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Stress

Stress

How we respond to stress makes a big difference

00 Intro
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We´ve all been in stressful situations and all of us respond or react differently to the same situation, how we react to it makes a huge difference on how our body process the situation and stress.

The first point that we need to talk about is our beliefs about stress, if we have a negative relationship  with it thinking that stress is harmful and it will make us sick then there are a lot more chances that we get sick, if we realize that some stress is good and is necessary and that there´s also bad stress but we can always respond to it the best way possible then the impact is different.

Changing believes is one of the hardest things to do, we need to reprogram our mind but that change is the one that´s going to give us the most amazing results. Every single day our subconscious takes control of us, most of all the activities we do are based on program and beliefs running in our subconscious.

If we install in our brain the belief that there´s good stress and it´s actually helpful the way we look at situation change and in many cases we make any situation or experience worst than it actually is by thinking on the worst case scenario, this is normal our brain always think about the worst results but we can change that by being aware of it and finding all the positive results and outlooks but this takes time.

Since we need time to change our believes and think in a positive way there are some steps we can follow whenever we find ourselves in stressful situations. The first thing we need to do is stay calm in the middle of negativity, stress, chaos, it may not be possible to walk away from it so we need to know how to calm our mind and body.

Here are some techniques you can use:

1.- Breathing techniques.- When we are in a stress full situation our heart rate increases, adrenaline increases, we are more alert. Stop for a moment and take some deep breathes to calm down, focus on your breathe and take your mind to the present moment, to this for a couple of minutes and then make decisions.

2.- Think positively.- Don´t let your mind start creating all kind of negative outcomes, instead take control of your mind and think of every positive outcome you can imagine and figure out ways to achieve those outcomes.

3.- Take time.- Do not make decisions when you are living though times, if you can take a couple of hours before you decide, in those hours meditate or do some breathing exercises, physical activity also helps.

Controlling the way we respond takes time, and we won´t be able to change it from one day to another, we need to start with small steps every day, we all get angry or annoyed even with small situations we live every single day while driving, in the supermarket, etc. When we are in any situation that stress us just stop and take a deep breath, don´t make the issue bigger than it actually is.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

How stress is making us sick

00 stress intro
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One of the reasons why we´re dealing with many different health and mental problems nowadays is stress.

A very simple explanation about how stress makes us sick is this, stress is a survival mechanism, it´s the “fight-or-flight” response to keep us alive when we are in danger. When we are in a stressful situation our body releases cortisol which is the hormone that turns on the “fight-or-flight” response and with this it comes a series of reactions like heart rate goes up, our muscles get tense but while this reactions of cortisol are on, other functions of our body are turned off, so our body can´t protect us from diseases. So if we spend most of our time with stress, this means that cortisol is high along with all the reactions and some functions in our body are off most of the time and it can´t protect us from diseases so we get sick.

Some of the symptoms we can notice in a short period of time are constant headaches, our weight fluctuates, we have skin problems, our hair falls, inflammation, we feel tired almost all the time, it´s impossible to focus and finish any activity. Things can get worse and cause more problems like obesity, diabetes, cancer, depression, anxiety, suicide.

It also has a negative impact on your hormones making it harder for us to have good quality sleep and making us eat more specially unhealthy foods. High levels of stress increase cortisol which can lead to craving sweets and refined carbohydrates, this is a reason why it´s harder to avoid junk and processed food, this is why if we are following a weight loss program we can´t stick to it.

Cortisol also cause insulin resistance which means that our body is not able to utilize carbohydrates properly so our body stores them as fat instead of using them for energy. Being insulin resistant makes it harder for us to lose weight and stay lean.

Stress can also affect your mood getting us in a negative state of mind and making everything seems worst, we tend to over think, and make our worries and fears bigger because it triggers an area called the amygdala which is our brains fear center. It also makes us more emotional because our brain associate events with memories. Stress lower serotonin which is the “feel happy” neurotransmitter and dopamine which is the one for pleasure-reward so we feel sad.

Stress has become part of our days for most of us and we´ve  learnt to live with it without realizing all the damage it is causing on all aspects of life, from health to relationships. From school, job, traffic, unhealthy diets, lack of sleep, a lot of negativity all this accumulate over and over every single day causing chronic stress and it affects the body and the brain.

Trying to satisfy and please everyone also increase stress, doing something we hate and dealing with negative people and many other stuff we live every single day are also causing a lot of damage to our body and brain.

For the last years we´ve been hearing a lot more about mental health and all the negative aspects about depression, anxiety and other problems but I don´t see them taking action to improve the environments we work and the relationships with people around us which have a huge impact.

Another important reasons why stress is making us sick is because we believe that all stress is bad and it can makes us sick, that´s what we´ve been told and our brain and body will respond to that belief but it´s not true. Some stress is good and we need some of that good stress. If we change our thoughts and beliefs about stress, if we know how to identify the good stress between the bad one and we know how to respond to it, it can be beneficial.

For me it´s clear that our lifestyles are causing a lot of health and mental problems so it´s crucial to start developing good habits that help us live better.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

When is stress bad?

11 How stress is making us sick
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We´ve all been in stressful situations and some of us every day, as we saw in the last post there are different types of stress or different levels, many of us consider all types of stress bad but we actually need it stress.

We all know that stress is bad for us and it have a negative impact in our health but not all stress is bad, we need some of it to grow, to get stronger but we need to know how to identify when stress is good and when it´s bad so that we can act accordingly.

High levels of stress for long periods of time which is chronic stress is the type of stress that is bad for us. If we wake up late in the morning, we´re stuck in traffic, we get late to our job, our boss don´t like our work, our coworkers spend most time blaming and criticizing so the entire day we´re dealing with stress and it becomes cumulative this is why stress is so bad for us, we get to a point where our body can´t deal with that much stress for long periods of time and we get sick.

If we add to our daily stress that when we wake up every morning we get stressed by thinking on all the bills we need to pay, how many days we got left before the next paycheck, hope that our boss don´t fire us and we don´t even like what we do then it make sense that our health is not as best as it could be.

The points I made in the last paragraphs are some of the situations that keep our levels of stress high for long periods of time and we´ve got use to them, that is bad stress that type of stress is the one that have a negative impact on our lives and our health.

We won´t be able to eliminate stress completely from our lives but we need to learn how to cope with it, especially the one that is bad for us, some steps we can take to reduce it are:

1. Make sure to wake up early each morning and have time to do everything we need to do before going to work. Set the alarm clock 10 or 15 minutes earlier, leave everything we need ready from the night before.

2. Try to get out of the house earlier to avoid traffic

3. Don´t take any comments from anyone personal.

4. When we feel stressed during the day take 5 or 6 deeps breathes and focus on inhale and exhale.

5. Take some minutes every night before going to bed to meditate and take all the negative stuff from our mind.

Actually the best step we can take to lower stress is avoid negative people and negative environments, avoid situations that we know are going to stress us but for most of us this is impossible because we need the job so the 5 points will help. If you have the possibility to get another job where you can do what you love that´s great, the best thing that could happen to us is loving our job, loving what we do and working in a place where the relationship with our team and coworkers help us grow and learn.

Since we´re living very stressful lives and for some of us is hard to completely change our lives from one day to another we need to find ways to lower it and understand that not all stress is bad, many of us confuse pressure with stress and many of us want to avoid completely all types of stress and this is wrong, some stress is beneficial and pressure is not that bad if we don´t let it turn into stress.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

Types of stress

01 Types of stress
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The 5 principles of fitness are crucial to help us achieve any fitness goal and for overall health, stress is one of them and it has become a cause of different health problems nowadays.

There are different types of stress and we need to understand each and know how to identify it so that we can act the best way possible and learn that not all stress is bad.

There are 3 types of stress which are: Acute stress, Episodic acute stress and Chronic stress.

1. ACUTE STRESS

Have you ever ride a roller coaster or a crazy sport? That experience or feeling is acute stress, also the feeling we get the moment we get out of our comfort zone to start a new project. The deadline we need to meet for our project at school or work. That excitement, fear, anxiety, tension in your muscles are all symptoms of this stress. This one is short term and all of us experience it on a daily basis. We need this type of stress.

2. EPISODIC ACUTE STRESS

This one is when acute stress happens very frequently, people with this type of stress tend to be very negative in every aspect of life, everything that could go wrong always go wrong. They are anxious, angry, sometimes aggressive, impatience and it can be hard to deal with them, they´re always the victims of their circumstances instead of wondering why all this things happen to them.  The biggest problem with them is that they don´t realize they have a problem, they´ve learnt to make this type of stress as part of their lives so for them it´s normal.

3. CHRONIC STRESS

When stress continues for long periods of times it becomes chronic stress, it comes from constant demands of pressure every single day in school, jobs, families. this type of stress is so unhealthy that it can destroy our mind and body. When people feel so drowned in so many problems and they got to a point where they get overwhelmed and stop thinking about solutions, they just give up and surrender to stress, the biggest problem with this is that people get used to it, most of us live our lives with chronic stress and we don´t even know it´s there, we think it´s how we´re supposed to live and this type of stress is the cause of biggest health and mental problems that can end in suicide.

Now we know that stress can be really bad having a negative impact in our physical and mental health and there´s also good stress that can have a positive impact in our life if we now how to use it. The level or type of stress determines how we need to act or respond, in many cases we are able to follow tools that can help us lower it but there can be cased where we need to talk to a professional if things have gone too far.

Stress is a response to any experience and the level of it goes accordingly to the experience or situation we lived and how we are able to cope with it, we all take every situation in very different ways and they all affect us in different degrees, we need to consider this so that we know how to respond and even be prepared for any situation.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

The importance of stress in our lives.

00 Intro
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Last year I thought that stress is bad for us, that we need to keep it low or it will have a huge negative impact in my life and health, we´ve all heard that if we´re not aware of stress it can make us sick and it can even kill us. In the past months and year this negative mindset and belief about stress had changed for me and it´s the most impactful change I have done.

We´ve all been told that stress is bad for us but we all need some stress in our lives. Yes there is one type of stress that has a negative impact in our body and health but we need to know all types of stress and understand each of them so that we can lower as much as possible the negative one while we use the others to our advantage.

Stress is key for growth, we need stress in our lives to grow physically, mentally, emotionally. If there´s no stress will stay in the same place, the same way in the comfort zone.

If we think that all stress is bad for us and can make us sick then that´s exactly what happen, if we think that not all stress is bad or even better the most stress is good for us that it will help us grow and help u reach our potential that´s what happens, it´s a shift in our beliefs and mindset.

When we go to the gym and workout we´re putting our body through stress, we know that if we want to change our body physically we need to give it the stimulus it needs to change and with an adequate nutrition program and enough recovery our body will change. The same happens with all areas of our life, if we want to change something we need to go through challenges, struggle, failures, make different choices and all that creates stress, that´s the stimulus we need to get what we want.

It all starts by changing the way we think and our beliefs about stress, instead of thinking about it as stress, pressure or anxiety we can think of it as excitement and by that our mindset will change completely and the results will be completely different and more positive.

The biggest problem is that most of us think of being under pressure or busy like the long list of mails we need to answer and the to-do-list increasing every day or even when we´re stuck on traffic or when we´re anxious for an event as stress and they are constantly seen as something negative and this creates and bring more negativity to our lives, when we think about it as excitement it motivates us, our mind focuses on the positive outcomes, it increases confidence and it´s easier for us to take action.

I mentioned before that one type of stress is bad, we need to know how to recognize it and differentiate it from the other types of stress and we also need to recognize each emotion to act accordingly, it´s not the same to be late because of traffic than to be worried about how we´re going to pay the bills or if someone we care is having health issues or when we´ve been assigned to lead a big project.

We´re not meant to stay in a comfort zone, we´re all here for a purpose and we need to set big goals, with this comes fear of not knowing what´s going to happen, stress and pressure we need this fear, stress and pressure that comes from getting out of our comfort zone and taking risks. Those are the ones that will help us learn, grow and achieve those big goals.

If we stay where we are, if we don´t take risks and challenges then we´re not living and we´ll never know what we´re capable of. We can´t let the negative beliefs about stress and pressure stop us from living, we need to identify each type of stress and know our emotions to act the best way possible. It may be to know how to calm down so that we can think and make the best decision or reframing the situation to a more positive one.

The way we respond to any situation is what makes the difference so  with stress as for any aspect of life having a positive attitude will always brings the best results, reframing situations from negative to positive, finding ways to take the most out of any situation, thinking about excitement and the best positive outcomes from any situation is the way to start. We´ll be sharing ideas and tools we can all use in our lives that help us change the way we think about stress but we need to be open to this ideas and realize that in most cases our beliefs and the way we respond makes all the difference.

Stress

Identifying different stressful situations

29 Identifying stressful situations
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We all go through stressful situations at different times of our lives, but most of us don´t know how to deal with them so that it doesn´t have a negative impact in our lives and health, the problem is that for each situation there are different steps we can take because not all stress is equal.

Some of us tend to use stress and pressure as if they´re both the same but this is wrong we first need to identify if the situation we´re living is stress or pressure and then we can act accordingly. We can use pressure in our favor, this is a high level of stress that if we know how to manage we can make it work for us. There are stressful situations that we can´t use in our favor and the only thing we can do is know how to deal with it so that it doesn´t affect us negatively.

In most cases when we´re under stress we don´t have control over the situation, there will be a results or an outcome but there´s not too much we can do and we don´t have too much responsibility of those results. Stress usually comes from an external factor, it may be at work or school, at the supermarket.

When we´re under pressure it means that our performance will have an impact on the results and outcome. Pressure usually comes from inside, we get anxious and nervous because we don´t know if we´re going to meet the expectations.

The first thing we need to do is ask ourselves if there´s something we can control or if we have some responsibility in the situation. If we don´t have control and there´s nothing we can do then that´s stress so what we need to do is lower stress, we can do this by meditating, breathing and journaling. Journaling is a great tool to take all the thoughts out your the mind, meditating bring us back to the present moment and increase our awareness and breathing help us calm and relax our body and also improves our decision making.

If you are under pressure and the end result depend on you then you need to ask yourself what you need to learn, what new skills you need to acquire or if you don´t need to learn new skills identify the 3 to 5 most important tasks you need to do. In every project there are tasks or activities that are highly important and that give us the best results while other activities are not as important. Identify those 3 to 5 activities and focus on them first, in most cases does activities are the one that are harder, more complicated and take more time but are the ones that give us greater results and once we´ve done with them almost 60% to 80% of the project is done. Focus on those.

Different situations require us to act in different ways so identifying the situations first is key to know what´s the best we can do to get the best results. Our mindset plays a big role in the end results and the journey, when we have the right mindset is easier for us to find solutions and whatever we need to do also gets easier. Sometimes the journey is tough but if we have a clear vision of the results we´re looking for it´s easier to stay focus, our nutrition program and sleep habits will also have a big impact on our performance and how we deal with any stressful or pressure situation.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

How to change our mindset about stress

24 How to change our mindset about stress
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We talk a lot about mindset, it´s one of the 5 principles of fitness and it has an impact in our life, I´ve seen this in so many people. The ones who have the right mindset, the ones have develop the successful mindset are the ones who achieve more in life, the ones with a wrong mindset are the ones who stay stuck living an average life who spend so much time blaming, criticizing and complaining.

Our mindset is key so we need to develop the right mindset, how we think of stress is how it affects our life, if we think that stress is bad and it can get us suck then we will get sick but if we think that stress has a positive impact then we can make stress work for us so developing the right mindset and changing our thoughts and believes is key but changing thoughts and believes is one of the hardest things to do.

To change our thoughts and believes about stress we need to start by being aware and living in the present moment, when we´re in a stressful situation our body and mind acts according to past experiences and we take decisions based on those experiences and almost all time we make the wrong decision because we are not able to think, we just react instead of taking some time.

If we think about how our body responds in this situations, our heart rate goes up, we start to sweat, our mind creates the most negative situation and also start bringing some related situations from the past, it is at this moment when we need to be aware of all this going on and reframe the situation.

Once we are aware we need to take a time to breathe, breathing technique are incredibly amazing to help us calm down, take 6 deep breathes and you´ll feel your body calming down so you´ll be able to think and make the best choice, once you feel calm you need to start reframing the situation to a positive outlook. What´s the best scenario, start thinking about what´s the best decision you can make that will give you the best results.

When we reframe the situation to a positive outcome we start to find several solutions to our situation, this is hard to do at the beginning because our mind will always bring the negative stuff so we need to work to change that so that it stops thinking about the negative and instead focus on positive results.

This is the best way to deal with stressful situations, when we start doing this it´s easier to believe that stress is not bad and it can actually be helpful, another thing you need to do is remind yourself that stress is good for you and keep repeating this phrase over and over specially during stress.

Repeating over and over again that stress is good for us, that it will help us grow, that something good will come out of all of this our energy changes, if we feel our heart rate up, if we feel anxious and sweaty we can trick our brain saying that we are excited and we´re ready to go, instead of believing that we´re stressed out we can think that we´re excited, this is part of reframing the situation, if we think and really believe that stress can´t harm us we will be able to deal with is and use in the best way, one that work in our favor to get the results we want.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

Stress and change

28 Stress and change
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Change is part of our lives, we all need to be open to change but many of us fear it. Stress caused by change is also normal, it happens to all of us but there´s a limit to what´s consider normal and when things go too far.

Some examples of changes are:

1.- Changing jobs

2.- Being fired

3.- Buying a house

3.- Starting a new project

4.- Changing cities

5.- Changing school

6.- Changing habits…

and many more. The important thing here is how we see this changes, if we see them as the beginning of an exciting journey things will go the right way because it will be easier to find solutions to all the challenges but most of us start over thinking and fear and anxiety takes place making any change so stressful.

The reason why change causes stress is because our mind, brain and body love comfort and love staying in the place that they know and the place they feel safe and with change we´re getting out of that comfort zone, it´s not safe, there´s nothing sure for the future, we don´t know what´s going to happen and we don´t have all the answers.

Change is a challenge it requires us to adapt and grow but when our mind and brain are lazy and they fear change it get´s though. What we can do is realize that change is necessary in all aspects of life, nothings is static everything is constantly changing so we need to have a positive mindset and embrace change with the right attitude knowing and believing that we have everything we need to get through.

The most important step is realize that change is part of our lives, it doesn´t matter if it seems to be a bad change in the beginning we need to find the positive outlook, reframe the whole situation and find all positive points, also realize that any change will get us out of our comfort zone so we´re going to face challenges.

Any challenge make us grow, this is where we learn and we grow and get stronger, this is where life get´s amazing and that´s what life is about, facing challenges that help us grow and become the best version of ourselves, this is also the way to live to our fullest and reach our potential.

If we embrace any change with this mindset and attitude, we will be able to be more creative and find more solutions to any challenge, we will be more focused and the results will be more positive, with all this stress won´t get as high and we can actually see it as an exciting part of life instead of a stressful situation.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

Differences between stress and pressure

27 Stress and pressure
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We´ve all been through stress and pressure at different moments in our lives and some of us talk about them as if both of them were the same and they´re actually different, stress and pressure are not the same.

For me the differences between stress and pressure are:

Stress is when you are in a situation where you don´t have enough resources to meet the outcome, you may not have enough time, money, etc  and when you don´t have control of the situation so the end results won´t depend completely of you.

Pressure is when we have control of the situation and the end results depends of you, of your performance, oh how productive, effective and efficient you are with what you have. Pressure is also when the outcome or result of the situation or project will have an impact .

In most cases for most of all pressure can be consider as a type of high stress because it comes from situations that matter to us and stress can be caused by daily situations which we cannot control and that are not as important for us.

The reason why it is important to identify both of them is to be able to act the best way possible for each situation, we need to identify if we are in a stressful situation or if we are dealing with pressure. If we are dealing with stress the best we can do is first ask ourselves how important is that situation for us, many of us pay too much attention to what others say and think of us, we spend too much time with negative people and this create stress and we don´t need it. Sometimes we make a big deal of meaningful situations and what´s impacting us is the way we react. What you can do here is breathe, take some deep breathes and feel your body calming down.

Then ask if there´s something we can do, in many cases there´s nothing we can do so we need to change our focus, do something different and work in other stuff and just move on.

When we´re under pressure this means there´s something we need to do whether it´s make a decision or finish a project in a short period of time we need to find the best options and solutions with what we´ve got. Sometimes we don´t have the best resources for time, energy, money, knowledge but our result can impact our job or our life so we need to make the best we can with what we´ve got, we need great performance, effectiveness and efficiency.

We know that stress can have a negative impact on our life and health while pressure can have a positive impact. For some of us pressure helps us stay focus and bring the best of us, taking it as a challenge to learn new skills, to improve, to get stronger is a way to get the best results while for others it can be overwhelming and can have very negative effects feeling as the highest level of stress.

Pressure can lead to anxiety, knowing that an outcome or end results depends of you and not knowing if you are going to be able to deliver on time at level expected and how is your end result going to be taken creates fear specially if you need to learn new skills.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

Physical signs of stress

26 Physical signs of stress
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We´ve all fell stress at some point, some of us live with chronic stress but not all of us know the physical signs which will make it easier for understand what our body is trying to tell us and we could act the best way possible according to each situation.

We know that stress is the response of our body to protect us and keep us safe in harmful situations, it´s the fight or flight response. When we are under stress we can experience some signs which can help us identify it and this is really helpful to know what we can do at those moments, some signs are:

1.- Sweat.- Some of us start to sweat or feel our hands sweating.

2.- Our heart rate goes up

3.- We feel tension in our muscles and body

4.- We feel nervous and start shaking

5.- We get anxious

6.- We over think

This are some of the most common physical signs of stress and we´ve all felt them more than once. One helpful tool we can use to be able to act the best way possible and to make the best choices when we´re in stressful scenarios is reframing the situation, don´t think of it as stress, think of it as excitement, the physical signs of stress and excitement can be really similar. This is what great people like professional athletes, leaders, CEOs do, they think about situations like this as excitement and by thinking this way it´s easier to stay in a positive state and find the best solutions.

If it seems impossible to reframe the situations then stop for a moment and take some deep breathes, breathing in an excellent way to calm down and bring you back to focus, after some deep breathes you will feel more relax and the tension in your body and muscle start to come down, at this moment you´ll be able to think of solutions and find the best outcome, depending of the situation you´ll also be able to reframe it so you can start seeing it as excitement.

This is easy to say ad hard to do, you need to have total control of your mind and body so that you can stay calm or calm yourself in any stressful situations and to reframe the scenario, with practice you´ll be able to change your mindset and link this physical sings as signs of excitement and not stress.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam