How does stress affect your health?

Almost equal to nutrition, stress plays a vital role when it comes to your health and weight loss, so let’s take a few minutes to understand what stress is.

What is Stress?

Stress is often categorised as a mindset issue, where if you work too hard or you have too much on your plate you become stressed.

However, there is a lot more to stress than your workload. Stress, in essence, is the amount of pressure you put on your body which will determine the amount of adrenaline your body releases.

In other words, stress, in fact, can be measured by the amount of adrenaline in our body, which is a result of the pressure you are under.

Three Avenues of Stress

So, knowing this, let’s have a look at what puts pressure on your body.

Mental Stress

When you go past your mental capacity, you will put stress on your body and as a result, it will release adrenaline.

Mental stress stems from:

  • Having too much to do and no real plan or capacity to complete it.
  • Saying yes to too much, then realising you have a timetable contradiction.
  • Spending all your money then realising you don’t have enough to pay your bills.

Ongoing mental stress will lead to emotional stress.

Physical Stress

This type of stress can be used to build our muscles or improve fitness through exercise; however, physical stress goes beyond working out.

Things that can contribute to physical stress:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Long durations of physical activity
  • Exercise
  • Food Intolerances
  • An unhealthy diet

Ongoing physical stress will lead to mental stress.

Emotional Stress

You may not realise that emotional stress has the greatest impact on health and causes the highest adrenaline release of all stresses. Emotional stress can be directly related to diabetes, heart attacks, dementia, obesity, depression, and the list goes on.

Emotional stress goes beyond the body and starts to impact your soul and in turn your spirit.

Emotional stress stems from:

  • Lack of forgiveness
  • Regret
  • Shame
  • Negativity
  • The absence of purpose/drive
  • Hate

Ongoing emotional stress will lead to physical stress.

The Stress Instrument

Stress is a key part of our lives and helps to build health, character, wisdom, motivation, and relationships.

However, when taken beyond your body’s capacity (either due to high levels or long exposure to stress) it will start to impact your health and weight.

Just like playing the guitar, if the strings are loose, the guitar will not play the right tune for the song. Likewise, if the strings are too tight the tune will also be out. The key is finding the right tension/amount of stress on the strings to get the guitar to play something magical.

With our bodies, we need to be skilled at finding out what that right tension is. For everyone it’s different, and from experience, you will never perfect it, but the point is to be aware and listen to your body.

Three points to keep in mind:

  1. There is more to stress than we realise and each means of stress adds to the other to build up your body’s total adrenaline load.
  2. Stress is holistic in nature, one triggers the other (just like rock, scissors, paper).
  3. Stress is not always bad; however, it needs to be managed
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