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Friday, September 29, 2023

Solutions to the 8 Most Widespread Stress Questions

The irony is that it’s type of anxious to seek out solutions about stress.

There’s a lot conflicting data on the market.

However in the event you’re a well being and health skilled, your shoppers—possibly even your folks and family members too—will seemingly flip to YOU for counsel.

They’ll ask issues like:

“Is stress REALLY poisonous?”

“Do you suppose stress precipitated this stomach fats I can’t lose?”


“Are these crimson bumps from stress?”

(Why does everybody insist on exhibiting you their rashes??)

You wish to assist, however developing with the proper solutions might be laborious, as a result of:

The proper reply relies upon.

It relies on WHO the asker is, WHAT their targets are, WHERE they’re ranging from, and HOW MUCH they’re keen and capable of change

The reality is, one-size-fits-all solutions to stress-related questions don’t exist.

Nevertheless, you’ll be able to construct a robust basis of data about stress that may assist you reply these questions with extra confidence and experience.

On this article, we’ll attempt to provide you with some assets to do this.

If you need, learn the next Q and As from prime to backside. Or, simply leap to those that curiosity you essentially the most:

Query #1. Is stress actually unhealthy for you?

Query #2. What are the indicators of stress?

Query #3. Is stress making me achieve / shed weight?

Query #4. How can I cease stress consuming?

Query #5. How do I do away with stress?

Query #6. How do I slot in stress-management methods and self-care?

Query #7. Is there a weight loss plan that can assist cut back stress?

Query #8. Is there any approach to cool stress quick?

Query #1. Is stress BAD for you?

Sure and no. It’s all about the proper quantities—for YOU.

The connection between stress and well being has gained much more consideration and validity previously 30 years.

Consequently, you’ve seemingly realized to affiliate stress with every kind of horrible issues: coronary heart assaults, hair loss, early dying.

And whereas extreme, unrelenting stress positively erodes well being, let’s clear one thing up:

Not all stress is unhealthy.

In truth, to be able to thrive, we truly want some stress to really feel juicy, purposeful, and alive.

Graph shows a reverse bell-curve where very low stress reduces performance, medium stress optimizes performance, and very high stress reduces performance

Because the above chart reveals, it’s all about discovering a stress “candy spot.”

Go too far in both excessive, and also you’ll really feel crummy.

How do you discover your stress “candy spot”?

Stress that’s long-lasting, relentless, and demoralizing can be the type of stress that’s related to melancholy and nervousness, heart problems, diabetes, stroke, and most cancers.1

Should you’re coping with these sorts of stressors, think about the place you might have management, and attempt to cut back—and even keep away from—them when you’ll be able to.

Additionally, ask for assist. Typically having one other particular person round to deal with an issue with you makes the distinction between feeling such as you’re drowning and feeling such as you’ll make it to the shore.

On the flip aspect, when stress happens in shorter bursts, and you are feeling like you might have some management over it, in addition to alternatives to get well in between, it will probably truly assist you grow to be stronger and extra resilient over time.

This sort of stress tends to really feel empowering: It helps construct you up; not break you down.

One huge complication…

What feels anxious is extremely subjective.

Seems, your notion of stress has a big effect on how stress feels—and what it does to your well being.

Should you consider stress is all the time horrible and must be averted in any respect prices, you’ll be extra more likely to cling to your consolation zone, worry the longer term and what may occur, and keep away from conditions that would result in progress.

(You’re additionally extra more likely to expertise the adverse well being results of stress, like excessive cortisol.2)

In a merciless self-fulfilling prophecy, stress truly does grow to be extra dangerous.

Nevertheless, in the event you consider stress could make you stronger, wiser, and extra resilient, you’ll be extra more likely to proactively remedy issues, search out difficult experiences—and profit from stress in your life.

Fortunately, you might have some management over your notion.

Within the spirit of serving to you shift your perspective, listed here are some examples of how some stress can truly enrich varied features of life:

▶ Stress can strengthen relationships. Some battle is definitely essential for wholesome, safe relationships—it’s a pathway to raised perceive others. By working via issues collectively, we develop collectively.

▶ Stress could make you smarter. Managed successfully, stress helps you focus your consideration, plan for future challenges, and improve reminiscence and studying. Stressors would possibly even really feel like enjoyable puzzles to unravel.

▶ Stress can construct muscle groups and endurance. That is in all probability the obvious instance, however most of us know that intermittent bodily stress—say, from a exercise—couped with acceptable restoration helps your physique grow to be stronger and extra succesful.

Select to consider that stress has the capability to learn you. It might probably assist you be taught, develop, and dwell a much bigger, extra adventurous and significant life.


Query #2. What are the indicators of stress?

The indicators and signs of stress rely just a little on whether or not the stress is acute or continual.

Acute stress (suppose: a automotive simply swerved in entrance of you) usually causes your sympathetic nervous system to ramp up, which releases hormones equivalent to epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol.

With acute stress, you would possibly discover:

  • Your coronary heart beats just a little quicker
  • Your respiratory will get deeper and faster
  • You are feeling a burst of vitality, alertness, giddiness, and/or focus
  • You would possibly really feel just a little shaky and even nauseous, if the stress was intense

The stress response is built-in. You don’t should suppose consciously about it; your physique simply responds robotically on this approach to all stressors.

Fortunately, the restoration response can be built-in. As soon as a risk recedes, your coronary heart fee and respiratory will return to regular, and also you’ll really feel calm once more.

Two graphs compare acute stress versus chronic stress. In acute stress, stress coupled with deep recovery leads to better performance over time. In chronic stress, stress coupled with inadequate recovery leads to worse performance over time.

Persistent stress is when that sympathetic activation lasts for days, weeks, or months, with out ample alternatives for restoration.

Similar to a rollercoaster, stress can really feel energizing in brief bouts—however like a nauseating nightmare in the event you can’t get off the journey. Not surprisingly, continual stress is extra more likely to take a toll in your bodily and psychological well being.

Indicators of continual stress embrace:

  • Extreme worrying or nervousness
  • Low temper or vitality
  • Poor urge for food, OR an elevated want to “stress eat”
  • Digestive issues like heartburn or constipation
  • Hassle sleeping
  • Unfocused or foggy considering
  • Feeling remoted or irritable with others
  • Frequent colds, flus, or infections
  • Hassle recovering from exercises, or aches and pains typically
  • Low intercourse drive

Whereas the stress response is regular and useful for short-lived bouts of problem and pleasure, we’re not meant to dwell in a continuing state of activation and risk.

Stress feels finest when it’s damaged up with intervals of restoration.


The distinction between stress and nervousness

Everybody experiences stress.

Most individuals may even expertise nervousness.

(Not less than to some extent, sooner or later.)

Anxiousness typically entails bodily signs—pressure, elevated coronary heart fee, sweating.

However the hallmark facet of tension is a persistent feeling of apprehension or dread.

Though this sense generally looks like it arises from nowhere, it’s normally precipitated—and perpetuated—by adverse ideas and ruminations like, “I’m by no means going to get via this” or “Everybody goes to evaluate me.”

(Overly adverse or catastrophic ideas are additionally referred to as “cognitive distortions.” Learn extra about take care of them right here: The thought software that may decrease your stress immediately)

Stress normally begins in response to an occasion or scenario, and ends when that scenario has resolved.

However with nervousness, the “risk” tends to persist even past the scope or length of the occasion.

Whereas stress can set off useful variations, nervousness tends to not be tremendous productive. In extra, it will probably really feel fairly debilitating.

The excellent news

Many stress administration methods are additionally efficient at lowering nervousness.

Journaling, train, social connection, and rest workouts like breathwork or optimistic visualization may help with each stress and nervousness.

Nevertheless, if nervousness is very intense, long-lasting, or interferes together with your high quality of life, it’s finest to seek the advice of a healthcare skilled like a therapist or a household physician.

Should you’re a coach, do not forget that you’re not certified to diagnose or deal with scientific nervousness or melancholy. In case your consumer struggles with both, the easiest way you’ll be able to help them is to refer out to a medical skilled who makes a speciality of psychological well being.

(Attempting to assist shoppers with their psychological well being? Learn this primary: “I’m a coach, not a therapist!” 9 methods to assist folks change whereas staying inside your scope)

Query #3. Is stress making me achieve / shed weight?


However extra seemingly, stress is affecting your behaviors. And consuming behaviors positively have an effect on physique composition.

Right here’s the way it works

If you’re pressured, your physiology modifications—at the very least quickly.

Your physique’s acute stress response and the accompanying spike in adrenaline releases saved glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream so you might have vitality to take care of no matter problem you’re dealing with.

This improve in blood sugar can cut back your urge for food, making you push away your sandwich even in the event you haven’t eaten all day.

The stress response additionally dampens digestion.

Even once you do eat, meals would possibly really feel prefer it’s simply sitting in your intestine not shifting wherever, or it would blast via you so quick that you just’re afraid to stray too removed from a washroom. As a result of digestion is compromised, you additionally might not adequately take in your meals.

It’s via each lack of urge for food and lack of absorption that some folks shed weight during times of stress.

Alternatively, weight achieve during times of stress is simply as frequent.

Particularly when stress turns into continual, the stress hormone cortisol will increase. Cortisol can improve urge for food, particularly for carbohydrate- and calorie-rich meals.3 4

Most individuals discover consuming pleasurable and soothing, so turning to meals throughout occasions of stress is a standard (and comprehensible) coping mechanism. After all, when this turns into a behavior, extra energy over time can result in weight achieve.

If that’s one thing you battle with, try the following reply beneath.


Query #4. How can I cease stress consuming?

Greater than 60 % of our new shoppers listing emotional or stress consuming as a serious vitamin problem. What’s extra, over 50 % say in addition they “get intense cravings” and “snack when not hungry.”

Graph shows results of a poll where participants were asked “What’s your biggest nutritional challenge. The most popular answer was “Emotional/stress eating.”

Should you relate, it may be a aid to know you’re not alone. After all, that’s little comfort when your fingers are fumbling for crumbs on the backside of a freshly opened bag of peanut butter pretzel bites.

However what in the event you realized this conduct happens…

  • Each time your mother calls?
  • On Sunday nights, once you’re dreading the beginning of a brand new week?
  • Everytime you see, odor, or hear one thing that reminds you of your ex?

Emotional consuming and intense cravings are sometimes a part of a sample of conduct that’s triggered by a selected expertise—a thought, feeling, and/or scenario.

Should you can determine the set off, you’ll be able to disrupt the sample of conduct and make completely different decisions.

Use the “Break the chain” worksheet to assist shoppers determine their emotional and stress consuming triggers. Then, apply the step-by-step technique on the finish of it to create and strengthen various coping mechanisms.


Query #5. How do I do away with stress?

You’ll by no means solely rid your lifetime of stress.

Nor would you wish to.

As we’ve talked about, stress is a standard—even good—a part of a full, significant life.

Nevertheless, many people find yourself with stress ranges that really feel overly disruptive or unhelpful.

Typically, that’s not possible to keep away from. Sooner or later, most individuals will face very tough intervals of unavoidable stress: sickness, accidents, monetary hardships, pure disasters, or a pandemic.

However typically, you might have some management. Perhaps much more than you suppose.

At PN, we use an train referred to as The Spheres of Management.

(If you need, fill out your personal spheres of management utilizing this free worksheet.)

Image shows three circles nested within each other. The biggest circle includes things over which you have no control, like the weather. The middle circle includes things over which you have some control, like your schedule. The smallest center circle includes things over which you have total control, like your mindset.

With the Spheres of Management train, you determine what areas you actually have energy over and focus extra on them.

This typically not solely helps folks really feel much less overwhelmed and pressured, but in addition more practical, succesful, and in management.

What about these areas you might have zero management over?

By seeing the fact on paper (or a display), you can provide your self permission to cease wasting your vitality attempting to manage the uncontrollable. And that in itself may help relieve stress and nervousness.


Query #6. How do I slot in self-care?

Typically, including extra restoration might be simply as efficient as lowering stress.

If you get well, you regain, restore, or recuperate what you’ve misplaced. And you come back to your baseline state of wellbeing, well being, and efficiency.

Sounds nice, besides… what in the event you really feel such as you don’t have time to ADD the rest, even when it’s good for you?

A paradigm shift that may assist

As a substitute of taking a look at stress administration as an “on” or “off” swap—you’re both doing ALL the issues or NOTHING—consider it extra like a “dial.”

The picture beneath reveals what stress restoration would possibly seem like on a continuum, from devoting 5 minutes a day to one thing restorative, all the way in which to mainly making it your job to be a Grasp of Chill.

(If you wish to see how this idea applies to different habits—like these associated to vitamin or health—try this infographic: By no means press “pause” in your well being and health once more)

Image shows a dial illustrating the range of actions you can do to reduce stress, starting from least effort, to most effort. A “1” represents 5 minutes of de-stressing, whereas a “10” represents filling most days with relaxing and restorative activities.

To use this idea, begin by figuring out your baseline: Are your stress administration practices at present at a 1 or 2? Or possibly even a 0?

If that’s the case, no judgment. That is simply your place to begin.

Take into consideration what “just a little higher” would possibly seem like.

Even by one or two “notches.”

Would possibly you add 5 minutes of journaling to your night routine? Or a ten minute stroll to get some solar and recent air within the morning? Think about what only a little higher would possibly seem like, and begin there.

For the additional frazzled, it would assist to know that generally the BEST time to begin a brand new behavior is once you’re busiest.

Should you can be taught to suit stress administration practices into your life once you’re swamped, it’ll really feel like a breeze to maintain them in there—and even construct on them—when life settles down.

(And if life by no means settles down, at the very least you didn’t delay your self-care additional ready for the “good time.”)


Query #7. Is there a weight loss plan that can assist cut back stress?

All around the web, you’ll discover healing diets for stress and nervousness. They put meals into neat little classes, and as long as you ONLY eat “do” meals—and judiciously remove “don’t” meals—your stress will go away.

If solely feeling higher had been that easy.

Reality is, good psychological well being relies on many completely different vitamins from many completely different meals, in addition to a set of elementary vitamin ideas, like:

  • Getting sufficient vitality (energy) to cowl your vitality wants
  • Assembly macronutrient (proteins, carbohydrates, and fat) and micronutrient (nutritional vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients) wants
  • Ingesting sufficient water
  • Consuming at common occasions, no matter which means for you
  • Consuming largely minimally-processed meals (like fruits, greens, complete grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, animal proteins, and dairy)
  • Consuming slowly and mindfully
  • Having fun with your meals, and the corporate you share it with

Persistently neglecting the above can add stress.

Prioritizing them—which doesn’t imply doing them completely—might be the simplest vitamin technique to scale back stress.

If that listing seems to be overwhelming, simply begin from wherever you might be proper now, and easily goal to eat “just a little higher.”

Image shows a horizontal scale going from red (needs improvement) to green (doing awesome). If you are in the red, you may try aiming for orange or yellow, or just a little bit better, before you get to green.]

Select one apply to work on from the above listing, and in a few weeks, consider whether or not you’re able to construct on it.

Grasp the basics, and also you’ll see that they’re fairly efficient on their very own, no magic weight loss plan wanted.


Query #8. Is there a approach to calm stress quick?

It doesn’t matter what’s occurring in your life, one of the efficient, accessible methods to chill stress FAST is solely to breathe.

Sluggish, deep respiratory stimulates your vagus nerve (the primary nerve of your “rest-and-digest” system), which may help calm down your complete physique.

In flip, this reduces not solely your physiological response to emphasize but in addition your emotional response.

If you’re calmer and extra relaxed, you make higher choices. You’re capable of focus higher. You are feeling extra in management. And deliberate respiratory methods may help.

One respiratory approach we like is named “Field respiratory.” It breaks the breath cycle into 4 4-second-long phases (just like the 4 sides of a sq.).

Right here’s do it

  1. Take a four-second inhale via your nostril. However don’t simply “breathe into your stomach.” Attempt to pull the air into your chest and mid-back with out letting your ribs flare out. (You’ll really feel some pressure in your abs.)
  2. Maintain your inhale for 4 seconds.
  3. Exhale for 4 seconds. Think about that you just’re slowly blowing out an enormous sigh. Maintain your physique relaxed, however put just a little pressure into your abs so that you just really feel them pulling your ribs down and in, towards your backbone.
  4. Maintain your exhale for 4 seconds.

Repeat as many occasions as you’d like. (And really feel higher.)


Stress is uncomfortable, however it additionally helps us develop.

If you’re pressured about answering your shoppers stress-related questions, consider it this fashion:

This is a chance to broaden and deepen your data and training expertise.

(See? We’re making use of a resilience-building mindset already!)

Being a coach who helps shoppers handle their stress entails, sure, figuring out about stress.

However it additionally means being a fellow human who can relate to their struggles.

Alongside your shoppers, you’ll be able to use your data about stress and restoration to tackle challenges, and develop into a greater coach—and particular person—than you had been earlier than.


Click on right here to view the data sources referenced on this article.

Should you’re a well being and health professional…

When your shoppers are pressured and exhausted, every part else turns into a battle: going to the gymnasium, selecting wholesome meals, and managing cravings.

However with the proper instruments, you’ll be able to assist your shoppers overcome obstacles like stress and sleep deprivation—main them towards the lasting well being transformations they’ve all the time needed.

PN’s Degree 1 Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification provides you with these instruments. And it’ll provide you with confidence and credibility as a specialised coach who can remedy the most important issues blocking any shoppers’ progress.


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