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Solutions to the 8 Most Frequent Stress Questions

The irony is that it’s form of annoying to seek out solutions about stress.

There’s a lot conflicting data on the market.

However in case you’re a well being and health skilled, your shoppers—perhaps even your folks and family members too—will seemingly flip to YOU for counsel.

They’ll ask issues like:

“Is stress REALLY poisonous?”

“Do you assume stress prompted this stomach fats I can’t lose?”


“Are these pink bumps from stress?”

(Why does everybody insist on displaying you their rashes??)

You need to assist, however arising with the appropriate solutions might be arduous, as a result of:

The suitable reply relies upon.

It will depend on WHO the asker is, WHAT their targets are, WHERE they’re ranging from, and HOW MUCH they’re keen and capable of change

The reality is, one-size-fits-all solutions to stress-related questions don’t exist.

Nevertheless, you’ll be able to construct a powerful basis of information about stress that may assist you to reply these questions with extra confidence and experience.

On this article, we’ll attempt to offer you some assets to try this.

If you would like, learn the next Q and As from high to backside. Or, simply soar to those that curiosity you essentially the most:

Query #1. Is stress actually dangerous for you?

Query #2. What are the indicators of stress?

Query #3. Is stress making me acquire / reduce weight?

Query #4. How can I cease stress consuming?

Query #5. How do I do away with stress?

Query #6. How do I slot in stress-management methods and self-care?

Query #7. Is there a weight-reduction plan that may assist cut back stress?

Query #8. Is there any strategy to cool stress quick?

Query #1. Is stress BAD for you?

Sure and no. It’s all about the appropriate quantities—for YOU.

The connection between stress and well being has gained much more consideration and validity up to now 30 years.

Because of this, you’ve seemingly discovered to affiliate stress with every kind of horrible issues: coronary heart assaults, hair loss, early loss of life.

And whereas extreme, unrelenting stress positively erodes well being, let’s clear one thing up:

Not all stress is dangerous.

In truth, so as to thrive, we really want some stress to really feel juicy, purposeful, and alive.

Graph shows a reverse bell-curve where very low stress reduces performance, medium stress optimizes performance, and very high stress reduces performance

Because the above chart exhibits, it’s all about discovering a stress “candy spot.”

Go too far in both excessive, and also you’ll really feel crummy.

How do you discover your stress “candy spot”?

Stress that’s long-lasting, relentless, and demoralizing can be the form of stress that’s related to despair and anxiousness, heart problems, diabetes, stroke, and most cancers.1

In case you’re coping with these sorts of stressors, contemplate the place you’ve management, and attempt to cut back—and even keep away from—them when you’ll be able to.

Additionally, ask for assist. Typically having one other individual round to deal with an issue with you makes the distinction between feeling such as you’re drowning and feeling such as you’ll make it to the shore.

On the flip aspect, when stress happens in shorter bursts, and you are feeling like you’ve some management over it, in addition to alternatives to recuperate in between, it could really assist you to develop into stronger and extra resilient over time.

This sort of stress tends to really feel empowering: It helps construct you up; not break you down.

One massive complication…

What feels annoying is extremely subjective.

Seems, your notion of stress has a big effect on how stress feels—and what it does to your well being.

In case you imagine stress is at all times horrible and must be averted in any respect prices, you’ll be extra prone to cling to your consolation zone, concern the long run and what may occur, and avoid conditions that would result in development.

(You’re additionally extra prone to expertise the damaging well being results of stress, like excessive cortisol.2)

In a merciless self-fulfilling prophecy, stress really does develop into extra dangerous.

Nevertheless, in case you imagine stress could make you stronger, wiser, and extra resilient, you’ll be extra prone to proactively remedy issues, search out difficult experiences—and profit from stress in your life.

Fortunately, you’ve some management over your notion.

Within the spirit of serving to you shift your perspective, listed here are some examples of how some stress can really enrich varied points of life:

▶ Stress can strengthen relationships. Some battle is definitely essential for wholesome, safe relationships—it’s a pathway to higher perceive others. By working by means of issues collectively, we develop collectively.

▶ Stress could make you smarter. Managed successfully, stress helps you focus your consideration, plan for future challenges, and improve reminiscence and studying. Stressors would possibly even really feel like enjoyable puzzles to resolve.

▶ Stress can construct muscle tissues and endurance. That is most likely the obvious instance, however most of us know that intermittent bodily stress—say, from a exercise—couped with applicable restoration helps your physique develop into stronger and extra succesful.

Select to imagine that stress has the capability to profit you. It may possibly assist you to be taught, develop, and stay an even bigger, extra adventurous and significant life.


Query #2. What are the indicators of stress?

The indicators and signs of stress rely a bit of on whether or not the stress is acute or continual.

Acute stress (assume: a automotive simply swerved in entrance of you) typically causes your sympathetic nervous system to ramp up, which releases hormones equivalent to epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol.

With acute stress, you would possibly discover:

  • Your coronary heart beats a bit of sooner
  • Your respiration will get deeper and faster
  • You are feeling a burst of power, alertness, giddiness, and/or focus
  • You would possibly really feel a bit of shaky and even nauseous, if the stress was intense

The stress response is built-in. You don’t must assume consciously about it; your physique simply responds mechanically on this strategy to all stressors.

Fortunately, the restoration response can be built-in. As soon as a risk recedes, your coronary heart charge and respiration will return to regular, and also you’ll really feel calm once more.

Two graphs compare acute stress versus chronic stress. In acute stress, stress coupled with deep recovery leads to better performance over time. In chronic stress, stress coupled with inadequate recovery leads to worse performance over time.

Persistent stress is when that sympathetic activation lasts for days, weeks, or months, with out ample alternatives for restoration.

Similar to a rollercoaster, stress can really feel energizing briefly bouts—however like a nauseating nightmare in case you can’t get off the trip. Not surprisingly, continual stress is extra prone to take a toll in your bodily and psychological well being.

Indicators of continual stress embrace:

  • Extreme worrying or anxiousness
  • Low temper or power
  • Poor urge for food, OR an elevated want to “stress eat”
  • Digestive issues like heartburn or constipation
  • Hassle sleeping
  • Unfocused or foggy pondering
  • Feeling remoted or irritable with others
  • Frequent colds, flus, or infections
  • Hassle recovering from exercises, or aches and pains normally
  • Low intercourse drive

Whereas the stress response is regular and useful for short-lived bouts of problem and pleasure, we’re not meant to stay in a continuing state of activation and risk.

Stress feels finest when it’s damaged up with intervals of restoration.


The distinction between stress and anxiousness

Everybody experiences stress.

Most individuals may also expertise anxiousness.

(Not less than to some extent, in some unspecified time in the future.)

Anxiousness typically entails bodily signs—pressure, elevated coronary heart charge, sweating.

However the hallmark facet of hysteria is a persistent feeling of apprehension or dread.

Though this sense typically looks like it arises from nowhere, it’s often prompted—and perpetuated—by damaging ideas and ruminations like, “I’m by no means going to get by means of this” or “Everybody goes to guage me.”

(Overly damaging or catastrophic ideas are additionally referred to as “cognitive distortions.” Learn extra about cope with them right here: The thought software that may decrease your stress immediately)

Stress often begins in response to an occasion or scenario, and ends when that scenario has resolved.

However with anxiousness, the “risk” tends to persist even past the scope or length of the occasion.

Whereas stress can set off useful variations, anxiousness tends to not be tremendous productive. In extra, it could really feel fairly debilitating.

The excellent news

Many stress administration strategies are additionally efficient at decreasing anxiousness.

Journaling, train, social connection, and rest workouts like breathwork or constructive visualization will help with each stress and anxiousness.

Nevertheless, if anxiousness is very intense, long-lasting, or interferes together with your high quality of life, it’s finest to seek the advice of a healthcare skilled like a therapist or a household physician.

In case you’re a coach, do not forget that you’re not certified to diagnose or deal with medical anxiousness or despair. In case your shopper struggles with both, one of the simplest ways you’ll be able to help them is to refer out to a medical skilled who focuses on psychological well being.

(Making an attempt to assist shoppers with their psychological well being? Learn this primary: “I’m a coach, not a therapist!” 9 methods to assist individuals change whereas staying inside your scope)

Query #3. Is stress making me acquire / reduce weight?


However extra seemingly, stress is affecting your behaviors. And consuming behaviors positively have an effect on physique composition.

Right here’s the way it works

While you’re burdened, your physiology modifications—a minimum of briefly.

Your physique’s acute stress response and the accompanying spike in adrenaline releases saved glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream so you’ve power to cope with no matter problem you’re going through.

This enhance in blood sugar can cut back your urge for food, making you push away your sandwich even in case you haven’t eaten all day.

The stress response additionally dampens digestion.

Even whenever you do eat, meals would possibly really feel prefer it’s simply sitting in your intestine not shifting anyplace, or it’d blast by means of you so quick that you just’re afraid to stray too removed from a washroom. As a result of digestion is compromised, you additionally could not adequately take in your meals.

It’s by means of each lack of urge for food and lack of absorption that some individuals reduce weight during times of stress.

Then again, weight acquire during times of stress is simply as widespread.

Particularly when stress turns into continual, the stress hormone cortisol will increase. Cortisol can enhance urge for food, particularly for carbohydrate- and calorie-rich meals.3 4

Most individuals discover consuming pleasurable and soothing, so turning to meals throughout occasions of stress is a typical (and comprehensible) coping mechanism. After all, when this turns into a behavior, extra energy over time can result in weight acquire.

If that’s one thing you wrestle with, take a look at the following reply beneath.


Query #4. How can I cease stress consuming?

Greater than 60 p.c of our new shoppers listing emotional or stress consuming as a significant vitamin problem. What’s extra, over 50 p.c say in addition they “get intense cravings” and “snack when not hungry.”

Graph shows results of a poll where participants were asked “What’s your biggest nutritional challenge. The most popular answer was “Emotional/stress eating.”

In case you relate, it is likely to be a aid to know you’re not alone. After all, that’s little comfort when your fingers are fumbling for crumbs on the backside of a freshly opened bag of peanut butter pretzel bites.

However what in case you realized this conduct happens…

  • Each time your mother calls?
  • On Sunday nights, whenever you’re dreading the beginning of a brand new week?
  • Everytime you see, odor, or hear one thing that reminds you of your ex?

Emotional consuming and intense cravings are usually a part of a sample of conduct that’s triggered by a particular expertise—a thought, feeling, and/or scenario.

In case you can establish the set off, you’ll be able to disrupt the sample of conduct and make totally different selections.

Use the “Break the chain” worksheet to assist shoppers establish their emotional and stress consuming triggers. Then, apply the step-by-step technique on the finish of it to create and strengthen various coping mechanisms.


Query #5. How do I do away with stress?

You’ll by no means totally rid your lifetime of stress.

Nor would you need to.

As we’ve talked about, stress is a standard—even good—a part of a full, significant life.

Nevertheless, many people find yourself with stress ranges that really feel overly disruptive or unhelpful.

Typically, that’s not possible to keep away from. In some unspecified time in the future, most individuals will face very tough intervals of unavoidable stress: sickness, accidents, monetary hardships, pure disasters, or a pandemic.

However typically, you’ve some management. Perhaps much more than you assume.

At PN, we use an train referred to as The Spheres of Management.

(If you would like, fill out your personal spheres of management utilizing this free worksheet.)

Image shows three circles nested within each other. The biggest circle includes things over which you have no control, like the weather. The middle circle includes things over which you have some control, like your schedule. The smallest center circle includes things over which you have total control, like your mindset.

With the Spheres of Management train, you establish what areas you really have energy over and focus extra on them.

This typically not solely helps individuals really feel much less overwhelmed and burdened, but in addition more practical, succesful, and in management.

What about these areas you’ve zero management over?

By seeing the fact on paper (or a display screen), you can provide your self permission to cease wasting your power attempting to regulate the uncontrollable. And that in itself will help relieve stress and anxiousness.


Query #6. How do I slot in self-care?

Typically, including extra restoration might be simply as efficient as decreasing stress.

While you recuperate, you regain, restore, or recuperate what you’ve misplaced. And you come back to your baseline state of wellbeing, well being, and efficiency.

Sounds nice, besides… what in case you really feel such as you don’t have time to ADD anything, even when it’s good for you?

A paradigm shift which may assist

As a substitute of taking a look at stress administration as an “on” or “off” change—you’re both doing ALL the issues or NOTHING—consider it extra like a “dial.”

The picture beneath exhibits what stress restoration would possibly seem like on a continuum, from devoting 5 minutes a day to one thing restorative, all the way in which to principally making it your job to be a Grasp of Chill.

(If you wish to see how this idea applies to different habits—like these associated to vitamin or health—take a look at this infographic: By no means press “pause” in your well being and health once more)

Image shows a dial illustrating the range of actions you can do to reduce stress, starting from least effort, to most effort. A “1” represents 5 minutes of de-stressing, whereas a “10” represents filling most days with relaxing and restorative activities.

To use this idea, begin by figuring out your baseline: Are your stress administration practices at the moment at a 1 or 2? Or perhaps even a 0?

In that case, no judgment. That is simply your place to begin.

Take into consideration what “a bit of higher” would possibly seem like.

Even by one or two “notches.”

Would possibly you add 5 minutes of journaling to your night routine? Or a ten minute stroll to get some solar and recent air within the morning? Contemplate what only a little higher would possibly seem like, and begin there.

For the additional frazzled, it’d assist to know that typically the BEST time to start out a brand new behavior is whenever you’re busiest.

In case you can be taught to suit stress administration practices into your life whenever you’re swamped, it’ll really feel like a breeze to maintain them in there—and even construct on them—when life settles down.

(And if life by no means settles down, a minimum of you didn’t delay your self-care additional ready for the “excellent time.”)


Query #7. Is there a weight-reduction plan that may assist cut back stress?

Everywhere in the web, you’ll discover healing diets for stress and anxiousness. They put meals into neat little classes, and as long as you ONLY eat “do” meals—and judiciously get rid of “don’t” meals—your stress will go away.

If solely feeling higher had been that straightforward.

Reality is, good psychological well being will depend on many totally different vitamins from many totally different meals, in addition to a set of basic vitamin ideas, like:

  • Getting sufficient power (energy) to cowl your power wants
  • Assembly macronutrient (proteins, carbohydrates, and fat) and micronutrient (nutritional vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients) wants
  • Consuming sufficient water
  • Consuming at common occasions, no matter meaning for you
  • Consuming principally minimally-processed meals (like fruits, greens, complete grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, animal proteins, and dairy)
  • Consuming slowly and mindfully
  • Having fun with your meals, and the corporate you share it with

Persistently neglecting the above can add stress.

Prioritizing them—which doesn’t imply doing them completely—might be the best vitamin technique to scale back stress.

If that listing appears to be like overwhelming, simply begin from wherever you might be proper now, and easily goal to eat “a bit of higher.”

Image shows a horizontal scale going from red (needs improvement) to green (doing awesome). If you are in the red, you may try aiming for orange or yellow, or just a little bit better, before you get to green.]

Select one apply to work on from the above listing, and in a few weeks, consider whether or not you’re able to construct on it.

Grasp the basics, and also you’ll see that they’re fairly efficient on their very own, no magic weight-reduction plan wanted.


Query #8. Is there a strategy to calm stress quick?

It doesn’t matter what’s occurring in your life, one of the crucial efficient, accessible methods to chill stress FAST is just to breathe.

Gradual, deep respiration stimulates your vagus nerve (the primary nerve of your “rest-and-digest” system), which will help chill out your complete physique.

In flip, this reduces not solely your physiological response to emphasize but in addition your emotional response.

While you’re calmer and extra relaxed, you make higher choices. You’re capable of focus higher. You are feeling extra in management. And deliberate respiration strategies will help.

One respiration approach we like known as “Field respiration.” It breaks the breath cycle into 4 4-second-long phases (just like the 4 sides of a sq.).

Right here’s do it

  1. Take a four-second inhale by means of your nostril. However don’t simply “breathe into your stomach.” Attempt to pull the air into your chest and mid-back with out letting your ribs flare out. (You’ll really feel some pressure in your abs.)
  2. Maintain your inhale for 4 seconds.
  3. Exhale for 4 seconds. Think about that you just’re slowly blowing out an enormous sigh. Hold your physique relaxed, however put a bit of pressure into your abs so that you just really feel them pulling your ribs down and in, towards your backbone.
  4. Maintain your exhale for 4 seconds.

Repeat as many occasions as you’d like. (And really feel higher.)


Stress is uncomfortable, nevertheless it additionally helps us develop.

If you’re burdened about answering your shoppers stress-related questions, consider it this fashion:

This is a chance to increase and deepen your information and training abilities.

(See? We’re making use of a resilience-building mindset already!)

Being a coach who helps shoppers handle their stress entails, sure, realizing about stress.

But it surely additionally means being a fellow human who can relate to their struggles.

Alongside your shoppers, you’ll be able to use your information about stress and restoration to tackle challenges, and develop into a greater coach—and individual—than you had been earlier than.


Click on right here to view the knowledge sources referenced on this article.

In case you’re a well being and health professional…

Studying assist shoppers handle stress and optimize sleep can massively change your shoppers’ outcomes.

They’ll get “unstuck” and eventually transfer ahead—whether or not they need to eat higher, transfer extra, reduce weight, or reclaim their well being.

Plus, it’ll provide the confidence and credibility as a specialised coach who can remedy the most important issues blocking any shoppers’ progress.

The brand-new PN Stage 1 Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification will present you the way.




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