Physical Stress

Stress is a normal part of life. Many events that happen to you and around you and many things that you do yourself put stress on your body.

Hi this is Grant Herbert, international speaker and sustainable performance coach, and I want to continue our conversation around stress this week by looking at Physical Stress.

Stress is any change in the environment that requires your body to react and adjust its response. Your body reacts to these changes with mental, emotional and physical responses.

So how does Stress affect your health?

Let’s face it, the human body is designed to experience stress and then respond to it.

Positive Stress, called ”eustress”, comes from events such as getting a promotion or being given greater responsibilities at work.

Negative Stress, called “distress", is when you face continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between them. As a result, you become overworked and stress-related tension builds.

Distress can lead to physical symptoms like headaches, digestive problems, elevated blood pressure, chest pain and sleep disorders.

Research suggests that distress can also bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

Stress also becomes very harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs to try to relieve their stress.

Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.

Consider the following statistics from the Mayo Clinic:

  • 43% percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • 75 to 90% of all doctor's visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress can play a part in problems such as asthma, arthritis, heart problems, skin conditions, depression and anxiety. 
  • The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realise it. You may think illness is to blame for that irritating headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work, but stress may actually be the cause. 

In Australia, 1 in 5 people suffer distress to the point of a mental illness. In some occupations like law, it’s often quoted as high as 1 in 2.

You must act now to manage your stress

If you have stress symptoms, taking steps to manage your stress can have many health benefits. 

Explore some stress management strategies such as:

  • Getting regular physical activity
  • Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage
  • Keeping a sense of humour
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music.

You are better served when you find active ways to manage your stress.

Inactive ways to manage stress, such as watching television, surfing the internet or playing video games, may seem relaxing but they may increase your stress over the long term.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Avoid tobacco use, excess caffeine and alcohol, and the use of illegal substances.

It might be time for you to ask for some help.

If you're not sure if stress is the cause or if you've taken steps to control your stress but your symptoms continue, see your doctor or other healthcare provider who may want to check for other potential causes.

Consider seeing a professional coach, counsellor or therapist, who can help you identify sources of your stress and learn new coping tools.

It’s time to take a stand against your stress and make some changes now, instead of waiting too long like I did and my body just gave up.

Let me help you learn from my experience.

Grab your copy of my eBook and then register for the FREE Stress Reduction Maximiser online course where I unpack my 3 hot tips to reduce your stress fast.


Well that’s it from me for another week. Join me again next week where we will continue the conversation around this silent killer called Stress. See you then. 

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