Stress: “A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.” (Webster’s Dictionary)


Stress Reduction relies on the individual’s ability to remain or return to a state of balance. The physiological response to stress places the body out of balance, adding to the emotional confusion and lack of clarity present in a stressful or crisis situation. Stress is real and damaging to our physical and emotional health. In the definition above, the factor that stress imposes on the vulnerability to disease is stated quite clearly. When we are stressed, disease can follow. Therefore, teaching my clients the value and tools to reduce stress remains one of the most important and focused aspects of Life Coaching.

There are three aspects of Stress: Physical, Chemical, and Emotional. Notice the intellect is not mentioned. The Intellect is our tool to combat stress through choice, thought control, and problem solving. The difficulty lies in the universal dimension of Emotion. Emotion always out wins the Intellect. You can be the brightest person in the world, and yet intense emotions such as fear, worry, and anger can leave you crippled to fight back against stress. But – you can use thoughts, choice, and self talk to sooth your emotions, and by doing so train your physical body to respond and conquer stress.

The Emotional Aspect of Stress: Feelings of being overwhelmed, confused, and overburdened.

The Combatant: Thoughts of being in control, clarity of thought and personal capabilities.

The Chemical Aspect of Stress: The release of adrenaline, and cortisol into the blood stream by the adrenal cortex causing a fight or flight response. The release of cortisol raises blood pressure, blood sugars, and reduces the immune system.

The Combatant: The release of stress reducing hormones such as endorphins through completing a challenging task, or physical exertion.

The Physical Aspect of Stress: Muscle tension, pain, soreness, headaches, digestive problems, decreased physical energy.

The Combatant: Physical Relaxation through progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, and meditation.

When faced with STRESS use the three COMBATANTS. Of course utilizing all three together will provide you with the greatest resiliency possible.

Engage in thought control by consciously deciding what you DO have control over, and what you DO NOT. Release the struggle over things you do not have control over. Let it go. Focus instead on things you do have control over. Call your abilities and talents to focus on a goal which will move you toward a desired outcome.

Maintain or return hormonal balance through diet, mental challenges, and physical exertion. Add protein throughout your day. The addition of protein raises serotonin levels in your brain improving your well-being, energy level, and mood. Stay away from foods which raise your insulin levels making you absorb the sugars in your blood stream under stress. Yes, stress can make you fat! Choose whole grain carbohydrates rather than white flour. Stay away from sugar.

Endorphins are powerful anti-stress power balls that carry feel good tingles through your body – naturally. The release of endorphins happens after a prolonged physical exertion. Generally 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity kicks it in. The longer the period of exertion, the greater the effect. What you may not know, feel good endorphins are also released after completing a challenging task as well. Accomplishment combats stress.

Learning to sooth your physical body with relaxation techniques provides you with a self-soothing tool to use anywhere to combat stress. 15 minutes of clearing your head, releasing physical tension, and focusing on your breath drastically alters the tension in your body. Practice makes perfect. Find a quite place surround yourself with elements that sooth your soul, give yourself the opportunity to provide your mind and body with PEACE. Breath slowly, focus on soothing thoughts, GIVE to yourself. Create an environment of peace and let yourself just be. PEACE combats stress.

Create balance in your life through accomplishments, healthy choices, and a peaceful environment. Manage your priorities to leave time to engage in stress prevention through physical activity, relaxation, and enjoyment.


Life Coach Nova Reed
Step Stones For Life

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Author's Bio: 

Nova Reed founded the life coaching business Step Stones For Life as a venue dedicated to helping others create a Preferred Life through meaningful goals, balance, health, and creativity. Nova received her B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior with an emphasis in Health Psychology from the University of California Irvine. She furthered her education and training at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology receiving her M.A. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Step Stones For Life is located in Orange County, California providing creative coaching for individuals, couples, children, and businesses.