Did you know there’s a sunny side to stress? Surprising isn’t it?
As we grapple with the stressors of modern day living, it’s important to remember that stress isn’t always a bad thing. At Functional Nutrition Alliance, we equip aspiring practitioners with the functional medicine perspective to see the sunny side of stress, as well as the education and skills to help their clients harness the power of stress to their benefit.
The positive power of stress
Stress, in its simplest definition, refers to the body’s nonspecific response to a demand placed upon it, whether psychological, physiological, emotional, or all of the above.
On the sunny side, stress serves as a powerful motivator. Whether it’s building a workout into your daily routine, starting a cleanse, confronting a difficult situation, or taking on something lofty, like social justice or changing the face of healthcare, the right amount of stress can propel us toward our goals.
Balancing stress and recovery
You can think of stress like a fine sea salt – the right amount enhances what it touches, but too much ruins the whole thing. To illustrate it further, imagine two trees: one sheltered in a protected environment and the other firmly planted on the outskirts of the windiest city on earth. The sheltered tree will grow a trunk that’s not very strong or sturdy, while the tree in the wild, with its exposure to wind and the elements, will become solid and reliable enough to sway on. Yet too much wind, as in the form of a hurricane, can still take our hearty windy-city tree down.
There’s a vital factor that allows us to benefit from stress without it wreaking havoc on our bodies: recovery. While we can become stronger and brighter because of our exposure to stress, we can only do so with enough recovery to balance it.
Like the wind-battered tree that takes a moment to breathe, relax, and revitalize after each gust, we too need time to recover and restore balance after facing stress. Imagine a sprinter. With the finish line in sight, she gives her pursuit everything she’s got and then takes time to repair, regain and restore balance.
Nurturing resilience through a functional medicine approach
Let’s take a moment to reflect: How do you incorporate recovery into your everyday life? What practices do you embrace to detoxify from the stressors of modern living? What techniques would you share with your clients?
Building resilience and renewal requires attention and effort, something we can support as Functional Nutrition Counselors who understand the role diet and lifestyle play in heightening stress and promoting recovery. In service to Functional Medicine, Full Body Systems is the Functional Nutrition training program that empowers coaches, clinicians, nurses, and practitioners to change the way we do healthcare. In practice, that may look like supporting recovery, resilience, and renewal by encouraging our clients to embrace the sunny side of stress in an effort to unlock its potential.
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