Are you suffering from Stress Denial Syndrome?
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word stress? If you’re like some of my clients you probably think: I don’t have stress! Not me. I can handle it. My life is a little crazy sometimes, but isn’t everybody’s?
After hearing this from a client, I like to ask, So what is it that brings you to see me, a Holistic Health Coach?
“I work out 5 times per week. I know how to eat healthy. But no matter what I do I can’t seem to lose the last 10 pounds. Plus I have problems sleeping and I feel bloated often.”
Now, let me explain a bit about how stress affects the body. Every time your email inbox fills up beyond control or your 3 year old throws a tantrum in a busy restaurant your body reacts the same as if you were being chased by a lion. In order to help you “get out of danger” your sympathetic nervous system is triggered and your fight or flight response kicks in, which causes the following:
- Your blood pressure shoots up
- Blood flows to your extremities away from your digestive system, effectively shutting it down
- Your body chooses to burn sugar instead of fat because it needs quick energy to “get out of danger”
- Last, but not least, chronic stress causes your adrenal glands to produce an abundance of cortisol, a fat-storing hormone that makes it very difficult to lose weight
This scenario is rather common among my clients, who are busy, successful, professional women. I call it Stress Denial Syndrome. Stress Denial Syndrome is when someone exhibits all the signs of chronic stress but swears they aren’t stressed. I can identify with this myself.
WHAT STRESS DENIAL COSTS US
So why do we deny the stress? Because of our beliefs. Perhaps we believe we should be all things to all people. Maybe we believe stress makes us vulnerable. It could it be we believe we need to take care of everyone else before ourselves and stress would only get in the way of that.
These beliefs are harmless, right? Noble even. Well, maybe not. Here’s the issue. As long as we recognize the connection between stress and the state of our health, then we must be willing to shift our beliefs about stress in order to improve our health. We must commit to changing our inner dialogue and negative associations with stress.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL
For my clients, and perhaps for you, too, the goal is to CHANGE their relationship with stress so they can lose weight, sleep better, alleviate digestive issues and generally improve their lives.
There are 5 elements to CHANGE. The first is awareness and the second is an understanding of where the behavior comes from. So long as we deny our stress, we hinder our ability to change. And we stand in our own way of living the most healthy, vibrant, and fulfilling lives possible.
Think twice about your Stress Denial. Start by acknowledging the effects of stress on your life. Then be open to new solutions!
Lots of Love,
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