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Don't Stress, Too Often- Why?

To be healthy:

"Stress" is not just a mental state of frustration, worry or anxiety. Feelings of stress are associated with complex bodily changes in hormones like cortisol, and the sympathetic nervous system. Once again, moderation is the key. Hans Selye, who coined the current use of the term said, "Without stress, there would be no life." Occasional acute stress can be productive, with different stress signals aiding in physical activity, tempering pain and acheiving a goal. In fact, very preliminary studies suggest regular activity leading to low-level stress, might actually increase lifespan. But, stress comes in different types and amounts, and chronic overactivation of stress pathways can be harmful, just like overeating sugar too often. Too much stress too often increases risk for many physical and mental diseases, including digestive problems, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, and might also increase risk for obesity and diabetes due to the long-term effects of hormones like cortisol and other steroids that the body makes. Stress can also inhibit your immune system, putting you at higher risk for sickness, infections and cancer. In fact, doctors use corticosteroids sometimes as medicine to decrease inflammation of injuries (redness, swelling and pain) and the immune response; if these medicines are used too much, these people can also get sick and have other unpleasant side-effects, such as depression and other mental changes, which most of us have had a small glimpse of when we've been "stressed out." Traumatic and chronic stress in children is particularly dangerous, as cortisol has an impact on brain development, and might also increase future disposition to depression.

Measuring and regulating your personal stress level isn't very easy; in fact, the thought of keeping track of your stress, might stress you out more! The key is Being Aware of your own signals. Quizzes on your "stress level" might help a little, but ultimately, it's up to you to understand yourself and be flexible enough to readjust what you're doing to temper your stress. When you're stressed, you can sometimes feel a fast heartbeat or muscle tension, get sweaty hands, lose sleep, have skin problems and more. Once you recognize these signs, you can use physical activity, rest and other techniques to help clean out your body and then relax. Anger is also a both a sign and cause of stress. Sometimes, decreasing chronic stress might involve tough choices about your job, where you live and how you commute, for example. Ultimately, we all have choices; if you feel like you don't, then you're probably pretty stressed, and should rethink how you're living day-to-day.

To perform better:

Stress inhibits memory, promotes frustration, and can interfere with attention and decision making. Chronic stress can begin to deteriorate physical and athletic performance by deteriorating the musculoskeletal system.

To feel good and relax:

Acute stress, such as before a big race or game, might feel exhilirating. But, long-term stress usually leaves people feeling irritable, frustrated, anxious or even depressed. By definition, Don't Stress implies staying relaxed, by not 'sweating the small stuff.' There are moments for stress, save your worries by trying to prioritize what's important in your life, and what is not. This is a skill best learned early on in youth.

To stay safe:

Stress can leave youth and adults continuously turning to short-term pleasures and stress relievers such as unhealthy foods, TV, blaming others for problems, smoking, alcohol, drugs, too much work or careless sexual activity to counteract their stress, both physically and mentally. Fortunately, many people are able to cope with stress by more balanced productive approaches and relaxation techniques.

For fun with friends:

Certainly, if those who feel stressed will have a more difficult time relating to peers. Chronic stress and associated mental health issues can lead to social isolation, which only create more stress. Goals and purpose are great qualities most people look for in a new friend, but sharing anxiety and worry usually falls to family and close friends, which can strain those relationships. Close friends and family that can help teach other tricks to cope with daily stressors will enjoy each others company much more.

 

For More Information

Stress Diagram
Extensive Guide to Stress- Reuters Health
Biology of Harmful Stress

 

Don't Stress- How:

Specific Guidance for:

Kids
Young Teens
Adults

FitNet: Plan, Don't Stress
Coach K Drive to Fitness

Additional Help

Stress Raing Scale
Be Active
Eat Smart
Drink Water
Sleep Well
Be Aware of Stress Signals
Be Aware of Stress Causes
Laughter: Postive Kids Jokes
Journal Your Ideas
Creative Writing
Music and Composition
Drawing, Photography
Stretch Break
Stretch Routine & Yoga Poses
Self-Massage
Deep Breathing
Tai Chi for Kids
Meditation and Prayer
Healthy Transitions
Interactive Biofeedback

Prioritize/Plan/Organize
Time Management Tips
Kids Need Basic Routine

...But Be Flexible & Accepting
Take Chill Time
Help Others
Have Fun & Talk w/ Friends
Learn More About Family
Hugs
Play With Your Pet
Don't sweat the small stuff
Go Walking: Nature/Outdoors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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