Redefining Stress

When someone asks “what stresses you out?” does your list usually include things like kids, your job, finances, and not enough time in the day to do all of the things you need to do? These are REAL stressors, and are definitely important to manage!

But, did you know that things like eating too many processed foods, going too long without eating during the day, getting a bad night’s sleep, or doing high intensity exercise seven days a week can impact your health in a similar way to the traditional stressors mentioned above?

We typically don’t think of these things as “stress”, however, EVERYTHING in our environment puts some sort of stress on us – some good, some not so good.

All kinds of stress contribute to your “allostatic load” and understanding this concept is a helpful tool to better understand how to improve your health.

What is allostatic load?

Here’s the gist: Your body’s ability to handle stress works much like a cup. We want to fill our cup with GOOD stressors, like healthy foods, a great exercise program designed for your goals, and good mental stress (like learning new skills, or ongoing education in your areas of passion). However, most of us have more bad stressors than good in our cup, or just too many stressors altogether!

Image credit: Dr. Chris Hardy, https://strongmedicine.dragondoor.com/the-stress-cup-and-allostatic-load/

When your cup is full (or worse yet, overflowing), reaching your health and fitness goals become downright impossible because your body switches into “flight or fight” mode, meaning your body is simply trying to survive, and “thriving” is out of the question.

At E2 Health, we use the principle of allostatic load to help you navigate and modify your environment to reach your goals. We start by assessing ALL of your stressors– the good ones and the bad ones — along with any symptoms you’re experiencing. Then, we work with you to make a plan to start filling your cup with good stressors and help pour out the bad. We offer concierge coaching to support you along the way, which includes one or more one-on-one personalized virtual coaching sessions each month. And because we realize that your questions or needs don’t always surface during your one-on-one session, we offer unlimited virtual access with your coach between sessions to make sure you’ve got the support you need, on your time.

Making changes can be hard enough, so we help you to break things down into manageable goals that set you up for success. These are called behavior based-goals and are set WITH your coach, not BY your coach. You see, at E2 we believe in educating you and empowering you, not bossing you around. You will be able to track your goals in our virtual platform, receive helpful educational resources, and access your coach at any point in time. Our goal is to help you reach your goals, without overfilling your cup in the process.

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