Stress impacts all of us. Sometimes it's good, other times not so good, and balancing your stress levels and finding your "sweet spot" is the ticket to better health and fitness.
My guess is most of us struggle. Particularly so after a pandemic!
Today I want you to think about your stress, how you feel, and if you want to improve yourself then read the article I am sharing below and follow the steps to fill in your "Stress Web" to get started.
Your first step to change is now...
ARTICLE FROM PRECISION NUTRITION:
What Does Your Stress Web Look Like?
Sometimes it really helps to see things on paper. Your stressors are no exception. That’s why, today, we’re sharing a free PDF called the Stress Web.
It’s designed to help you (or your clients) clearly see what areas of your life are most affected by stress. So instead of just thinking, ‘I’m so stressed out,’ or ‘My whole life is a mess,’ you can zero-in on the specific sources of your stress. The benefit: This better enables you to problem-solve. Let’s walk through it. Every person has a unique “stress signature.” In other words, people can respond very differently to the same stressor. What affects one person tremendously may not bother another person at all. Enter the Stress Web, a worksheet we use with our own clients here at PN. It helps you map stressors to the various areas of YOUR life—and gives you a visual depiction of their magnitude. Here’s What to Do 1. Color in each wedge with how strongly that particular stressor is affecting you right now. The more stressful something feels, the more of the segment you’ll color in.
2. Take a look at the colored-in areas, asking questions like, “What’s adding to your stress level in that area?” 3. Use the “little bit better” mindset to brainstorm practical and productive ways to more effectively manage those stressors. Which is to say: You don’t have to eliminate a stressor completely. That’d no doubt be AWESOME, but it also might feel impossible. Instead, ask yourself: What could I do to make this a little better? That doesn’t always mean decreasing the stressor. In some cases, the most effective approach could be increasing your recovery. Think about the balance of stress and recovery as a tank that can be simultaneously filled (recovery) and drained (stress).
▶ To add more water to the tank, plug the leak by decreasing stress. ▶ If that’s not possible, you can also turn up the faucet by adding recovery. ▶ Or, do both: Lower stress while increasing rest and recovery. And again… It doesn’t have to be all about the big things. For example, our client Zahra—who works from home—noticed that the environmental and mental segments of her stress web were particularly high. After some thought, Zahra made a couple of changes. She: ► bought noise-canceling headphones to drown out her cacophonous household ► installed apps on her computer to block certain websites during periods of the day Those strategies might seem “too simple to work,” but they allowed her to cut down on unproductive distractions and better focus on her tasks. After a month, Zahra was feeling more clear-headed and actually started enjoying her workday more. Plus, she had way more energy. She hadn’t realized how depleting all those competing distractions had been. Want to try it yourself? Download your own copy of the Stress Web at no cost, courtesy of our Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery education team.