I spent the last few days in Tucson Arizona soaking up the sun with the amazing Mari Holden, Chris, Melinda, and finding a great relief to the everyday high-octane life of work, training, and life balance. it was incredibly special but made me begin to look around at life around me. I have noticed a lot of hustle and buzz around but more on the erotic stress side of things. our society is so stress-driven and it makes me reflect on the many times I have felt like I was running around with a chicken with its head cut off. Sometimes its not even for a big reason. It is difficult to make a definitive statement about whether stress has increased these days compared to before, as the experience of stress can vary widely across individuals and over time. However, it is worth noting that many people have reported experiencing increased stress in recent years, particularly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated disruptions to daily life. Studies have shown that the pandemic has led to increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression among many people worldwide. This may be due to a variety of factors, including social isolation, financial difficulties, and uncertainty about the future. In addition, the widespread use of social media and other digital technologies has also been linked to increased stress and anxiety levels, as people may feel pressure to constantly stay connected and engaged. That being said, it is also important to note that stress has always been a part of the human experience, and people have developed various coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with it. While the sources of stress may have changed over time, the human capacity for resilience and adaptation remains a powerful force in helping individuals navigate challenging circumstances.
so what is stress exactly?
Stress is a natural and normal response that our bodies and minds have to perceived threats or challenges. It is a physiological and psychological response that prepares us to cope with difficult situations. When we encounter a stressful situation, such as a work deadline, a conflict with someone, or a sudden unexpected event, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol, which triggers a "fight or flight" response. This response can help us respond quickly and effectively to the situation by increasing our heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure, and redirecting blood flow to our muscles. However, when stress becomes chronic or excessive, it can have negative effects on our physical and mental health. Chronic stress can lead to a range of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. Stress can also manifest in different ways for different people. Some people may experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, or muscle tension, while others may experience emotional symptoms, such as irritability, mood swings, or difficulty concentrating. Overall, stress is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that can have both positive and negative effects on our lives. While some stress is a normal part of everyday life, it is important to be aware of the signs of excessive or chronic stress and to take steps to manage it effectively. Stress can have a number of negative effects on mental health. When stress becomes chronic or excessive, it can lead to a range of mental health problems, including:
Anxiety: Chronic stress can trigger feelings of worry, fear, and nervousness, which can develop into anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder.
Depression: Prolonged stress can also increase the risk of developing depression. Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and helplessness, as well as changes in appetite, sleep, and energy levels.
Cognitive difficulties: Stress can impair cognitive function, making it harder to concentrate, remember details, and make decisions. This can lead to difficulty at work or in school, and can also affect personal relationships.
Substance abuse: People who are experiencing chronic stress may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope, which can lead to addiction and other negative consequences.
Behavioral problems: Stress can also manifest as irritability, anger, and other behavioral problems, which can strain relationships and make it difficult to function in everyday life.
It's important to note that while stress can have negative effects on mental health, everyone experiences stress differently. Some people may be more resilient to stress than others, and there are a variety of coping strategies that can be effective in managing stress and promoting mental health. Stress can have a number of negative effects on physical health. When stress becomes chronic or excessive, it can increase the risk of developing a range of health problems, including:
Cardiovascular disease: Chronic stress can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease by increasing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation in the body.
Digestive problems: Stress can also affect the digestive system, leading to problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, and stomach ulcers.
Immune system dysfunction: Prolonged stress can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and illnesses.
Chronic pain: Stress can exacerbate chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraines.
Sleep disturbances: Stress can interfere with sleep, leading to insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Skin problems: Stress can contribute to the development of skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Chronic or excessive stress can have significant negative effects on physical health, and it is important to manage stress effectively to minimize these risks. Engaging in regular exercise, practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, and seeking support from friends and family can all be effective strategies for managing stress and promoting physical health.
Stress can also have a significant impact on sleep quality and quantity. Research has shown that stress can interfere with the body's natural sleep cycles, making it harder to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get restful sleep. One way that stress can affect sleep is by increasing levels of the hormone cortisol, which is released by the body in response to stress. Cortisol can interfere with the body's production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, and can also disrupt the body's natural sleep-wake cycle. Stress can also lead to racing thoughts, worry, and anxiety, which can make it harder to relax and fall asleep. In addition, people who are experiencing stress may be more likely to engage in behaviors that can interfere with sleep, such as staying up late to work or watching TV, or consuming caffeine or alcohol. Research has shown that chronic stress is associated with a range of sleep problems, including insomnia, nightmares, and restless sleep. In addition, sleep problems can also contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety, creating a cycle of sleep disruption and psychological distress. To manage stress-related sleep problems, it's important to develop good sleep habits and practice relaxation techniques. This can include establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, avoiding stimulating activities before bed, and limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption. In addition, techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help to reduce stress and promote better sleep.
how can we tell that we are stressed?
Stress can manifest in a variety of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Here are some common signs that you may be experiencing stress:
Physical symptoms: Stress can cause a range of physical symptoms, including headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, stomach problems, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns.
Emotional symptoms: Stress can also affect your mood and emotional state. You may experience feelings of anxiety, worry, irritability, or anger. You may also feel overwhelmed or out of control.
Behavioral symptoms: Stress can lead to changes in your behavior, such as increased alcohol or drug use, social withdrawal, or neglecting responsibilities such as work or school.
Cognitive symptoms: Stress can also affect your ability to think clearly, concentrate, or remember details.
Interpersonal symptoms: Stress can affect your relationships with others, leading to conflicts or misunderstandings.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that you are experiencing stress. It's important to take steps to manage stress effectively, such as engaging in regular exercise, practicing relaxation techniques, and seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.
There are different typed of stress to be aware of...
There are different types of stress that people may experience. Here are some of the most common types:
Acute stress: This is a short-term type of stress that is typically caused by a specific event or situation, such as a job interview, a test, or a car accident. Acute stress can be intense but usually subsides once the event is over.
Chronic stress: This is a long-term type of stress that can persist over a prolonged period of time. Chronic stress can be caused by ongoing problems such as financial difficulties, relationship problems, or health issues. Chronic stress can have a cumulative effect on physical and mental health.
Eustress: This is a positive type of stress that is associated with feelings of excitement, anticipation, and motivation. Eustress can be caused by events such as getting married, starting a new job, or taking on a challenging project.
Distress: This is a negative type of stress that is associated with feelings of anxiety, fear, and discomfort. Distress can be caused by events such as losing a job, experiencing a breakup, or going through a traumatic event.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This is a type of stress that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or combat. PTSD can cause symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behavior.
Overall, stress can take many different forms and can be caused by a wide range of situations and events. It's important to recognize the different types of stress and take steps to manage stress effectively in order to maintain physical and mental health.
How has society today increased with stress and how does it impact us?
Modern society has brought with it a number of stressors that were not present in the past. Here are some ways that society today has increased stress:
Technology: The widespread use of technology has created new sources of stress, such as social media addiction, information overload, and constant connectivity.
Work: Many people are working longer hours, taking on more responsibilities, and experiencing job insecurity, which can lead to chronic stress.
Financial pressures: Economic pressures, such as debt, job loss, and rising costs of living, can create financial stress and uncertainty.
Social isolation: Despite being more connected than ever, many people report feeling isolated and disconnected from others, which can contribute to stress and mental health problems.
Environmental concerns: Climate change and environmental degradation have created a sense of global anxiety and uncertainty about the future.
The impact of these stressors can be significant. Chronic stress has been linked to a range of physical and mental health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. Stress can also affect our relationships, work performance, and overall quality of life. To manage the impact of stress on our lives, it is important to develop healthy coping mechanisms, such as regular exercise, mindfulness meditation, and social support. It is also important to seek professional help if stress is interfering with daily functioning or contributing to mental health problems.
Stress can certainly "stress us out." When we experience stress, it can trigger a physiological response in our bodies known as the "fight or flight" response. This response can cause a range of physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate, sweating, and rapid breathing. It can also lead to feelings of anxiety, worry, and tension. If stress becomes chronic or excessive, it can lead to a range of physical and mental health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. Chronic stress can also contribute to feelings of burnout, exhaustion, and irritability. Overall, stress can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health, as well as our overall quality of life. It is important to recognize the signs of stress and take steps to manage it effectively, such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in regular exercise, and seeking social support.
So now... HOW CAN WE overcome because, yes! it is possible!
There are many effective ways to reduce stress and overcome its negative effects. Here are some strategies that you can try:
Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help to reduce stress and improve mood. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals in the brain.
Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness meditation is a technique that involves focusing your attention on the present moment, without judgment. It can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help to slow down your breathing and calm your mind. You can try techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.
Social support: Spending time with friends and family can provide a sense of comfort and support, which can help to reduce stress. You can also consider joining a support group or seeking help from a mental health professional.
Self-care: Taking care of your physical and emotional needs can help to reduce stress. This can include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
Time management: Effective time management can help to reduce stress by allowing you to prioritize your tasks and avoid feeling overwhelmed. You can try techniques such as creating a to-do list or breaking large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.
Overall, it's important to find strategies that work for you and incorporate them into your daily routine. By taking steps to manage stress effectively, you can improve your overall quality of life and reduce the negative impact of stress on your physical and mental health.
Let's reframe stress mentally now...
Mentally reframing stress involves changing the way that we think about and perceive stress in order to reduce its negative impact. Here are some techniques that you can use to mentally reframe stress:
Practice gratitude: Focusing on the positive aspects of your life can help to shift your perspective and reduce feelings of stress. You can try writing down three things that you're grateful for each day, or reflecting on positive experiences that you've had.
Reframe challenges as opportunities: Instead of viewing challenges as threats, try to see them as opportunities for growth and learning. This can help to reduce feelings of stress and increase motivation.
Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and recognize that everyone experiences stress at times. Practice self-compassion by speaking to yourself in a supportive and understanding way.
Use humor: Humor can be an effective way to reduce stress and improve mood. Try to find humor in stressful situations, or seek out humorous content such as funny movies or TV shows.
Focus on what you can control: Instead of dwelling on things that are beyond your control, focus on what you can control. This can help to reduce feelings of helplessness and increase feelings of empowerment.
Overall, mentally reframing stress involves changing the way that we think about and respond to stress in order to reduce its negative impact. By practicing gratitude, reframing challenges as opportunities, practicing self-compassion, using humor, and focusing on what you can control, you can develop a more positive and resilient mindset in the face of stress.
Reframing the way you think and thinking about your thoughts can have a significant impact on overall health and well-being. Here are some of the ways that this can be beneficial:
Reducing stress: Negative thought patterns can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety. By reframing your thoughts and practicing mindfulness, you can reduce stress and improve mental health.
Enhancing resilience: Reframing negative experiences as opportunities for growth can help to increase resilience and improve coping skills. This can make it easier to bounce back from setbacks and challenges.
Improving mood: Positive thinking can lead to improved mood and greater overall satisfaction with life. By focusing on the positive aspects of your life and practicing gratitude, you can increase feelings of happiness and well-being.
Boosting self-esteem: Negative thought patterns can contribute to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. By reframing your thoughts and focusing on your strengths and accomplishments, you can boost your self-esteem and confidence.
Improving physical health: Chronic stress can have negative effects on physical health, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other health problems. By reducing stress and improving mental health through reframing your thoughts, you can promote better overall physical health.
To sum it all up...
Stress is a normal part of life, but chronic or excessive stress can have negative effects on physical and mental health. Stress can manifest in a variety of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms, and can be caused by a wide range of factors, including work, financial pressures, technology, and environmental concerns. However, there are many effective ways to manage stress and reduce its negative impact. These include engaging in regular exercise, practicing relaxation techniques, seeking social support, and developing healthy coping mechanisms. One effective technique for managing stress is to mentally reframe it, by changing the way we think about and perceive stress. This can involve focusing on the positive aspects of our lives, reframing challenges as opportunities, practicing self-compassion, using humor, and focusing on what we can control. By taking steps to manage stress effectively and mentally reframing our thoughts, we can improve our overall health and well-being, reduce the negative impact of stress on our lives, and increase our resilience and ability to cope with life's challenges. The key takeaway message is that it's important to recognize the signs of stress and take steps to manage it effectively, in order to maintain physical and mental health and improve our overall quality of life.
And to that, I wanted to highlight an incredible human and cook who can whip up some incredible meals...
Marryanne Weiderhold with @energy.chef on Instagram. She captured all the amazing flavor, and power of nutrition for all the meals making them divine food for the body and for the soul. I have a couple of her recipes to share that will be a top choice of the week.
Watermelon drink mix
One whole watermelon
2tbs of granulated monk fruit or your choice of sweetener
Alcohol optional *Tequila
blend watermelon in a blender with monk fruit and lime juice. you can add water to double it and you can strain it or leave it as is along with some basil and mint leaves to top it all off.
next is a favorite!
Carrot Zucchini Morning Glory Muffins
3 large eggs
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil and vanilla extract until smooth. Whisk in th brown sugar until clump-free.
Add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the muffin batter together until combined, being careful to not over-mix. Fold in the carrot, zucchini, walnuts and raisins.
Use a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons worth) to fill a muffin pan lined with liners with the batter until each muffin is roughl
3/4 of the way full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean and the tops are just golden brow Repeat until all the batter has been used. Allow to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.
If you don't have coconut oil on hand, vegetable oil can be used.
Whole wheat flour or a gluten free flour mix can be subbed in for the regular flour if desired.
and lastly to take a spin on a different muffin...
Sweet potato anti-inflammatory muffins
1 cup sweet potato puree
2 Tbsp coconut oil melted
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tap ground cloves
1/8 tap ground nutmeg
2-4 Tbsp coconut milk (or almond milk)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease or line a muffin pan.
Allow potato to cool, and then cut it in half and scoop out the insides into a large bowl. Add sweet potato puree, egg, coconut milk, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Combine until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients, then add these to the sweet potato mixture and stir until fully combined.
Grease your muffin pan, then pour the batter evenly into the pan so that each one is approximately 2/3 full.
Cook for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Be Kind, Do fearless!