Stress is an inevitable part of the human experience. How an individual manages stress can make or break them. Ongoing stress with no outlet or resolution can and will eventually lead to anxiety, sleeplessness, and more serious mental and physical health crisis such as depression or cardiovascular disease. In this article, we will explore the definition and origins of stress and anxiety. We will also take a closer look at the biological effects of stress and anxiety. The most exciting part will be the discovery of the missing link that you can do all by yourself without relying on anyone or any drug or supplement. Once you have the answers, stress can come and go, but you will have the tools to neutralize its effects on your mental and physical state. You will have the ability to face life’s challenges head-on and stay the course until you achieve the optimal level of health and vitality you desire.
If you are reading this article, there is little doubt that you have suffered from chronic stress and anxiety. You still have hope, but you have not found an effective solution that has produced the state of well-being you are looking for. I have been there. I know what it is like to feel like you want to jump out of your own skin. I laid awake at night dreading the next day that I would have to face while both physically and mentally exhausted.
I am so grateful to be in a position to shine the light on an epidemic that is leading to the downfall of so many great men and women that simply have not come across these truths I am about to share. It was a painful road I had to travel, but now I have arrived at a place in my life where I am confident that no matter what comes my way I know I have what it takes to weather the storm. Now I want to give you the gift of knowing how to resolve the effects of stress. It is my duty and responsibility to deliver this message of hope and healing to a hurting world that is looking for answers.
Defining Stress and Anxiety
Stress can be defined as the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure. (Healthline, n.d.)
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. (Healthline, n.d.)
Stress can come in many forms that we do not have any control over, such as the loss of a loved one or the loss of a job. There are also stressors that are self-induced like staying in a toxic relationship, eating a diet of dead, processed, chemical-laden foods, procrastination and always running late, or taking on way too many obligations and not honoring your need for time to rest and relax. It is important to recognize the areas of your life that are producing unnecessary stress in your life and adjust, simplify and make room for things that bring you peace and joy instead of stress and anxiety.
Simply stated, stress induces the flight or fight response in the body as a defense mechanism for survival. Biochemically, the hypothalamus located at the center of the brain releases a surge of cortisol and adrenaline. The biochemical response is the same whether you are jarred awake by a loud alarm clock or being chased by a tiger. The thing is, in today’s society, the average man or woman is not being chased by a tiger. The stressors we experience are largely emotional such as a toxic boss, co-worker, or spouse. With inflation on the rise, many are faced with an increased strain on their financial well-being.
Cortisol and adrenaline are designed to induce immediate action to get you away from the threat of danger. So, chronic stress will lead to elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which over time will make it very difficult for your mind and body to relax and enter into a state of deep restorative rest, which is essential for well-being and clarity of mind.
I want you to think of your body as your permanent home. In this lifetime, there is no escaping your body. Wouldn’t it be a novel idea if we took better care of our bodies than we do our homes or our cars? Would you ever allow your car to keep running without an oil change? Would you allow your home to build up dirt and debris and neglect to clean it? Imagine allowing someone to enter your home and dump dirt and garbage in your living space day after day and never clean it up. Of course, you would never allow that! You need to think of your eyes as the window to your soul, your ears as the entrance to your mind, and your mouth as the doorway to your body. Be very aware of what you let in. The holy scriptures say we must honor our bodies as temples, the dwelling place of the holy spirit.
Allowing stress to become a regular part of your days and weeks without having a healthy outlet to reset your system is like allowing someone to contaminate your home and doing nothing to stop it. Eventually, it would become unbearable to live there.
Healing and Prevention
Did you know that 75% of people with depression have unresolved stress, anxiety, or insomnia? Stress is inevitable. Mismanaged stress, however, is directly linked to anxiety, insomnia, and depression. (Nutt, Wilson, & Paterson, 2008)
Today’s generally accepted treatment protocols one may experience in modern medicine are typically in the form of a pill, potion, or behavioral therapies that are not effective in inducing the physiological response required for the body/brain to re-balance itself naturally without harmful side effects.
If you don’t remember anything else from this message, remember this. There is nothing outside of you that can heal you. Let me say that again. There is nothing outside of you that can heal you. So stop looking outside of yourself. Your body has all the biochemical resources it needs to bring itself back into a state of balance. You just need to experience the proper treatment protocol to induce your body’s healing mechanisms.
Did you know that you can Conquer Stress and Anxiety, Sleep like a Baby, and Build a Body you LOVE in ONLY 90 minutes a week? Sounds too good to be true? I can assure you it’s not! At Mission: Vitality, my team and I specialize in providing a simple blueprint for a sustainable lifestyle that induces the body's innate healing mechanisms to promote deep relaxation, focused energy, and peace of mind you need to thrive.
Allow me to share a short excerpt from my personal testimony that illustrates the powerful response that is possible when we “do the work.”
“I had been through a painful year of separation from my children’s father who I had been married to for 10 years, and recently started juggling single-motherhood with a full-time job. I was stressed, not sleeping well, and having a hard time learning all of the new skills and the technology component of this new position. On a sunny Sunday, April 19, 2020, one of my associates came over and asked me to train with him. He explained that my physiology needed to be reset. So, we walked down to the park, and he put me through a tough full-body workout that only lasted about 20 minutes. I will not ever forget the feeling of pure bliss having finished that workout, laying down in the warm sun. It was like all the years of built-up trauma had been released. I slept like a baby that very night. I think I even dreamed again for the first time since I could remember. I never struggled with anxiety, depression, or insomnia from that day forward. He had given me such a gift to teach me how to train my body to heal itself; to give myself an outlet to release the stress that was trapped inside my body. From that day forward, I have been a firm believer and have made high-intensity physical treatment a part of my routine 2-3 times per week consistently. Over two years have passed and both my mental and physical health have dramatically improved. In fact, I feel more alive, centered, and closer to God than any other time in my life.”
You may be wondering, what was the biochemical response to that first treatment session that led to such an incredible effect? We have a gold mine of endorphins that are available and expended in the precise dose our body needs to be brought back into balance. The endorphins that are released as a result of high-intensity resistance movements are serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and nor-epinephrine creating a bliss-like state immediately following a workout, followed by a deep calm that you can expect to enjoy for 24 hours or more. The endorphin release can also be credited for “resetting” one’s biochemistry to realign with our natural circadian rhythm. Once the cortisol and adrenaline have been neutralized, your body can enter into a deep, restorative sleep.
Staying the Course
Learning how to cultivate a bulletproof mindset is so essential to the success of your wellness plan. The most important mindset shift I could leave you with is that you MUST think of your Training as TREATMENT. It is not optional. It is essential to your well-being. Make it one of the highest priorities in your week. Even if you can only fit one 30-minute treatment session into a very busy week, it will pay huge dividends in how you show up in your relationships and your professional life.
In my 10 years of coaching hundreds, likely thousands of individuals on their journey toward healing and wholeness, there is a common theme that there is a trigger that makes them take action to take their wellness plan seriously. I have heard everything from becoming so overweight that they needed to purchase two airline tickets to a diagnosis of pre-diabetes. Across the board, the initial motivation is extrinsic, meaning driven by outside circumstances, rather than intrinsic, coming from a place within that cannot be moved by external forces. Once this mindset of honoring your body’s need for treatment is non-negotiable has taken root, there is no turning back. Nothing will get in the way of your bliss and your peace of mind. If you have come to a place where you have made the decision to honor your mind and body and you are ready to implement a plan that will reverse the negative effects of stress and anxiety bring you into a state of bliss that you will want to keep going back to on a regular basis, then this article has served its purpose. Now all you need is a plan.
It will not be easy, but I can promise you it will be simple. Here is what you will need:
1. A plan
This is the very most important component. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. This step is so important that you have the right treatment plan for you that includes a full-body, high-intensity routine. Beware, there is a lot of flawed information out there that will attempt to complicate the process and hook you into the latest gimmick. Do not get caught up in the hype. A simple, classic approach will do the trick. The basic plan I start new clients with involves a series of 7 basic functional push-pull-press movements that are performed for 2 working minutes each with a one-minute rest in between movements.
*** If you do not have experience with resistance or weight training, please do not get started without guidance and direction from a coach or trainer. ***
2. Prioritized, protected time
Initially, it would be ideal for you to plan on 3 hours per week, with a rest day in between treatment sessions. This includes travel time to and from your chosen treatment facility. For example, Friday 4-5pm, Sunday 4-5pm, and Wednesday 4-5pm. I am using this example, as even a busy, full-time work schedule could accommodate one after-work or lunch hour training session mid-week and two sessions on the weekend. Do not let being too busy with work or children be an excuse. This time must be prioritized and protected. I can assure you, you will either prioritize taking time to maintain a state of health and well-being, or you will spend your time in a reactionary mode going to doctor’s appointments or using sick days trying to recover from illness. Trust me, the former is much less expensive and time-efficient.
3. A treatment facility
I would highly recommend this be a gym setting away from your home. It is so important, especially in this post-pandemic era where so much of our work is now done remotely, that we make the time to get out of the house and into a different environment and head space. I would highly recommend Planet Fitness as it is a nationwide network of gyms and you cannot beat the value. You can have a membership that ranges from $10/month for a basic membership to $24.99/month for access to their black card spa amenities. Lifetime Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and Snap Fitness are other options that may suit your needs better. Regardless, make the commitment to give yourself a place to literally leave the stress behind. In a pinch, you can even choose an outdoor park as your treatment facility on a nice day.
I highly recommend investing in an MP3 player and building a playlist of your favorite high-energy motivational/inspirational tracks. It is such a great tool for making your treatment sessions more enjoyable and really helps with getting within yourself and pushing to give your best effort. There will be days when you “don’t feel like” doing the work. These are the days you need to push past that. There has NEVER been a time that I felt like skipping a workout, pushed through, and didn’t feel even more amazing on the other side. Pushing through will build mental toughness and those days will become further and far between.
5. A coach and ideally an accountability partner or workout buddy
As human beings, we are hardwired for community and companionship. If you enlist the support of someone close to you, as a spouse or best friend, you will both benefit, and working on your physique and well-being with a partner is one of the very best ways to deepen and enhance the relationship. However, please do not let the lack of a willing partner impede the start of your plan. You may need to be the leader, and I assure you, the people closest to you will notice very soon and ask what you are doing differently. Be their source of inspiration!
I would invite you to explore the option of giving yourself the gift of personal wellness coaching. I have a session designed specifically to get you going on the path of healing and success that will build your confidence and help you past any barriers to getting started or staying the course. You can book an introductory or specialized session here: Book Neutralize Anxiety and Achieve Deep Sleep with Coach Sara on Well Me Right - Vetted Wellness Experts
You don’t ever have to give your power away again. Now go out there and get started! Plug into your innate ability to take action and do the work that releases the biochemical bliss that melts away stress and anxiety, and induces a deep state of peace and calm.
It is safe to assume stress will always be an inevitable part of the human experience. Having an outlet to release stress and the knowledge and tools to neutralize the biochemical effects of stress that can build up and cause mental and physical illness is a critical component of your long-term well-being. Implementing a simple, effective plan will not only have you feeling great during the day, and sleeping like a baby every night. It will enhance your relationships because you will gain a reputation for having a cool, calm, and collected state of mind that handles obstacles in a productive and proactive manner. Your professional life will be enhanced as a result of clearer, sharper thinking and the ability to creatively solve problems. You will begin loving your new body as it emerges from under the layers of unnecessary fat stores that do not serve you. Most importantly, you will forever have an effective plan for keeping stress at bay and access to the calm, relaxed state of mind you have been yearning for. The cool thing is you are 100% responsible for your well-being. No one and nothing else can do it for you. You’ve got this.
About The Author
Sara Diercks is a Well Me Right Wellness Expert and a Health Coach specializing in sleep wellness. Sara has been in the personal healing and transformation space since 2006 when she began her career as a Weight Loss Coach and made the decision to operate privately in 2012. Sara has worked for some of the largest companies in Healthcare such as United Health Group and Health Partners and chooses to work privately now aligned with the Divine Source of Wisdom and Healing.
Book Wellness Expert sessions offered by Sara on Well Me Right.