30 – Stress
The hormone that affects our entire well being. Cortisol. It affects us physically, mentally, emotionally.
And so many people struggle to manage it.
We NEED stress by the way, we need our stress levels to go up and down in peaks and troughs for our bodies to tick over in a natural way.
When we exercise, we are physically inducing stress levels.
Yes we commonly refer to exercise as a relief from stress, releasing endorphins, or “feel good” hormones, which is correct.
But if you suffer with high levels of stress, a HIIT (high intensity) or Bootcamp Workout is not the best option for you.
Quite often, people will make blanket statements like “I’m so stressed out” or “I can’t sleep because of stress”
Let me explain something about what’s happening in the brain.
The Cognitive Assessment
Whenever we’re faced with a challenge or problem, our minds instantly assess whether we have the tools required to deal with it. It’s called the cognitive assessment.
If we can sort the problem, then there is no problem. Everything is hunky dory!
However if we somehow decide that we don’t have the skills or tools, one of three things happen
1. Shutdown – we decide that we can’t cope with it, so we avoid it completely.
2. Meltdown – we decide that we can’t deal with it, so we ask for help.
3. Breakdown – this is a survival instinct where adrenaline levels shoot up to plough through it whilst numbing all other emotions. We don’t eat or sleep until the problem is solved or passed.
We can’t stop ourselves from doing the cognitive assessment – it happens automatically, and we regularly experience one or more of the three outcomes mentioned – it’s only a matter that requires our attention if it happens consistently, to the point that it’s having a negative impact on our health.
Some people love to wear stress like a badge of honour, that if they’re not stressed out or “busy” then they’re not of value to anyone, they don’t look important – heck, I was one of those people myself, I’d be the first one to admit it.
In order to acutely manage your stress levels, you need to recognise the things we can control and the things we can’t.
You cannot control the thoughts, actions or feelings of other people; you can only control yourself.
So, think of something that stresses you out.
Ask yourself: 1. Is it my problem? If yes, move onto the next question. If no – then WHY are your stressing about it?
2. Can I solve this problem right now? If yes, go and fix it. If no, then WHY are you stressing about it when there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it right now?
I want you to imagine stress itself, like a whirlwind tornado and you’re placed in the middle where it’s calm. All the stressful things are spinning around in the wind and you’re in the peak position to pick whatever problem you can fix now and leave the rest, until it’s time, or until the appropriate person it’s for resolves it.
Stress doesn’t happen TO you, it happens AROUND you.
Write it down;
Stress: It’s either not mine or it’s not for now.
Because if you can fix it now, then you wouldn’t be stressed about it.