Stress Challenge Week 1: HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU'RE STRESSED?

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Hi! I want to welcome you to WEEK ONE of this Stress Management / Mindfulness Challenge.

As I said before, stress can take quite a toll on our health and well-being. Today I want to (1) share a few points with you telling you a little bit about what happens to our bodies when we are stressed and (2) then challenge you to carve out time in the next few days or week to notice how your body tells you it’s stressed and what are the things causing your stress, big or little. Hope you find this info helpful and are able to take some time each day to reflect on our weekly challenge.

Now, let’s dive in!



WHAT IS STRESS??

  • Stress is anything that acts as a challenge or threat to our well-being or normal routine.

  • Not only is it the “threat” but it is also the way that we respond to that threat.



CAN STRESS BE POSITIVE?

  • Yes! Stress can be positive when it is short-term. This would be like before a test, a speech or a race. It makes us sharper, more efficient, and productive. Stress in this form is actually useful and can give a person a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of being in control



WHEN DOES STRESS BECOME NEGATIVE?

  • Stress becomes negative when it is prolonged (over 24 hours) or chronic.

  • In this form, stress stops being beneficial and our performance and efficiency start to decline (read further to understand why…)



WHAT ARE THE BASIC RESULTS OF THE STRESS RESPONSE?

  • Our body releases CORTISOL and through a chain of reactions we experience:

    • increased blood sugars (via a process called gluconeogenesis, which is making glucose from non-carbohydrate sources)

    • fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism

    • inhibition of insulin production (to try and prevent glucose from being stored b/c the body things it needs that for energy to fight the “threat”)

    • suppressed digestive system (hence stomach problems when stressed)

    • suppressed immune system (hence why we are more prone to getting sick during times of extreme stress)

  • Our bodies also release ADRENALINE, which leads to:

    • Increased heart rate & blood pressure

    • increased energy supply



WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OVERALL RESULTS OF PROLONGED STRESS?

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So, there are our facts for today.



YOUR WEEKLY CHALLENGE

Now I want to challenge you over the next few days or week to notice the following:

  1. How does my body tell me I’m stressed? (How does stress manifest itself in my body)

  2. What are the things that cause my body to tell me I’m stressed (take note of the big and the small)? Examples could be anything from a situation at work to something popping up in your day that’s not on your calendar. Whatever they are, make a note)

Please feel free to DM me or comment on this post with questions or info you would like to share! And, as always, let me know if you would like to see any of my references. I’ll probably wait and post them at the end, but can always pass along if you want them.



Happy Fueling and Take Care!

Taylor