At FEAT we believe there are 5 main pillars to health and wellbeing:
One thing that drastically impacts these areas of wellness is a little thing called stress. It is actually so interesting how stress seeps in and can chip away at all elements of health. If you're stressed you struggle to find time to train, often overeating is linked to higher stress, it impacts the quality of your sleep and you become less present in your world in general, meaning you tend to simply enjoy life less.
But what is stress and how does it impact us?
Stress is the body’s natural defence against real or imagined danger. It flushes the body with hormones to prepare systems to evade or confront danger. An incredibly wise and gifted person I know gave me an insight into this topic. Saying there are 3 main types of stresses.
Acute stress - This is your fight or flight responses. Something stressful is happening or you have been forced into reactive thinking and your body responds. This is the type of stress that we use are using to benefit our physical health at training. The feature of this stress is that it finishes within a relatively short period of time. At the end of a training session, your heart rate comes back down to its regular state, you stop sweating and when the stimulus ends your physical response finishes as well.
Sustained Stress - This is when you're stress hangs around for an extended period of time. It is something that our bodies had to learn to deal with as we have evolved and is a mechanism that allowed us to go through periods of drought or famine. The physiological responses to this Sustained Stress is our bodies mechanism to help us survive and get us into action. Hence, our mind radiates on a certain problem with the inability to let it, providing enough mental pressure to get into action. Physically, we begin to store energy reserves (predominantly fats) to protect our brain and other vital organs in case this famine continues for a long period of time.
Sustained Acute Stress - This is where you have acute stress on the system, but for a sustained amount of time. Mostly, this would be things like endurance events (marathons) or things like migration and persistence hunting.
The body is an intelligent operating system, but the body can not determine the difference between the life-threatening external threat from imagined or perceived non-life-threatening stressors. The body reacts the same either way.
This is all just something to keep in mind when thinking about your wellness. It's always worth checking in to see if your stresses affecting the 5 components of your health.