levels of stress. No matter the level, there is always an effect on us as a whole.
There is a concern you should have when it comes to stress.
The effects of stress reach further than many acknowledge. Stress has been linked to numerous diseases. Often times, this is because the body is unable to cope properly. This state has been termed as distress– the prolonged state of or experience of severe stress.
When the whole self experiences a prolonged state of distress, the body experiences an “overload” and improper function begins to occur. As this inner malfunction continues, the body is unable to maintain a state of homeostasis (normal function). This can result in illness, acute and/of chronic disease, and worsen current health concerns.
Even more concerning is that stress, especially prolonged distress, has an affect on many body systems. Organs such as: numerous brain functions, the heart, and even the liver play a role in the stress response. In addition, the respiratory system and the Sympathetic Nervous System are also triggered by stress.
Some examples of how stress can affect the body:
- Heart Disease: stress causes an increase in blood pressure, which should be regulated by individuals with heart conditions.
- Respiratory Issues: As heart rate rises due to stress, some individuals may experience anxiety attacks. For those with asthma, stress may ultimately trigger an asthma attack.
- Physical Stress: Things such as injury, improper exertion, or excessive use may result in fatigue. This can potentially lead to poor bodily function of even inflammation. For those with more comprimised immune systems, inflammation may result in an autoimmune disorder.
- Autoimmune Disorders: Stress depletes the immune system and weakens the immune respone. For someone with an autoimmune disorder, this could be detrimental to health.
Stress isn’t always bad, however!
Think of stress as a protective mechanism that the body has. In the same way your vehicle has a check engine light to warn you when something isn’t right, your stress response is alerting you that you are encountering something that isn’t right.
Whether it be a stressor not sitting well with your body, mind, spirit, or life, your stress response is what alerts you so that you in a time where adjustment is needed.
In order to become a better version of yourself…
- Don’t live trying to avoid all stress- remember, your stress response is important to your wellness
- Learn to acknowledge your stressors- this is a crucial part of stress management
3 Steps to Successful Stress Management
Acknowledge, Accept, & Prepare!
- Acknowledge when you are experiencing a period of stress.
- Accept the stressor that has cause you to experience a stress response.
- Prepare yourself to act in a proactive way when a stressor occurs.
3 Type of Stress Management Techniques
This is the “Control Your Circumstances” type of stress management technique. It requires that you deeply analyze your life to determine where and/or when a stressor occurs. Can this stressor be avoided? Sometimes, you are able to avoid a stressor occuring. Can you change your environment? When leaving or adjusting your experiences, sometimes stressors can be reduced. Lastly, when change is not possible, you can prepare your self to better handle your stress response.
**To better assist you in this area- preparation- I have created a simple worksheet. This Free Downloadable Stress Management Worksheet will be discussed in detail at the end of this post.
This type of stress management involves the concept of “mind over matter”. It involves shifting your responses, your attitude, when stressors occur. This is beneficial when you experience things that are out of your control. When these stressful situations occur you can work to improve how you react verbally and even within your own mind.
Practicing positivity, energy work, and even mediation daily can enhance your relax response and aid you in remaining positive in stressful situations.
This stress management technique can be summarized as “stress-fit”. The focus of this form of stress management is to focus on the body. A healthier body can result in an improved stress response by the body. In addition, many individuals report that regular physical exercise provides a great deal of relief from built up tension and negative thoughts; both which are byproducts of stress.
This type of stress management can be harnessed by remaining consistant with a fitness routine and using exercise as a time of reflection & release.
When it comes to stress management, improving your stress response, and gaining control of your life, you must acknowledge that the entire body needs aid and support. The body is one whole unit, full of intricate systems that must be addressed simultaneously in order to achieve proper function.
In order to better assist you, make sure to download the FREE workshett below (no subscription required)!
- This worksheet will assist you in identifying your stressors (acknowledge).
- It will require you to accept that this is a stressor and analyze your current response. (accept).
- Lastly, you will plan out how you can better react and respond to a stressor that you know you will experience (prepare). This step requires that you begin each sentence with “I Will”. During this time, think positivity and utilize the 3 stress management techniques to assist you.
Remember, you are your biggest advocate and change maker on your wellness journey! I would love to work with you one on one or see you join Earthly Essentials ~ The Community and join in on our live coaching sessions, Wellness Wednesdays, and so much more on Holistic, yet Realistic, Health & Wellness.
- Hubert, J. R. & VanMeter, C. K. (2018). Gould’s Pathophysiology for the Health Professions (6th ed). Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co.
- Petersen, D. (2017). Holistic Pathophysiology (18th ed.). Portland, OR