Patrick Diver, Owner of Strength Clinic at www.mystrengthclinic.com .(I requested this friend to share his take on stress.)
For over 15 years, Patrick has led the way to exceptional fitness results for a diverse range of Orlando men and women and has supervised over 25,000 injury-free workouts.
A graduate of Missouri State University with a B.S. in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training, Patrick’s first certification came from the National Athletic Trainers Association and was followed by certifications from Superslow innovator Ken Hutchins (Superslow Exercise Guild) and YMCA research director Wayne Wescott (Nautilus).
Patrick also speaks regularly and has been featured on Fox-35, News Channel 13, and had given over 150 fitness talks to many of Central Florida’s most successful companies including Darden Restaurants, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, Universal Creative, and the Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Besides a passion for helping men and women realize their best physical potential, Patrick competes regularly in cycling with multiple states, regional, and national championship medals to his credit, and enjoys playing guitar and taking care of his dog, named Dog.
Stress: Is it good, bad, needed, or unwanted?
I believe most things in life necessitate a balanced approach: The Yin and Yang if you will. I think stress falls in this umbrella as well. We need a certain amount of stress in life. Without it, it is easy to become stagnant and cease growing.
In my field, muscle tissue is a good example. You’ve probably heard that when you add and develop muscle tissue, your metabolism gets a boost. What does this mean exactly, “get a boost?”
This means that the body burns extra calories. That’s one of the good side effects of strength training – and one you have probably heard of. That is the reason for the current craze in fitness, body-building, and the obsession for the perfect body.
Your body, however, wants to be efficient. It doesn’t really want to burn extra calories because, in the days gone by, it might have been difficult to find those “extra” calories.
So, if it’s not using muscle to full effect – in other words, if they are not being utilized or stressed on a regular basis to maintain function, then the body will get rid of what it views as metabolically “expensive” tissue.
So in this case, stress is not only desired but absolutely crucial to continue living a high quality of life.
Of course, the application of stress has to be measured.
Where people get into trouble, whether it is pursuing fitness goals, managing work/life balance, or even dealing with emotions, is when they take on too much stress, without having a means for downtime, rest, and recovery. We become engrossed with stress.
I account for this in my Ironclad Rules. Rule #7 is to: Keep a Relaxed-Focus. This is another way of saying the same thing.
The continued pursuit of success in life will be difficult to achieve in a negative or overly stressful environment.
A certain amount of calm and objectivity is needed.
However, you can’t allow yourself to be so calm that you blow things off or shirk responsibilities – hence, Keeping a relaxed focus.
So, while too much stress will ultimately shut down any system, too little stress will yield undesirable results as well.
Like most things in life, it is really about balance.
Stress is unavoidable. It is a significant part of our daily responsibilities and existence. Although there may be a few lucky individuals who claim they have a stress-free life, it may be because they have learned to navigate its complexities and have adapted effectively. A few have found the equilibrium in the midst of the chaos of daily existence.
We, as mammals of the highest cognitive faculties, possess that capacity to adapt. Though we deal with stress in many different ways based on our psyche and predilections for survival, there is hope. We are ultimately responsible for actions that will allow us to prevail. Just take that step.
As the song goes, “learning to love yourself, is the greatest gift of all,” carries a profound meaning that we ourselves often forget. Many among us tend to get inundated with the need to take care of others and take on responsibilities because we feel we have to. This often becomes a burden that sooner or later snowballs into something that is overwhelming. These stressors soon take away the joy out of life.
Find that balance. Take care of yourself. Find what works for you.
This simple book just provides an overview of the options. There are more out there by individuals who found that key to a productive life and an efficient way of navigating life’s complexities. Study and learn. Adapt.
Yes, stress can be perceived as unpleasant. Yet, most people find and discover their own strengths in times of adversity.
As Kelly Clarkson’s song goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Cliche, but its truth rings true. ~~~***~~~