Here are 5 unsuspecting sources of stress that may be compromising your health. In my 1st newsletter where I shared the link to Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk on How stress can be your friend, I promised I would also share these other sources of stress. Although it’s true that your conscious perception of stressful situations can transform the outcome, there is little you can do about forms of stress you do not know about. Did you know that stress can come from foods, hormone imbalance, electromagnetic sources, too little or too much exercise, and temperature changes? And did you know that all these sources of stress can contribute to a relapse of your injury, pain or discomfort?
Stress build up throughout the day
I’ll use an example of how stress can build up without you even knowing. You wake up to an alarm after a restless night’s sleep. You force off your tiredness with a coffee and rush out the house because you’re late. You leave the house without a coat and it’s too late to go back to get one now – you’ll be cold all day. When you get to work the computers are down. You won’t finish that proposal for a client today, you’ll lose the contract and your bonus! You have a makeshift late lunch and more coffee to stay awake. You decide to shake off your stress by going for a run even though your back hurts and when you get home, you order a take-out and you can’t wait to get the kids in bed so you can ‘unwind’ with a few glasses of wine before you fall asleep on the sofa in front of the TV. Sound familiar?
Many stressors one response
What if I told you that everything in the above example stresses your body? Think of your body having a threshold – a tolerance for all the stressful things we put it through. What if I told you that repeating this over and over would create a build up of stress that might result in a seemingly ‘random’ injury or illness? It does. The body only has one response to stress. It does not matter if the stressor comes from a food that you are unknowingly intolerant to or over exposure to the sun. The body’s response is to shut down so it can heal. Repeated abuse of these systems results in tiredness, compromised immunity and suppression of healing and recovery. This leads to discomfort, pain, injury, illness and disease.
How to combat these sources of stress
In this blog i’ll give an overview of how to combat these unsuspecting sources of stress so you can begin to change your mindset on how to deal with your discomfort, pain, injury and or illness. As each of these subjects are pretty hefty on their own, I’ll be sharing information in more depth over the coming weeks.
1. Nutrition: Eat from the earth. Refrain from eating any foods that are packaged, processed and tampered with. Reduce stimulants like coffee to the minimum to prevent stressing out your adrenals. Be aware of your alcohol intake.
2. Hormonal/Adrenal: Sleep enough and rest properly. Sleeping and rest are not the same thing! Sleep an average of 8 hours in a blacked out room in silence. Maintain balance between work and life. Acknowledge that you are not superman/woman and that rest is as important as action.
3. Electromagnetic: Get enough sunlight for vitamin D but not too much – hardly a problem in the English winter months! Eliminate all electronics from your bedroom and switch off lights at the mains.
4. Exercise: Definitely exercise but make sure you are not overdoing it. If you are injured, seek professional help to recover effectively. Strike a balance between healing restorative exercise like tai chi and hatha yoga and more energising forms of exercise like hitting the gym or running.
5. Make stress your friend: If you haven’t watched this video on how to make stress your friend I highly recommend it. Kelly McGonigal says it better than I ever could: How to make stress your friend
6. Thermal: This seems rather obvious but pay attention to your body temperature. Anything that keeps you too hot burns you or adversely keeps you too cold is a stressor. Make sure you are temperate in all situations – at home, work and when you sleep.
This is a huge topic and I’ll be covering smaller chunks in finer details in the future, so you can begin to make changes that will result in a healthier, happier pain free life! If you have questions please email me.
Information sourced from Paul Chek’s How to Eat Move and Be Healthy book, CHEK Institute, USA.