This is a topic that is extremely hot on the press because everybody has faced high levels of stress at some point in time, especially throughout this year – good old 2020!
As we know there is the stress hormone called cortisol. If we have overly high levels of cortisol in our bodies, we start to feel adverse effects. There is a certain level of stress that our body thrives on and a max threshold we can handle – this is going to be different for everybody. Yep, we all know someone that leaves everything to the last minute, such as assignments and/or other deadlines and they still nail it! We call these guys adrenaline junkies, they really thrive and function at high levels of stress. Obviously not everybody operates like that, so it is important to know where your boundaries are and find what levels of stress you truly thrive under.
Let’s talk about the different types of stress.
Distress – when stress causes a decline in mental/physical health. This is know as burnout – physical (muscle and body) or clinical (mind). It alters your capacity to build resilience. It is when you are constantly under high stress and you are not giving the body time to recharge or to grow.
When there is too much stress, the body’s systems start to change. If you are constantly in a high stress state and you are not allowing the body the down time to re-energize and re-fuel. This is where you will start to notice some very obvious adverse effects. For example, in the corporate world, where people are often in high pressure situations a lot of the time. This is where individuals can turn to other outlets, such as alcoholism, drug use or even over training. All inevitably adding to stress levels within the body.
We need to try and balance the level of stress that is going to stimulate our body and mind. Just like when you are working a muscle, you are going to have to put it under a certain level of stress, so that it breaks down and repairs. If you do not give this muscle the fuel and recovery time needed, it will diminish, and you will not gain anything extra.
Now let’s flip it!
So, what kind of stress do we want to be under?
It is called Eustress – when stress causes an improvement in mental and/or physical performance. It enhances capacity to build resilience and leads to growth having a positive effect on our health and ability to perform in stressful situations. If you are somebody who is working within your stress levels and you are putting enough resistance and challenge on yourself, you are stimulating your mind and your body – as well as allowing enough time for recovery and rest allowing you to evolve.
^^^This is the kind of stress that we want to be under every now and then.
This is the peak performance zone, both mentally, physically, and/or emotionally. This is where we create stimulation and resistance to recover and grow. Ways that we can stay in Eustress are:
– Start small
– Manage the little fixes first
– Schedule in rest
– Do things that you enjoy.
So how do you know where your stress levels sit? Here are a few signs and symptoms to look out for heading into distress:
– Poor sleep
– Cravings for junk food and alcohol
– Constantly feeling overwhelmed and restless
– Cannot unwind
– Cannot switch off the brain
– Physical performance may drop
– Hair thinning
– Weight gain/weight loss
– Poor appetite
All or any of the above signs and symptoms are an indication that you need to work on bringing your stress levels down. Here are some ways to do just that:
– Schedule in some downtime
– Schedule in a little holiday or getaway
– Write down a list of things you enjoy – and do one thing from the list everyday
– Journal – things that you are grateful for
Above are some good tips to try if you start to feel some signs of distress. If you are already in the burn out stage and/or you have completely hit rock bottom, then we strongly advise you to seek clinical help, to allow for your optimum recovery and best self.
Prioritize yourself and your health and then the amount of stress will start to come down. We want to see you guys thrive through the rest of 2020 and we want to see you reach that level of resistance and/or growth.
If you need that little extra bit of help, please feel free to send us a private message and we can help you achieve your goals, one step at a time.