We are living in an epidemic of stress. People’s lives are busier than ever before, with many responsibilities and commitments personally and professionally. In Dubai life pressure can seem greater due to the fact we live in a relatively new rapidly growing city and the desire for people to perform, prove their worth in work and keep up with the pace, is a huge invisible pressure.
On the outside people may look like they have it all, but more often than not they are stressed out, which can mean their happiness and quality of life is less than it should be!
We are all prone to feelings of stress from time to time and the intensity of this or our stress tolerance varies from one person to another. Some stress, from time to time can be a good thing and can help us focus and get a job done. It may even start out this way as a positive but over time slowly creep up becoming our new 'normal', where we just get used to the way we live despite it not always making us feel good.
In our 21st Century Living many people have lost the ability to switch off from work and end up taking it home on their laptop or smart phone. There is often an imbalance between work, social, hobbies and general downtime. R&R and vital rest is often sacrificed, the body needs re-cooperation to repair but more often than not this is neglected in favor of more time at the office or just trying to fit more stuff in, due to the demands to meet work targets, keep fit, catch up with friends, taxi the kids and whatever else there might be to cram in todays fast pace society.
There is a large amount of research that report the negative impact too much stress has on our physical health but what about our emotional health too. The feelings you get when life is hectic the thoughts you have at the end of a day or towards the end of a hectic week, or even the beginning of one!
People rarely realize that their emotional state also affects their physical health too. Our body is designed for short bouts of stress from time to time, but not chronic day in and day out stress. We are more often than not hammering our bodies endlessly. For many it really has become the new norm and can be tiring. (See video above)
If you are reading this and thinking, “I don’t feel stressed” then excess stress does not always show up as an emotional feeling it can be physical.
Modern day pressures can trigger emotions that make and make us feel a certain way emotionally (thoughts) or physically. The body does not know the difference between real physical danger and work deadlines, a difficult boss, financial pressures, relationship worries, social media pressure, body image concerns, kids, that person that cut you up on SZR and other life-pressures. It will respond to this stress as a potential life or death situation, known as the fight or flight response.
When our fight or flight response is activated, sequences of nerve cell firing occur and chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released into our bloodstream. Our respiratory rate increases (faster breathing or shallow chest breathing). Our heart beats faster and blood is shunted away from our digestive tract and directed into our muscles and limbs, which require extra energy and fuel for running and fighting. Our pupils dilate. Our awareness intensifies. Our sight sharpens. Our impulses quicken. Our perception of pain diminishes. Our immune system mobilizes with increased activation. We become prepared—physically and psychologically—for fight or flight. We scan and search our environment, “looking for the danger.”
Over time this is incredibly wearing on the body can cause issues long term such as an underactive thyroid, blood sugar imbalances, infertility, adrenal fatigue, Chronic Fatigue and more.
Two excellent examples of stress-induced signals are eye twitching and teeth-grinding.
Here are some other signals of chronic stress your body may be giving you:
- Chest pain
- Bad skin
- Constant tiredness and/or fatigue
- Sleep disturbances / wakefulness / tired and wired
- Unexplained weight gain (especially around the middle)
- Excess sweating
- Digestive problems (gas, bloating, constipation)
- Irritability and changes in mood or tearfulness
- An emotional response greater than the situation warrants
- Heart palpitations or skipped heart beats
- Shortness of breath (unrelated to exercise)
- Unable to lose weight
- Changes in appetite (food cravings or loss of appetite)
- Reduced progress in strength and fitness gains (you may see this as a plateau in performance)
It’s all very well to blame our environment but for the majority of people we chose it. To protect our health today we must become more knowledgeable about ourselves. Learn to recognise and pay attention to the signals of stress and work on reducing these.
This WILL increase cholesterol, risk of heart attacks and make you fatter!! See video.
At 6 Pillar Fitness, wellbeing is one of our pillars of health and stress reduction is a key element we pay attention to and support. We are able to offer our clients additional services that help reduce life stress, improve their wellbeing and calm.
There is a lot that you can start to do contact us today for your personalized plan!
Stress-Busting Lifestyle Ideas:
1. Notice how you feel? Learn to pick up on and be aware of your own personal stress signals in life situations or at the end of the day.
2. Personal Boundaries. Know your own personal limits to the amount you can fit into your life, your ability to handle situations, and what you realistically can commit to. Maybe life needs simplifying with fewer commitments for a while. Acknowledge this and respect yourself enough to put that into action.
3. Move your body. Exercise is self-nourishing it is doing something just for yourself not the boss, your business or loved ones. During activity your body releases feel good endorphins that lift mood and leave you feeling good.
4. Eat Real Food. We all know that too much junk isn’t good for us. Practice making better food choices 80%, avoid skipping meals or getting overly hungry and get into a routine with meals where you can.
5. Keep Hydrated. Drink regularly throughout the day, preventing dehydration related symptoms, such as headache and hunger. Practice, drinking fluids on waking up and every hour throughout the day.
6. Practice being still and quiet. Meditation really works. Sitting, Lying or even walking in silence focusing on your breathing and becoming aware of your physical body has been shown to produce incredible stress relieving abilities. Meditation can also be whatever calms your busy mind and allows you to wind down without your phone.
7. Have Some Fun. Find ways to engage in something each day or week that makes you smile, gives you that feel good factor, something that even makes you feel free.
8. Get out in Nature. There is much evidence of the benefits of getting into nature. Go sit on the beach and watch a sunset, or take a walk listening to the sea, feel the grass between your toes in a green park, go hiking in the mountains.
All of these we can enjoy here in the UAE (season depending).
If you can relate to this article in any way and want to improve your health and lose weight then I urge you to contact our fitness team in Dubai.
Nothing is achieved overnight and it isn’t about being perfect, there will always be a certain amount of life pressure, no one is void of this entirely. However, learning more about your needs, practicing finding more balance, more calm will reduce your stress in the long run and improve quality of life and health.
We are here to help you contact us for more information today 056 2345494 or email [email protected]