Stress: The Silent Killer Of Your Health And Wellbeing

Stress has become a term people accept as a way of life and something to “cope with” , however the detrimental impact it is having on people emotionally, psychologically and physiologically can no longer be ignored. The impact of stress can be fatal and MUST be identified and manged to mitigate this risk. People need to stop accepting chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, exhaustion and burn out as a way of life.

Your health is attributed to more than just your shape or size. The media and common “Health myths” lead us to believe if you are lean a healthy weight you avoid health complications that we associate with being over weight or obese. This is not accurate and needs to be more widely explored.

Stress is anything that adds pressure in any way shape or form that results in a series of responses from the body.

Stress can lead to chronic fatigue, anxiety, high cholesterol, clogged arteries, heart disease and organ failure as well as any number of nervous system or mental health conditions and these need to be acknowledged as serious risks.

People have a responsibility to be aware of their body and how certain lifestyle choices, situations, environments, food/ alcohol and drugs/ medication impact their body.

There is an undeniable interconnection between the mind and the body and this is why terms like “holistic health” need to be normalised as knowledgeable, integrated processes to address all factors that impact someone’s overall wellbeing.

Employers and fitness professionals have an obligation to be transparent to their staff, members and clients about stress and the importance of managing it effectively.

Woman, Face Palm, Problem, Girl, Pain, Headache, Ache

Common sources of stress include:

  1. Psychological – confusion, disorientation, negative self talk, bullying, victimisation, gaslighting, coersion, social pressure to confirm.
  2. Emotional – Relationships, self esteem issues, grief, anger, abuse, frustration, unregulated hormonal imbalances.
  3. Financial – Any financial strain is a compounding stressor. This includes job insecurities, unemployment, lockdowns, bills, unforeseen expenses.
  4. Social – Especially the anxiety around disconnectivity during isolation and quarantine lockdowns and pressure to conform against personal beliefs or value systems.
  5. Physical – This is not just a pain point (such as a medical condition) exercise is a form of stress. If it is designed well, an exercise program can assist with stress management by enducing the production and release of positive hormones called “endorphins. ” However if a training program is too intense, too time demanding and too exhausting it can lead to fatigue and unmanageable stress. THIS IS A SERIOUS RISK FOR MOST BODY SCULPTING CLIENTS
  6. Nutrition /food issues. An expensive meal plan or unaffordable groceries and a fear of food scarcity has a devastating impact on the brain sending people into a fight or flight state which can cause significant harm.
  7. Deadlines, travel, accidents, injuries, life is riddled with landmines of stress, but this doesn’t mean that we are hopeless to adapt and manage these stressor in an effective and informed way.

Woman in White Shirt Showing Frustration

DON’T PANIC. Not all stress is bad. Small amounts of stress trigger responses and reactions as the brains way of protecting itself and the body from harm. However, stress can be life threatening and its not always as instantaneous as a heart attack.

Susan Bernstein reports in her article dated 16 June 2021 :”Constant stress is another story. If it’s nonstop and lasts for a long time, your stress hormones remain at high levels and put a dangerous strain on your heart and other parts of your body. High levels of cortisol from chronic or long-term stress can cause high blood cholesterol, along with other heart disease risks.” (reference #2)

In order to mitigate stress we need to understand what happens physiologically when we experience stress.

Typically, when stress occurs, 2 primary stress hormones are produced and released into the body. One is cortisol and the other is adrenaline. They both work together with polar opposite intentions. Cortisol attaches to the hippocampus in the brain to block the receptors. This inhibits rational thought. Adrenaline is then sent to the amygdala as a stimulant to emphasise the panic response, inducing heightened emotional reactions. Cortisol, over time can be toxic and damage the way the brain functions and develops both short term and permanently. (*Siegal 2014- see footnote *3)

We know stress is bad for us, but perhaps we have convinced ourselves it doesn’t matter and we can rely on pain killers or antidepressants to mitigate this damage.

There are herbal solutions that regulate stress and stop /significantly reduce the production and secretion of stress hormones in the body. These are called adaptogens.

Evan Starkman surmised that there are over 70 plants classified as adaptogens: “The theory behind adaptogens says they help your body adjust to physical, chemical, or biological stress. They’re thought to stimulate your body’s stress-protection response and help its systems return to a balanced state called “homeostasis.” *4

THE XLPT DIY DESIGNER BODY PROGRAM has incorporated a series of adaptogen compounds, a PH balancer to reduce the body’s acidity and other nutrient rich products to design a holistic health program that can fit into day to day life for anyone. The results have been incredible across the board for men and women of all ethnicities, ages, weight ranges, lifestyles and careers. With the next 30 day challenge kicking off on 1st February, there will be medical based data substantiating the impact this program has on clients over a 30 day period.

Information can be found here:

The aim of this study is to have medical practitioners acknowledge the importance of holistic health and the need for more natural, therapeutic solutions to to stress, mental health issues and associated conditions that should not be blanket medicated with antidepressants if there are less harmful alternatives.

Ideally health will stop being something most people feel unable to afford and advocates will canvas the need for governments to subsidise holistic health solutions for the betterment of society and those who are too burnt out to fight for a better way of life.

Your health is an asset that needs to be valued and invested in. Being empowered with the knowledge that everyone is entitled to feel well and live pain free will speak volumes for self worth and refusing to be medicated as a solution to a chronically stressful lifestyle.

Article By: Taz Dunstans

3. Author:Dan siegel MD, published 2014 “Brainstorm”
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