A topic we all either wont want to talk about, or believe we have a handle on. stress is a widely underestimated factor when it comes to weight loss.
Lets discuss some of the ways stress may make you feel.
- Irritable, aggressive, impatient or wound up
- Over burdened (this is one particularly found with my clients who have high stress jobs and want to get in shape)
- Anxious, nervous or afraid
- high speed mind cant switch off your thoughts
- unable to enjoy yourself
- worried about your Health
As you can see stress can be felt in many forms and can often be mistaken for everyday feelings which is why its difficult to attribute stress to the other factors in life we have going on.
Lets now have a look at some of the ways stress physically effects us.
- Tired all the time
- Shallow breathing
- High blood pressure
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Constipation or Diarrhoea
Looking at the list above ask yourself would any of those physiological changes make good foundations for change?
Sleep is the number one factor to recovery and body recomposition, so if your not sleeping your not growing.
Having indigestion or constipation means were not digesting our food correctly, Nutrition is the second biggest factor in body change. In saying that its the biggest factor in sustaining life along with hydration.
That’s just some of the ways stress affects how we feel and how it affects body changes.
Stress its usually triggered by things happening in your life which involve.
- Being under lots of pressure
- Facing new changes
- Worrying about something
- Having responsibility that your finding overwhelming
There might be one big thing causing you stress, but stress can also be caused by a build-up of small pressures. This might make it harder for you to identify what’s making you feel stressed, or to explain it to other people.
Ways to deal with stress
- identify your triggers
Working out what triggers stress for you can help you anticipate problems and think of ways to solve them. Even if you can’t avoid these situations, being prepared can help out immensely.
Take some time to reflect on events and feelings that could be contributing to your stress (you could do this on your own or with someone you trust). You could consider:
- Issues that come up regularly, and that you worry about, for example paying a bill or attending an appointment.
- One-off events that are on your mind a lot, such as moving house or taking an exam.
- Ongoing stressful events, like being a carer or having problems at work.
You might be surprised to find out just how much you’re coping with at once. Remember that not having enough work, activities or change in your life can be just as stressful a situation as having too much to deal with.
2. Organise your time.
Making some adjustments to the way you organise your time could help you feel more in control of any tasks you’re facing, and more able to handle pressure.
- Identify your best time of day, and do the important tasks that need the most energy and concentration at that time. For example, you might be a morning person or an evening person. (im a now a morning person its when im most productive)
- Make a list of things you have to do. Arrange them in order of importance, and try to focus on the most urgent first. Some people find creating a timetable useful so they can plan when they can spend time on each task. If your tasks are work related, ask a manager or colleague to help you prioritise. You may be able to push back some tasks until you’re feeling less stressed. (read the life changing magic of not giving a fuck its a game changer)
- Set smaller and more achievable targets. When you’re under a lot of pressure it’s easy to set yourself large targets that are often unachievable. This can make you feel more stressed and if you don’t reach them, it can make you feel disappointed and frustrated. Setting smaller more achievable goals can make you feel in more control and you can see your achievements more easily.
- Vary your activities. Balance interesting tasks with more mundane ones, and stressful tasks with those you find easier or can do more calmly.
- Try not to do too much at once. If you take on too much, you might find it harder to do any individual task well. This can make you feel like you have even more pressure on you.
- Take breaks and take things slowly. It might be difficult to do this when you’re stressed, but it can make you more productive.
- Ask someone if they can help. For example, you could ask a friend or family member to help with some of your daily tasks so that you have more time to spend completing your tasks that are causing you to feel stressed.
3. Accept the things you cant change.
It’s not easy, but accepting that there are some things happening to you that you probably can’t do anything about will help you focus your time and energy more productively.
“Sometimes I take a minute to ‘reply’ to my stressy thoughts… it’s hard to be stressed when you’ve got things in perspective! Most of the things I worry about are either things I can’t change or things which aren’t earth-shatteringly important.”