Part 1: Identifying Stress
What is stress anyway?
We all know it right? We all have it. Its unavoidable. It’s a part of life.
But how does it affect us? How does it affect you specifically?
I find it extremely common for people to be disconnected from stress in their life, particularly on how it affects their daily life and functioning.
Here’s a typical conversation:
Me: How’s energy?
Patient: It’s hard to get out of bed. But once I get going I’m ok, as long as I keep busy. I’ll get tired if I take a break. By evening I’m exhausted.
Me: How about sleep?
Patient: I have trouble falling asleep. I’m tired but I can’t shut my mind off.
Me: How about stress? What’s that like in your life?
Patient: Oh not bad. I’m busy but I think I handle it well.
To me there are a few red flags about this chat. Things that aren’t quite normal and certainly not optimal. Can you spot them?
Maybe the word STRESS is the problem.
Maybe it’s too commonly used. Or has too much connotation to it. Perhaps OVERWHELM fits better.
Me: Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
Patient: All the time! Between work and the kid’s activities there’s not enough hours in the day. I know I should exercise but there’s no time and no energy. I often forget to eat and drink during the day.
Don’t get me wrong, our bodies, our physiology is resilient. We have the capacity to handle incredible stresses. BUT… there are limits. And if we push too hard for too long then we can start to break down… To burn out.
It’s like the Hoover Dam.
Super strong. Handles incredible amounts of force and pressure every day. But it wasn’t built and then ignored. There are constant maintenance checks and preventative repairs. If these didn’t happen how long would it be able to do its job? How long until it cracked. Or until it collapsed!
We need maintenance as well. You can’t just keep the pressure building and expect everything to hold up as it used to.
If the things that’s used to work don’t work anymore; if you don’t know where to start; or if you just want to stay ahead of the game instead of falling behind, Dr. Ryan Nakama ND can help with customized approach to fit your unique needs.
Stay tuned for part 2.