When Your Head’s Spinning…

…What should you do?

Eat paleo desserts! Lots of them. JUST KIDDING. Well, kind of.

What you should really do is chill out. Relax. Even if it’s just 20 minutes of sitting quietly, going for a walk or jog, or staring blankly at the television. Stress is something everyone encounters, but it’s really no good for anybody. Let’s talk about it. There are a couple different kinds of stress that I want to discuss: acute stress and chronic stress.

Acute stress comes from situations like a really tough 10 minute WOD at The Fort, or getting to meet Rich Froning (Fromance!), or having to wrestle a grizzly bear in Glacier National Park and win. They put us in a state of “fight or flight”. Palms and pits get sweaty, heart rate increases, you begin to stutter, etc. Acute stressors trigger a release of hormones (like adrenaline) and once they are over you can rest serenely, or rest in a state of exhaustion if you were wodding or fighting a grizzly bear, or pass out… The point is that this type of stress has a definite end point.

Chronic stress is the type of stress that a person experiences continually. Most of us lead very busy lives. Family obligation, friends who need support, kids that are involved with a million activities, aging parents that need assistance, our finances, that business deal we’ve been working on getting done, training for a marathon, homework, planning for a friend’s wedding…the list could go on forever. Chronic stress is much worse for our bodies than acute stress. Do not be mistaken, though. Too much acute stress adds up and can fry us just like chronic stress (i.e. too many intense WODs, not enough recovery = recipe for cortisol hell and adrenal fatigue). If we do not learn to manage the stress in our lives it can interfere with our sleep, keep our bodies from recovering, make us fat, speed up the development of diseases, and literally kill us.

I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here and type about how stress kills us or what you can try in an attempt to alleviate your stress, but I am going to refer you to some amazing articles that are must-reads when it comes to stress.

Mark’s Daily Apple Definitive Guide to Stress
MDA 10 Tips to Manage Stress
MDA How Stress Can Make You Fat
MDA The Three S’s

There are a ton more articles you should read on this topic (and other related topics) if you have a chance. I know, I am stressing you out with all of this “you should be reading more…” blah blah blah. But seriously, try to read at least a couple of them, identify some of the major causes of stress in your life, and brainstorm ways that will help you eliminate or alleviate stress. Make sure these solutions work for your lifestyle. It might take some trial an error, but remember, it takes a lot more effort and work to train the mind than to train the body. The good thing is that once you train your brain, your body will usually tag along. As usual, I am here to help, so let me know if you would like me to help you in any way!

Also, have a paleo dessert once in a while!

Katie takes time during mobility to find her Zen.

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