Solutions to the 8 Most Widespread Stress Questions

The irony is that it’s sort of annoying to seek out solutions about stress.

There’s a lot conflicting info on the market.

However for those who’re a well being and health skilled, your purchasers—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 assume stress induced this stomach fats I can’t lose?”

And:

“Are these pink bumps from stress?”

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

You wish to assist, however arising with the fitting solutions may be onerous, as a result of:

The fitting reply relies upon.

It is determined by WHO the asker is, WHAT their targets are, WHERE they’re ranging from, and HOW MUCH they’re keen and in a position to change

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

Nevertheless, you may construct a robust basis of data about stress that may enable you to reply these questions with extra confidence and experience.

On this article, we’ll attempt to provide you with some sources to try this.

In order for you, learn the next Q and As from prime to backside. Or, simply bounce to those that curiosity you probably the most:

Question #1. Is stress really bad for you?

Question #2. What are the signs of stress?

Question #3. Is stress making me gain / lose weight?

Question #4. How can I stop stress eating?

Question #5. How do I get rid of stress?

Question #6. How do I fit in stress-management strategies and self-care?

Question #7. Is there a diet that will help reduce stress?

Question #8. Is there any way to cool stress fast?

Query #1. Is stress BAD for you?

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

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

In consequence, you’ve seemingly discovered to affiliate stress with every kind of horrible issues: coronary heart assaults, hair loss, early loss of life.

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

Not all stress is dangerous.

Actually, so as 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 exhibits, 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 also be the sort of stress that’s related to melancholy and anxiousness, heart problems, diabetes, stroke, and most cancers.1

Should you’re coping with these sorts of stressors, take into account the place you could have management, and attempt to scale back—and even keep away from—them when you may.

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 could have some management over it, in addition to alternatives to get better in between, it may well truly enable you to turn out to be stronger and extra resilient over time.

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

One massive complication…

What feels annoying is extremely subjective.

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

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

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

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

Nevertheless, for those who consider stress could make you stronger, wiser, and extra resilient, you’ll be extra more likely to proactively remedy issues, hunt down difficult experiences—and profit from stress in your life.

Fortunately, you could 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 by means of 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 resolve.

▶ Stress can construct muscular tissues 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 applicable restoration helps your physique turn out to be stronger and extra succesful.

Select to consider that stress has the capability to profit you. It might probably enable you to be taught, develop, and stay an even bigger, extra adventurous and significant life.

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Query #2. What are the indicators of stress?

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

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

With acute stress, you would possibly discover:

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

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

Fortunately, the restoration response can also be built-in. As soon as a menace recedes, your coronary heart price 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.

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

Similar to a rollercoaster, stress can really feel energizing briefly bouts—however like a nauseating nightmare for those who 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 embody:

  • Extreme worrying or anxiousness
  • Low temper or power
  • Poor urge for food, OR an elevated need 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 normally
  • Low intercourse drive

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

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

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The distinction between stress and anxiousness

Everybody experiences stress.

Most individuals may even expertise anxiousness.

(A minimum of to a point, sooner or later.)

Anxiousness typically includes bodily signs—rigidity, elevated coronary heart price, sweating.

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

Though this sense typically looks as if it arises from nowhere, it’s often induced—and perpetuated—by detrimental ideas and ruminations like, “I’m by no means going to get by means of this” or “Everybody goes to evaluate me.”

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

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

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

Whereas stress can set off useful variations, anxiousness tends to not be tremendous productive. In extra, it may well really feel fairly debilitating.

The excellent news

Many stress administration methods are additionally efficient at decreasing anxiousness.

Journaling, train, social connection, and rest workout routines like breathwork or optimistic visualization might help with each stress and anxiousness.

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

Should you’re a coach, keep in mind that you’re not certified to diagnose or deal with scientific anxiousness or melancholy. In case your shopper struggles with both, one of the simplest ways you may assist them is to refer out to a medical skilled who makes a speciality of psychological well being.

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

Query #3. Is stress making me achieve / drop some pounds?

Presumably.

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

Whenever you’re pressured, your physiology modifications—no less than briefly.

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

This enhance in blood sugar can scale back your urge for food, making you push away your sandwich even for those who haven’t eaten all day.

The stress response additionally dampens digestion.

Even if you do eat, meals would possibly really feel prefer it’s simply sitting in your intestine not shifting anyplace, or it’d blast by means of 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 up your meals.

It’s by means of each lack of urge for food and lack of absorption that some individuals drop some pounds in periods of stress.

Alternatively, weight achieve in periods of stress is simply as widespread.

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

Most individuals discover consuming pleasurable and soothing, so turning to meals throughout instances 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, take a look at the following reply beneath.

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Query #4. How can I cease stress consuming?

Greater than 60 p.c of our new purchasers checklist emotional or stress consuming as a serious diet problem. What’s extra, over 50 p.c say additionally 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 is perhaps a reduction 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 for those who realized this conduct happens…

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

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

Should you can determine the set off, you may disrupt the sample of conduct and make totally different decisions.

Use the “Break the chain” worksheet to assist purchasers 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.

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

You’ll by no means completely 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 unattainable 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 could have some management. Perhaps much more than you assume.

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

(In order for you, 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 individuals really feel much less overwhelmed and pressured, but in addition simpler, succesful, and in management.

What about these areas you could have zero management over?

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

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

Typically, including extra restoration may be simply as efficient as decreasing stress.

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

Sounds nice, besides… what for those who really feel such as you don’t have time to ADD anything, even when it’s good for you?

A paradigm shift which may assist

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

The picture beneath exhibits what stress restoration would possibly appear 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 diet or health—take a look at 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 the moment 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 “a bit of higher” would possibly appear like.

Even by one or two “notches.”

May 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? Take into account what only a little higher would possibly appear like, and begin there.

For the additional frazzled, it’d assist to know that typically the BEST time to begin a brand new behavior is if you’re busiest.

Should you can be taught to suit stress administration practices into your life if 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, no less than you didn’t delay your self-care additional ready for the “excellent time.”)

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Query #7. Is there a eating regimen that may assist scale back stress?

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

If solely feeling higher had been that straightforward.

Fact is, good psychological well being is determined by many totally different vitamins from many totally different meals, in addition to a set of elementary diet ideas, like:

  • Getting sufficient power (energy) to cowl your power wants
  • Assembly macronutrient (proteins, carbohydrates, and fat) and micronutrient (nutritional vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients) wants
  • Ingesting sufficient water
  • Consuming at common instances, no matter which means for you
  • Consuming largely minimally-processed meals (like fruits, greens, entire 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 diet technique to scale back stress.

If that checklist appears to be like overwhelming, simply begin from wherever you might be proper now, and easily purpose to eat “a bit of 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 checklist, 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 eating regimen wanted.

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

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

Gradual, deep respiratory stimulates your vagus nerve (the primary nerve of your “rest-and-digest” system), which might help chill out your entire physique.

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

Whenever you’re calmer and extra relaxed, you make higher choices. You’re in a position to focus higher. You are feeling extra in management. And deliberate respiratory methods might help.

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

Right here’s the best way to do it

  1. Take a four-second inhale by means of 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 rigidity 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 a bit of rigidity 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 instances as you’d like. (And really feel higher.)

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Stress is uncomfortable, but it surely additionally helps us develop.

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

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

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

Being a coach who helps purchasers handle their stress includes, sure, figuring out about stress.

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

Alongside your purchasers, you may 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.

References

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

Should you’re a well being and health professional…

Studying the best way to assist purchasers handle stress and optimize sleep can massively change your purchasers’ outcomes.

They’ll get “unstuck” and eventually transfer ahead—whether or not they wish to eat higher, transfer extra, drop some pounds, or reclaim their well being.

Plus, it’ll provide the confidence and credibility as a specialised coach who can remedy the largest issues blocking any purchasers’ progress.

The brand-new PN Degree 1 Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification will present you the way.