Stress. It’s one of those unavoidable aspects of life. It affects us all and can impact us in many ways, both good and bad. Stress can help give you that push and focus needed to complete a project, run that extra mile OR it can push you over the edge, leaving you exhausted and run down. Knowing that we all experience stress in different forms and that it’s an everyday part of life, it’s important to be able to identify the difference between “good stress” from “bad stress”.
Good stress, or ”eustress”, is defined as a positive form of stress having beneficial effects on health, motivation, performance and emotional well-being.1 This kind of stress can look like an adrenaline boost to give you more energy, greater alertness and focus, and blood pumping to get your muscles primed and ready to react quickly. Good stress can help you perform better at a task, be more focussed for a presentation and excel at an athletic or creative activity. As stress accumulates or increases, too much of a good thing becomes something not-so-good and you can reach a breaking point.
As stress begins to build up and become chronic, we can go from feeling motivated to depleted, making it harder to cope both mentally and physically. This is when you may start to experience fatigue, mood changes, difficulty concentrating, appetite changes, sleep disruption, social withdrawal and physical illness. If left unchecked, this is when chronic stress can lead you to your breaking point, resulting in exhaustion and burnout.2 Once you’ve passed this point, it is much more difficult to manage your symptoms than if you had seen the signs of negative stress building and found ways to reduce stress and increase your resiliency.
What is resiliency and what can we do to reduce stress?
Resiliency is the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, adversity, trauma or challenge. Practicing resilience is like flexing a muscle, it’s something that you develop and strengthen over time, the more you practice it. Resiliency looks different for each person, but these tips offer some very simple and practical ways to support stress reduction and build resiliency:
- Take time for self-care practices
Support the body and mind with nourishing foods and supportive supplements
- A balanced diet of quality protein, healthy carbohydrates (whole grains, fibre-rich fruits and vegetables) and healthy fats
- Consider what supplements can help ease the burden of stress on your body, like adaptogens including ashwagandha and mushrooms as well as B vitamins4,5,6
- Get adequate sleep and use sleep-promoting supplements such as melatonin, when needed. (Remember that stress directly impacts our quality of sleep)
- Move your body – choosing body movements and activities that can release stress, bring calmness and balance to your body & mind. (Keep in mind that exercise too close to bedtime can negatively affect sleep)
Keep your stress and sleep in check with Jamieson. Jamieson’s Mushroom Complex is a blend of adaptogenic mushrooms, which help balance stress levels and increase resiliency to stress.
- Meriam Webster Dictionary. Eustress. Accessed Jan 17, 2023 at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eustress
- The 5 Stages of Burnout. Accessed Jan 18, 2023 at: https://www.thisiscalmer.com/blog/5-stages-of-burnout
- McCraty, R. and M. Atkinson, Resilience Training Program Reduces Physiological and Psychological Stress in Police Officers. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 2012. 1(5): p. 44-66.
- Natural Medicines Database. Ashwagandha monograph. Accessed Jan 24, 23 at: https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=953
- Health Canada. Mushrooms Monograph. Accessed Jan 24, 2023 at: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=mushrooms.champignons&lang=eng
- Stough C, Simpson T, Lomas J, McPhee G, Billings C, Myers S, Oliver C, Downey LA. Reducing occupational stress with a B-vitamin focussed intervention: a randomized clinical trial: study protocol. Nutr J. 2014 Dec 22;13(1):122. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-122. PMID: 25533338; PMCID: PMC4290459