Written by Luke Baumgartner, RevUp Health Coach
When was the last time you had a stressful day? Whether it was awhile ago, recently or it’s happening right now, let’s make sure we’re clear on what stress actually is. Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Stressful situations can come in all shapes and sizes. For a lot of people, health, work and family are some of the biggest sources of stress. This doesn't mean that we don't love our jobs and our family, but they can sometimes cause feelings of fear, uncertainty, or doubt that can then translate into stress.
When you feel stress creeping in, keep in mind the reaction that usually follows, which is commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” response. When this happens, the body releases hormones to excite different areas of the body to prime it for some type of action.
Remember that stress can be a very useful tool and that many of the most successful people in the world use stress as a motivating factor to make decisions and move toward their goals. On the flip side, it’s important not to stay in a stressful state for prolonged periods. Just like after exercise, it's very important to allow our bodies to recover.
A constant high-stress life may result in adverse health effects, chronic disease, or even death. Many of the most common chronic diseases, like hypertension, obesity and diabetes can be caused or worsened by chronic stress.
To help you regain sanity and relax mind and body, try these three stress-busting tips to help you recover from stress so you can be better prepared the next time you have feelings of anxiety.
Stress-Busting Tip #1 - Work it Out
Physical activity itself is a stressor, however, it can be a very effective way to calm your state of mind, especially if you use an activity you enjoy. The stress of exercise burns off most of your body's energy and initiates rest and relaxation. By inducing a little physical stress, you're actually able to jump-start the recovery cycle.
Stress-Busting Tip #2 - Write it Down
Journaling is a great way to identify your triggers, recover from stressful experiences and prevent a similar response the next time. The act of recounting the day’s events allows you to express how you responded and how you might act differently the next time.
Stress-Busting Tip #3 - Talk it Out
While we usually refer to this as "venting”, don’t discount its benefits—when used in moderation of course! Even if you don't need anyone to respond, give advice, or help, sometimes it can be restorative just to have someone actively listening. Venting is simply a form of verbal journaling. It helps you bring your brain down from a high level of stress and will better prepare you for similar situations down the road.
Your RevUp Health Coaches are always available to help you with all of your health needs. We recognize that any changes to your routine, even new healthy choices, can be stressful. We're here to support you along the way so login and talk through any stress-inducing events.
About Luke Baumgartner, RevUp Health Coach
Credentials: Master of Science (MS) in Biomechanics National Strength and Conditioning Association, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA CSCS) American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer (ACE CPT) Functional Movement Screening (FMS Level I)
Specialties: Fitness coaching and programming, corrective exercise, biomechanics (human movement), and fitness education
More about me: I grew up around the Great Lakes in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I have my MS from the University of Tennessee. While pursuing my personal fitness goals, I have worked as a P.E. teacher, athletic director/coach, researcher, and personal trainer. I continue to seek out exciting, new sports and activities to challenge myself and learn, the latest being Capoeira.