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Finding A Healthy Way To Deal With Stress

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Ethan Quant. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Health coach Ethan Quant, of Elite Wellness Solutions, has succeeded in his weight loss journey and now wants to share his methods with the Bahamas in an effort to foster a culture of wellness and conquer the obesity epidemic.

I remember before I started my health, wellness and fitness journey my go-to after a stressful day was a smoke and a drink. It’s how I decompressed and relaxed myself. I would often through in a heavy greasy dinner and some brownies, and ice-cream for good measure. The thing is that was a very stressful time in my life.

Well into my journey how I coped with my stress had to be addressed, especially since my life wasn’t getting less stressful and I was trying to get healthy and fit, and the drinking, smoking and binge eating was a major stumbling block.

I don’t drink or smoke or binge eat any more to deal with stress. Now I go in the gym and crank up my music and lift heavy weights; I mean really heavy weights. It’s a great way for me to release and it’s good for my body as well.

But before I could tackle the task of finding better coping mechanisms for my stress I had to get a better understanding of what stress was.

So here are a couple of things I would like to share with you about stress.

  1. Everyone gets stressed

This was huge for me because I would look at some people and think, ‘Oh man, it must be nice to have a stress free life like them’, but the truth is everyone, no matter who they are or where they are, has stress. The difference is in how we deal with it and how long it affects us. There are different types of stress; some examples are:

• Routine stress, related to everyday life like work, school and family issues

• Stress from a sudden negative change like losing a loved one, getting laid off, or illness

• Trauma related stress as a result of an event like a hurricane or a major accident

  1. Not all stress is bad

When we look at the actual definition of stress it is a state of physical, mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. I know what you are thinking, what in the world is good stress. Well, exercise is a form of stress, but your body adapts to it which is how you get stronger and faster and more fit. Stress is a natural occurrence in the body and can sometimes save your life. Think about the fight or flight scenarios. In these situations, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival.

  1. Long-term stress can have harmful effects on your health and well-being

Experiencing high levels of stress over long periods of time can suppress your immune, digestive, sleep and reproductive systems. Stress affects different people in different ways some people get headaches, insomnia, some people get sad, angry and irritable. People under chronic stress are prone to more frequent viral infections like the flu or common cold. I know some people who actually break out in rashes.

The key to coping with stress if to know what stresses you out and paying attention to how your body responds to it, and being mindful of how you are currently coping with stress. In my next article I will give you some tips on how to manage your stress.

Remember, if you need help with this or any part of your health wellness and fitness journey feel free to contact me directly.

• You can contact Ethan Quant at ethan@elite-wellnesssolutions.com or on Instagram at @ethanquant.

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