Understanding Stress


Today’s Teaching is from Counselor, Emily Wright Lee:

Please Print, fill out and complete this link below before your next class:

Click on this link: “Symptoms of Stress”


Stress, being the cause of most doctor visits in the United States, is a huge problem in modern societies. It negatively affects immune response, sleep, and food cravings semicolon and is responsible for systemic inflammation, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and irritability.  we could cut out so many of these doctor visit if we realized one thing –  stress is the silent killer.

Stress is often classified as a negative emotion, but a certain amount of stress can make you more resilient to life’s challenges and obstacles. Stress can sometimes bring out the best of us, pushing past limits we did not know existed. 

Check out this below sheet (ignore the fact that it says teen, these are applicable for adults too. Which ones sound like you? Which ones do you fall prey to most?

Stress can impact:

  • Sleep quality
  • Food choices – often the sugar binge

++That sugar impact can crash your:

  • mood
  • increase chronic inflammation 

+++Researchers believe inflammation is a major driver for:

  • mood disorders 
  • depression 
  • Increase blood glucose levels, putting you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other problems.  
  • Lower the Immune system 


Signs and symptoms vary but include:

  • low energy
  • Insomnia
  • lack of focus
  • frequent colds
  • low sex drive
  • negative self-feelings 

*Left unchecked, chronic stress can create depression and other mood disorders, digestive problems, weight gain, and many other problems. Keep in mind that it is much easier/quicker to prevent a mental health concern than to treat one. Although mental health treatment is largely effective, it requires a considerable amount of time (e.g., ~4 weeks for medication, ~8 sessions of therapy). Therefore, preventative efforts via self-care and stress management are incredibly valuable!


You cannot completely avoid stress, but you can learn to more effectively manage it so chronic levels don’t impede your health, happiness, and overall well-being. Leaders are often great at thinking about the well-being of others; however, they sometimes struggle with prioritizing their own well-being. Are you giving out too much of yourself and is your tank feeling empty? Could you make some changes to feel more rejuvenated and full? Lack of self-care can lead to sleep troubles, fatigue, reduced mental effectiveness, mood concerns, and health concerns. When individuals become stressed, they often claim they “don’t have time for self-care;” when in reality, the higher the stress, the more important self-care becomes.


So much of handling stress comes down to self-care

And self-care isn’t always an activity – sometimes it involves removing things (e.g., setting limits within relationships, taking time away from work, delegating responsibilities) And sometimes it’s just simple little changes that go a long way. (e.g., wearing comfortable clothes, wearing your favorite smells, fidget devices, small breaks between tasks, thinking about what you’re grateful for, mindfulness) By maintaining awareness of our own stress level and in times of high stress we can intentionally take care of ourselves. 


Burn-out Awareness…

“Burn-out” is most commonly defined by unusual fatigue/exhaustion, lack of motivation, and performance declines. Truthfully, I think the word is overused and often misunderstood. What I’m really talking about when I say “burn out” is that you’re experiencing some signs that something in your life, or in your training IS NOT SUSTAINABLE. You likely won’t be able to keep up with all that you’re trying to do, and your body is giving you signs that it’s too much or not the right fit.

It’s often challenging to decipher if we are just feeling normal “wear and tear”  from a demanding schedule, or if there is something more detrimental going on. It’s best that you keep a pulse on your physical and emotional state and stay in regular communication with a training partner, coach or loved one about how you’re feeling and if you’re experiencing anything unusual.

Do you regularly feel fatigued, lethargic, fatigued, weak, or “out of gas” during your workouts? You could have mental signs like negative self-talk or feelings of discomfort. You might be recognizing physical signs like sloppy form, tripping up, slow movement or poor body language.


Answer yes or no to the questions below, and write down any other notes or thoughts that apply.

  1. Have you been feeling disinterested – Do you consistently feel that you don’t have any drive or passion?
  2. Have you been feeling lethargic – Do you regularly feel tired and like you’re dragging?
  3. Have you been feeling unmotivated – Have you started dreading your workouts and upcoming events? Are you regularly not having any fun at all?
  4. Have you been experiencing sickness and injury – Are you consistently feeling sick and do you have nagging injuries?
  5. Have you been having difficulty focusing – Is it tougher than usual for you to persevere towards your goals?
  6. Have you been experiencing performance slumps? – Are you noticing that you’re stuck or that your performance is declining or stagnant?
  7. Have you been having mood swings – Are you lashing out, or having uncommon negativity, anxiety, complaints or anger?
  8. Have you been experiencing difficulty eating or resting – Have you noticed that your regular recovery and nutrition strategies seem “off?”
  9. Have you been withdrawing – Are you pulling away from your training partners, friends, family or significant other?


If you’re only noticing 1-2 of these, then you’ll want to keep a pulse on them and make sure you’re aware of what shifts to make if your demands start to feel more unsustainable.


If you’re noticing several of these physical and emotional signs, then it’s likely time to make a change. Pay close attention to these signs and express your feelings and emotions before they become a bigger issue. 

These signs are often experienced because you are training or living at a pace that isn’t sustainable.