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Solutions to the 8 Most Frequent Stress Questions

The irony is that it’s sort of traumatic to search 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—perhaps even your pals and family members too—will probably flip to YOU for counsel.

They’ll ask issues like:

“Is stress REALLY poisonous?”

“Do you suppose stress brought about this stomach fats I can’t lose?”


“Are these pink bumps from stress?”

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

You wish to assist, however developing with the suitable solutions will be laborious, as a result of:

The correct reply relies upon.

It will depend on WHO the asker is, WHAT their objectives 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 possibly can 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 assets to do this.

If you would like, learn the next Q and As from prime to backside. Or, simply soar to those that curiosity you essentially the most:

Query #1. Is stress actually unhealthy for you?

Query #2. What are the indicators of stress?

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

Query #4. How can I cease stress consuming?

Query #5. How do I eliminate stress?

Query #6. How do I slot in stress-management methods and self-care?

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

Query #8. Is there any option to cool stress quick?

Query #1. Is stress BAD for you?

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

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

Consequently, you’ve probably realized to affiliate stress with all types of horrible issues: coronary heart assaults, hair loss, early dying.

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

Not all stress is unhealthy.

In actual fact, with a view 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 be the sort of stress that’s related to melancholy and anxiousness, heart problems, diabetes, stroke, and most cancers.1

If you happen to’re coping with these sorts of stressors, contemplate the place you’ve gotten management, and attempt to scale back—and even keep away from—them when you possibly can.

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 facet, when stress happens in shorter bursts, and you’re feeling like you’ve gotten some management over it, in addition to alternatives to get well in between, it will possibly truly enable you to develop into 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 traumatic is extremely subjective.

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

If you happen to imagine stress is at all times horrible and needs to be prevented in any respect prices, you’ll be extra prone to cling to your consolation zone, worry the longer term and what might occur, and avoid conditions that would result in development.

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

In a merciless self-fulfilling prophecy, stress truly does develop into extra dangerous.

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

Fortunately, you’ve gotten some management over your notion.

Within the spirit of serving to you shift your perspective, listed below are some examples of how some stress can truly enrich varied facets 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 muscle tissues and endurance. That is most likely the obvious instance, however most of us know that intermittent bodily stress—say, from a exercise—couped with applicable restoration helps your physique develop into stronger and extra succesful.

Select to imagine that stress has the capability to profit you. It may enable you to study, develop, and reside an even bigger, extra adventurous and significant life.


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 persistent.

Acute stress (suppose: a automobile simply swerved in entrance of you) usually causes your sympathetic nervous system to ramp up, which releases hormones equivalent to 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’re 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 need to suppose consciously about it; your physique simply responds mechanically on this option to all stressors.

Fortunately, the restoration response can be built-in. As soon as a menace recedes, your coronary heart charge 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 enough alternatives for restoration.

Similar to a rollercoaster, stress can really feel energizing in brief bouts—however like a nauseating nightmare for those who can’t get off the trip. Not surprisingly, persistent stress is extra prone to take a toll in your bodily and psychological well being.

Indicators of persistent stress embody:

  • Extreme worrying or anxiousness
  • Low temper or power
  • Poor urge for food, OR an elevated want to “stress eat”
  • Digestive issues like heartburn or constipation
  • Bother sleeping
  • Unfocused or foggy pondering
  • Feeling remoted or irritable with others
  • Frequent colds, flus, or infections
  • Bother recovering from exercises, or aches and pains on the whole
  • Low intercourse drive

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

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


The distinction between stress and anxiousness

Everybody experiences stress.

Most individuals will even expertise anxiousness.

(At the very least to a point, in some unspecified time in the future.)

Anxiousness usually entails bodily signs—stress, elevated coronary heart charge, sweating.

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

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

(Overly destructive or catastrophic ideas are additionally known as “cognitive distortions.” Learn extra about the right way to cope with them right here: The thought software 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 diversifications, anxiousness tends to not be tremendous productive. In extra, it will possibly 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 will help with each stress and anxiousness.

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

If you happen to’re a coach, do not forget that you’re not certified to diagnose or deal with medical anxiousness or melancholy. In case your consumer struggles with both, one of the simplest ways you possibly can assist them is to refer out to a medical skilled who focuses on psychological well being.

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

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


However extra probably, 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 confused, your physiology modifications—at the very least briefly.

Your physique’s acute stress response and the accompanying spike in adrenaline releases saved glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream so you’ve gotten power to cope with 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 once you do eat, meals would possibly really feel prefer it’s simply sitting in your intestine not transferring anyplace, or it would 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 in your meals.

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

However, weight achieve in periods of stress is simply as frequent.

Particularly when stress turns into persistent, 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 occasions of stress is a standard (and comprehensible) coping mechanism. In fact, 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 subsequent reply under.


Query #4. How can I cease stress consuming?

Greater than 60 p.c of our new purchasers listing emotional or stress consuming as a significant 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.”

If you happen to relate, it may be a aid to know you’re not alone. In fact, that’s little comfort when your arms are fumbling for crumbs on the backside of a freshly opened bag of peanut butter pretzel bites.

However what for those who realized this habits happens…

  • Each time your mother calls?
  • On Sunday nights, once 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 habits that’s triggered by a selected expertise—a thought, feeling, and/or scenario.

If you happen to can determine the set off, you possibly can disrupt the sample of habits and make completely 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.


Query #5. How do I eliminate stress?

You’ll by no means totally 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 unimaginable to keep away from. In some unspecified time in the future, most individuals will face very troublesome intervals of unavoidable stress: sickness, accidents, monetary hardships, pure disasters, or a pandemic.

However usually, you’ve gotten some management. Perhaps much more than you suppose.

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

(If you would like, fill out your individual 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 usually not solely helps folks really feel much less overwhelmed and confused, but additionally more practical, succesful, and in management.

What about these areas you’ve gotten zero management over?

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


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

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

Whenever you get well, you regain, restore, or recuperate what you’ve misplaced. And you come back 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 the rest, 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 under exhibits what stress restoration would possibly seem like on a continuum, from devoting 5 minutes a day to one thing restorative, all the best way to principally 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 presently at a 1 or 2? Or perhaps even a 0?

If that’s the case, no judgment. That is simply your start line.

Take into consideration what “a bit of higher” would possibly seem 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 contemporary air within the morning? Think about what only a little higher would possibly seem like, and begin there.

For the additional frazzled, it would assist to know that generally the BEST time to begin a brand new behavior is once you’re busiest.

If you happen to can study to suit stress administration practices into your life once 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, at the very least you didn’t delay your self-care additional ready for the “good time.”)


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 easy.

Reality is, good psychological well being will depend on many completely different vitamins from many completely different meals, in addition to a set of basic diet rules, 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 occasions, no matter which means for you
  • Consuming principally 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 listing seems to be overwhelming, simply begin from wherever you’re proper now, and easily intention 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 listing, 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.


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

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

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

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

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

One respiratory approach 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 right 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 stress in your abs.)
  2. Maintain your inhale for 4 seconds.
  3. Exhale for 4 seconds. Think about that you just’re slowly blowing out a giant sigh. Hold your physique relaxed, however put a bit of stress 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 occasions as you’d like. (And really feel higher.)


Stress is uncomfortable, nevertheless it additionally helps us develop.

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

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

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

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

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

Alongside your purchasers, you possibly can use your information about stress and restoration to tackle challenges, and develop into a greater coach—and particular person—than you had been earlier than.


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

If you happen to’re a well being and health professional…

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

They’ll get “unstuck” and at last transfer ahead—whether or not they wish to eat higher, transfer extra, shed 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 Stage 1 Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification will present you the way.




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