Stress is a six-letter word, and we all have some of it in our lives. However, the way you respond to stress is uniquely yours. Whether the stress you are facing is the good kind, such as planning for a wedding, or the not-so-good kind such as confronting a difficult coworker situation, knowing how you respond to stress (your “stress type”) can help you better support yourself through challenging situations.
Fight or flight? Which one is right?
When it comes to stress, perception is everything. That is why your body usually reacts to stress with an instinctive “fight or flight” response—even if there is no actual threat. Levels of the common stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, can surge dramatically with tension and affect sleep, mood, performance, and the ability to think clearly—particularly if stress is ongoing.1 By knowing your stress type, you can better determine which methods, such as nutrition and exercise or meditation and mindfulness, can help you tackle the emotional pressure you feel.
Types of stress response
Which type of stress response rings true with you?
- Wired, tired, and stressed
- Is your life so hectic that you forget to take care of yourself? Do you feel burned-out, flushed, and overheated when stressed? Is sleep difficult for you, and do you feel like you cannot calm down? If you answered yes to one or more of these, then you’re more likely to be the stressed and wired type.
- Woeful in a worried world
- Sleep is on your wish list, but you’re not getting much of it. And your mind won’t shut off as you worry about all things great and small, not to mention that your muscles seem tighter than a trampoline and you’re just plain angry. It sounds like you might be the stressed and worried type.
- The heat is on
- If “never-ending stress” is the major part of your life’s menu, when you can’t seem to cope and you are dog-tired with nothing left to give, it could be that you’re the stressed and hot type.
- Stressed and mentally exhausted
- In this type, ongoing stress has your mind in a holding pattern. In fact, you can’t “brain” at all because your mental state has been stretched so thin that you can see through it. This level of mental fatigue is a key indicator that you’re the stressed and mentally exhausted type.
- Stressed and tired
- You can’t seem to muster up any energy and wonder why you’ve gained weight. Your face is pale and your body feels puffy. And no matter how much you sleep, you still feel weak and tired. If you think you’re stressed and tired, you probably guessed right.
- The great destressors
- Your unique stress style also has its own distinct preferences for addressing it. Stress relief is typically a combined effort of positive lifestyle changes such as adding exercise to your routine and improving your diet, as well as possibly engaging with your healthcare practitioner to find other strategies for your specific stress type.
If stress is “stressing you out” and adversely affecting your life, talk with your healthcare practitioner about ways to address it.
- Understanding the stress response. Harvard Health Publishing. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response. Accessed October 12, 2018.
Submitted by the Metagenics Marketing Team