Are you feeling stressed and discouraged after watching the news? Stressors are everywhere. The state of the world is A LOT right now. You could distract yourself by numbing out, cracking open a beer or a bottle of wine and hope for better days, or you could work towards completing the stress response cycle. Little things we can do throughout our day to help move that stress chemistry and bring us back to calm.
One of the best ways to do this is through movement.
It doesn’t have to be a huge thing. You don’t need to do CrossFit or run 10km. It can be as simple as jumping up and down or heading outside for a brisk walk with your dog. I know it seems too good to be true, but these small actions help you complete the stress response cycle.
This is important because stressors and stress are not the same things. They sound the same, but they’re not. One is external, and the other is internal.
A lot of the time, we think that because we’ve dealt with the stressor, we’ve successfully handled the stress, but that’s not true. They are two separate things. A stressor is what activates the stress response within your body. Stressors can be anything. Something you hear, or witness, or imagine. And, there are external stressors too. Work, kids, traffic, you name it.
Stress is a cascade of hormones.
On the other hand, stress is a neurological and physiological shift that happens in your body when you encounter one of those stressors. Stress is a cascade of hormones that move throughout your body to help you stay alive and deal with that stressor. It actually quite impressive how our body adapts.
A lot of the time, we think if we deal with the stressor, we’ve managed our stress, but that’s just not the case. Your brain may know you’ve finished up that stressful project at work, but your body doesn’t. We need to do things to complete the stress cycle because if we don’t, it builds inside our body, and no one needs that shit laying around.
Stressors and stress are inevitable.
It’s a fact of life. Stressors and stress are inevitable, which is why it’s so important to manage them. I started skipping in March of last year when the quarantine hit as a way to move the stress chemistry through my body and complete the cycle. I went from owning one skipping rope to 7 Crossropes.
Don’t want to skip, that’s cool… walking works just as well—fresh air for the win. And, if you want to dive deeper into stress and its cycle, I highly recommend the book Burnout: The Secret To Unlocking the Stress Cycle. Life-changing!