Is stress effecting your health? – Separating the good from the bad and the ugly
An important part of improving your health is to determine what parts of your current lifestyle are either contributing or taking away from your health goals.
A good idea is to make a list of all the things that you find benefit your life and your health and then also a list for the opposite. You can list almost anything, from eating habits to leisure activities, family, relationships, exercise, beliefs, supplements, alcohol, drugs etc.
This is a list that is personal to you. It is a look back at things that have made you happy in the past and have contributed to good energy and feelings of well-being. On the flip side you also identify things that have robbed you of energy, made you feel low or taken away from your health.
Once you have completed your list, which may take some time, then pick the top 5 most significant in each section, rating them from 1-5 in their importance, 1 being the most and 5 being the least.
After you have done this select the highest-ranking one from the “bad for me” column. Look at how destructive this is being to your health and vitality and consider how you can:
- Change the situation
- Change yourself to fit (adapt to/reframing) the situation
- Leave the situation / remove the stressor
Do this with every one of the top 5 that you have highlighted from this task.
As you start to address the negative influences start to now introduce the positive influences into your daily habits. The goal is to eventually have many more positive habits than negative ones.
The result of increasing the things you do that you enjoy and that give you energy and vitality is an increase in overall health and well-being. In some this can bring significant improvements in the effects of stress on the rest of their physiology.
In the past I have seen clients that after changing things such as their job and or removing themselves from bad relationships, end up overcoming symptoms associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, IBS and inability to lose body fat.
Whilst I firmly believe what you eat, your sleep, eating habits, and appropriate movement makes up many of the foundation principles for health and body composition changes, never underestimate the effect of your thoughts on your physiology.