Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Good stress, bad stress
I know when my stress levels are easing off because my appetite returns. I always have great food on offer but when I'm stressed I eat very little. Today I was absolutely starving, I had my lunch twenty minutes early and then had a full packet of potato chips from the vending machine as well because I was still so hungry. Dinner is cooking at the moment and I am resisting the urge to eat something before. It's strange because I know when I'm stressed I don't eat and I don't sleep, yet others go the opposite way and eat and sleep more. What a funny thing the body is.
Hubby bought me a treadmill for my birthday, which was after I continually told him that's what I wanted (okay I nagged). I used it religiously every day for three weeks. Then I landed flat on my back on rocks outside my mum and dad's house when they were moving and I was carrying a television. Lets just say that I could barely walk for a week and then it took another month to get back to walking without pain. So, I've been a little lax, okay very lax for the last 5 months in getting back on it. Not sure where my motivation went on that one, but I need to get back on it.
The last few days I've started to gain a real understanding (and respect) for just what is involved in a project of the size on which I am working. There's a lot of stress involved in what we're doing due to the numerous competing interests and groups as well as the pre-determined timelines to have certain activities completed.
The thing is there's a difference between good and bad stress. Stress is a feeling that's created when we react to particular events. It's the body's way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness. When your body becomes stressed, your sympathetic nervous system invokes the fight-or-flight stress response, which gets your body into a heightened state of readiness, preparing you to react.
Stress can be a good thing when faced with challenges because it provides a burst of energy, boosts the immune system and helps you to accomplish more. When it happens often and is on-going over a period of time then it can be harmful to your health and well being. This is especially the case when it starts to affect sleep patterns, appetite and other areas of your life (these 2 paragraphs are from here and are slightly modified by me)
Life is full of stressful moments and I accept that sometimes it's unavoidable. What I need to learn to do is become more attuned to my body and not let it get to the levels that I let it. Eating properly, exercising, sleeping and doing relaxing things all assist in maintaining good stress levels.
When all else fails - perhaps its as simple as 'mindfully disconnecting' from toxic situations and people in my life (Thanks for this moment of wisdom Karyn) Okay, so as Karyn also points out minimising the effect that toxic people and / or situations have on your life is not quite that easy, but surely being aware and taking steps to minimise is the first step towards being a happier me.
So I'm off to eat my delectable dinner, take a spin on the treadmill and then have a nice sound sleep (which it will be, because hubby is on nightshift and I get to spread out across the whole bed and have no snoring to contend with)
Have a lovely stress-free night people.
Stress: The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some jerk who desperately deserves it
Posted by Fiona Biedermann