Stress, I mean we’re all stressed all the time with work, family, chores, deadlines… exercise…
But what you may not know (and you really SHOULD know) is why stress is important.
Stress and anxiety play HUGE roles when it comes to either CRUSHING a task or FAILING at it miserably.
Not to mention you play a balancing game every single day with stress and if you push too far in either direction you can easily be doing harm to yourself.
Stress can be a game changer, stress can actually HALT all of your efforts towards losing weight, burning fat and building incredible muscle.
Stress can stop you from being able to do SIMPLE, everyday tasks, stress is powerful and needs to be controlled.
And I’m sure you already KINDA knew that but today I’m gonna drive it home so you never forget WHY you need to put your day to day actions into check to create a healthier lifestyle.
That being said today I’m gonna cover good and bad stress, WHY you should care and HOW you’re going to make changes to overcome bad stress and put yourself in an awesome position to crush goals.
If you don’t have time to read the full article right now go ahead and download it here, so you can have the PDF version.
STRESS BROKEN DOWN
When it comes to stress we know that there is stress that puts us in a negative state (distress) and stress that puts us into a positive state (eustress).
But HOW do you know when you’re dealing with one or the other? And WHY does it matter?
It MATTERS… A TON.
Eustress (the good stress) is that kickass feeling you get when you are pumped up, amped, prepped and ready to roll. This stress is AMAZING.
It’s amazing because the effects it has to FOCUS you are TREMENDOUS.
This type of stress sucks because it will literally do the exact opposite of eustress and make it so you can’t even do SIMPLE tasks you may have done a million times.
There are three major things that factor into whether stress will affect you positively or negatively and they are fear, ego, and skill.
Fear– your level of fear of the task (or its consequences) will greatly decide whether or not you complete that task successfully.
Ego– your level of self-efficacy (or perception of self-control) drives your mental capacity to be able to narrow the FOCUS on your task at hand.
Skill– your level of preparedness (or perceived preparedness) will give you a sense of effortlessness in the task and help you FOCUS on your execution of the task at hand.
These three states must be controlled if you want to perform at your highest level and you must control them continuously if you want to see progressive success.
Ok, now that we know what we’re looking at let’s cover controlling these bad boys…
CONTROL STRESS OR BE CONSUMED
Increase skill level:
This is by far the easiest one to understand because as you increase your skill level on ANY given task, the task itself gets easier to complete even under stressful circumstances.
-So if JJ Watt practices smashing quarterbacks every day, all day, then the probability of being able to smash quarterbacks during Sunday Night Football is going to be much higher. (Here’s a pic of JJ Watt destroying Alex Smith… awesome.)
If you’re good at something then it gets easier to do without FEAR and with increase EGO and SKILL.
Relaxation techniques right before your task will give you a HUGE indicator as to HOW stressed you actually are.
One technique you can use is “Controlled Breathing” which is a basic stress management tool, where you focus your mind on breathing diaphragmatically (taking big breaths and try and use your abdomen to take them in).
The main idea here is to take your mind off the task and focus on the muscular contraction to bring air in. Also, try to avoid hyperventilation and breath holding during this exercise because those will have a negative impact on slowing your heart rate.
Create a routine before whatever task is coming your way. NFL kickers do this all the time. And some kickers have the weirdest pre-kick routines you could ever think of (checking the turf, an over exaggerated stance, touching each shoulder, marking spots in the turf).
Some of these are helpful to their ultimate goal which is to kick the ball well, but it’s also distracting them from thinking about outside stressors (missing the kick, negative self-talk, screaming fans).
So, create a pre-task routine. Check your stance, how you’re lined up, re-tie your shoe laces, just DO SOMETHING that gets your mind off of all the things that COULD go wrong.
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF STRESS
If you choose to ignore this post that’s fine, it’s cool.
I get it, it takes work.
But before you take off I want you to know what the negative effects of distress are on a person. So here’s the list…
-Increased cortisol (a stress hormone that increases your blood sugar level, making it harder to lose weight)
-High blood pressure
-Lack of focus and motivation
-Irritability or anger
Well that’s a large list…
And honestly, these are just the more SEVERE problems that go along with negative stress (distress).
So, fix it. Use the relaxation techniques. Create routines. Build better skills.
Do what you need to do to put a stressful situation in its place and have complete control of the outcome.
If you truly want to be successful, in losing weight, building muscle, being an athlete, crushing a workout, or even just in your personal life, then you need to understand what is holding you back.
Remember if FEAR is too high, EGO is too low and SKILLS are underdeveloped then you are setting yourself up for disaster in whatever task you are attempting to complete.
Control these three characteristics and you can TRULY win at just about anything (if nothing else you will have a big enough ego to THINK you’ve won…).
Today when you get to the gym and are on your hardest lift of the day I want you to either create a preparatory routine or a breathing technique to get through your lift, and see how it goes for you.
Give it a try, I have a feeling you’ll be surprised at how well a few small adjustments will make in your ability to dominate tasks.
If you know anyone who could benefit from this article please share it with them.