When managing stress, it is important to understand the type of stress you are experiencing. The most common is acute or short-term stress. A normal part of everyday life, acute stress (driving at rush hour, meeting a tight deadline, etc.) can be good for you because it causes your body to release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which can help you handle the situation.
However, if you suffer acute stress frequently for extended periods (get stuck in traffic daily, work for a toxic boss, etc.), acute stress can become "chronic." This is the grinding stress that wears people down that can destroy bodies, minds and lives. Unlike acute stress which doesn't have time to do extensive damage, chronic stress wreaks havoc through long-term wear and tear.
You may not notice it at first, but work-life pressures can add up and put extra stress on your mind and body. If ignored, chronic stress can not only damage your immune system, it can flip the switch that turns on many serious health conditions including, but not limited to:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Frequent colds and infections
- Loss of sexual desire/ability
How Stress Management Coaching Can Help
No matter how overwhelming your life may seem, the good news is that there are many ways to relieve stress and control how it affects you. The right support and stress relief plan is essential - and personal coaching provides the roadmap, step-by-step guidance and skills to feel calmer, more confident and in control faster by helping you to:
Identify your stress triggers. Everyone reacts to stress differently (low energy, headaches, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, upset stomach, loss of concentration/brain fog, trouble sleeping, anger, sadness, etc.) Being mindful of your physical, emotional and mental reactions and what triggers them is the first step towards managing your stress. Take our free stress quizzes to assess your personal and work stress triggers.
Understand your stress response. When you face a threat, stress hormones flood your system, producing a “fight-or-flight” response. Your brain identifies the danger and then sounds the alarm, preparing your body to face the threat or seek an escape. Observing your emotions and bodily experiences of stress (increased heart rate, faster breathing, anger, etc.) can help you develop skills to change how you think and act,
Manage negative moods. Many people spend their day stuck in stress, frustration and overwhelm, often needlessly. Understanding how you create unproductive states and learning to reframe and adapt your thinking can help you develop a healthier, more positive mindset.
Improve your lifestyle. Making small but powerful changes to unhealthy eating, exercise, sleep and mental habits can shift your entire experience of stress. In fact, research shows that 80% of heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes and 40% of cancers can be prevented with improvements to diet and lifestyle.
Develop new coping skills. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, body scanning and guided imagery are powerful mindfulness techniques for de-stressing your body and brain. In a recent UCLA study, participants who learned and practiced mindfulness for just 5 minutes a day over 3-weeks significantly reduced their stress. They also experienced an increase in life satisfaction, mastery of their environment and more positive relationships with others.
Ready to find relief? Read about our Stress Management Programs and schedule a free discovery call today. Learn how personal coaching can help you reduce stress and live with greater ease, balance, joy and wellbeing.