How Much Stress is Too Much?

My coach colleague Laura Capodieci posted about measuring stress and then knowing when it was time to do something about it. I responded in the comments so you can take a look.

Stress is an interesting topic and a hot one.

Everyone says they are STRESSED and they need “tools” to deal with it.

Yes STRESS can be bad! Chronic stress can lead to increased risk for hypertension, heart attack or stroke according to the American Psychological Association.

Who wants that? YIKES!

HOWEVER, research has shown that its your ATTITUDE towards stress that increases risk of harm. In fact, if you changed your negative beliefs about stress to positive ones, it can even have positive effects on you: Kelly McGonigal on TED, How to Make Stress Your Friend.

So you might have a ton of stress but if you viewed it as a positive force in your life at this moment, it may have little or no negative effect on your health.

Think on this then – the “tool” you would need would be to simply flip your negative beliefs about stress to positive ones and now you can go have a ton of stress and be fine!

Ha well not exactly accurate, as you might guess.

Any kind of stress on the body uses up resources and energy, even if you welcome stress. RECOVERY is therefore important regardless!

You will want to always keep an eye on how you RECOVER from whatever stress you’re experiencing. It could be any one of things like sleep, rest, diet, exercise, community, support or more. You don’t RECOVER and it doesn’t matter whether you love stress or not! You’ll crater yourself eventually.

Maybe you’ll feel positive about it along the way to your bottom of your hole though!

So keep an eye on only experiencing enough stress that you can recover from and in all cases you’ll be fine.

Last, AWARENESS is always helpful and encouraged.

You get into some situation. What is going inside? How do you feel? Are you moving towards feeling like you’re stressed – discomfort, fear, anxiety, fatigue, fight or flight, or similar?

Then become aware of your attitude towards it. Is it positive or negative? When you train for a marathon, it’s not necessarily joy you’re feeling on your long runs! But that amazing high when you get to the race and cross the finish line…. Or do you feel that slog coming on – avoidance, overthinking, overwhelm? That feeling of just get me outta here right now…

Taking stock of your attitude of the stress you feel in THIS SITUATION (Stress is context-sensitive!) will help guide you into what you will do next!

Enjoy your long weekend everyone and hope everyone is having a STRESS-FREE or STRESS-POSITIVE Labor Day weekend!

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