What is stress?
The actual definition of stress is difficult as it is a highly subjective phenomenon that defies scientific measurement. The term “stress”, as it is currently used was coined by Hans Selye in 1936, who defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”.
What we can all agree on is that stress is a part of all of our daily lives at various levels of intensity and can stem from a variety of situations. There are many ways we all can deal with our daily stresses, like getting more sleep or decreasing caffeine intake.
The body’s response to stress can differ from person to person and event to event. Some are equipped with the tools to stay calm and relax, even in the face of major adversity. The rest of us are in need of coaching on how to deal with and manage stress.
Dealing with chronic stressors and not being able to cope and adapt can keep your body in a “fight or flight,” sympathetic nervous system state. This can lead to unwanted hormonal changes that can negatively impact your long term health.
4 types of stresses:
1. Eustress: this is “good stress” when your are excited or anticipation of something positive. This can build confidence and can give a sense of fulfillment.
2. Acute Stress: this is during unexpected experiences. Examples include the stress you feel riding a roller coaster or doing a job interview
3. Episodic Acute Stress: is regular and episodic forms of acute stress. Increased of this stress can make dramatic changes to ones health. An example of this could be working in a stressful environment.
4. Chronic Stress: constant state of stress. Chronic stress can negative implications to your cardiovascular health, anxiety, depression, compromising immune system, and can increased blood pressure. An example of this could be having a terminally ill loved one that you are responsible for taking care of.
5 Quick Tips to Manage Stress:
You need to make adequate sleep a priority. For example you can reduce your screen time, by eliminating television, phone, or a gaming device before bed. Create a restful bedroom environment. Whatever is the cause in your environment disruption you should take steps to eliminate that stress. You can also supplement your sleep with melatonin, lavender, lemon balm, or valerian root to promote a healthier way to reduce those stressors and get yourself a better sleep. For more ideas on improving sleep please read: Sleep & Athletic Performance.
Many people think they are too busy to exercise. The benefits of exercise are many. Not only does exercise benefit your musculature, it affects your body by reducing stress and helps your body relax. Multiple examples of research found correlations between improvements in mental health and regular exercise. Your body naturally creates endorphins through various forms of exercise that can relive stress and pain. Check out how exercise affects your immune system in this short article: Exercise & Your Immune System.
3. Decrease Stimulant Use
The most abused stimulant for many of us is caffeine. A small coffee during the day is acceptable for most people, but too much caffeine can make you feel overly stressed to your system and effect your sleep.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Consumption
Omega-3 fatty acids support cardiovascular health, maintain healthy blood flow, promotes emotional well being, and provides support for joint and tissue health. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and many nuts that you can consume in your diet. BTF carries Pure Encapulations EPA/DHA Essentials, which is a high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement.
Magnesium is an underrated nutrient when it comes to maintaining healthy responses to stress. 50-75% of the population is deficient in magnesium which also plays a key role in immune function. Stressful events like exercising, fasting, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, sleep deprivation or even feeling anxious makes you burn through magnesium at a higher rate. Magnesium supplementation may support a healthy immune response and can help your body deal with stress. The current recommendation for daily magnesium intake is 400-500mg/day.
Stress is a regular part of out lives. We all deal with stressors differently and some of us are better at coping with stress than others. The 5 strategies I have outline can be implemented into your life in order to reduce stress and lead to a healthier life. Our BTF practitioners realize that stress can be detrimental to your health and longevity. We can help you form strategies to mitigate stress and improve your health and wellness. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 534-1900 to FEEL – RECOVER – PERFORM – BETTER.
Stress:Clevelandclinic.org https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress (Accessed September 8, 2021)
Yaribeygi, Habib, Yunes Panahi, Hedayat Sahraei, Thomas P. Johnson, and Amirhossein Sahebkar. “The impact of stress on body function: A review.” EXCLI Journal Experimental and Clinical Sciences (July 21, 2017): 1057-1072. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579396/
Eustress: The Good Stress: Healthline.com https://www.healthline.com/health/eustress (Accessed September 7, 2021)
Everything You Need to Know About Stress: Healthline.com https://www.healthline.com/health/stress#types (Accessed September 7, 2021)
Suchecki, Deborah, Paula Ayako Tiba, and Ricardo Borges Machado. “REM Sleep Rebound as an Adaptive Response to Stressful Situations.” National Library of Medicine (April 2, 2012) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22485105/