TIRED AND WIRED – ARE YOU IN A STATE OF PERFORMANCE OVERDRIVE?
· Top of your game
· Feel great
· Look great
· Perform well and believe you are as healthy as you can be.
· All it takes is a strong cup of coffee in the morning, and you can kill it all day?
· Hit the gym and have a great workout
· Nothing gets in your way
Sound like you? If so would you say you had plenty of grit?
Call it whatever you want, determination, drive, willpower, it all leads to the same thing – an individual that performs well, but at what long-term cost?
You have limited battery life:
Here is the deal – when we dig deeper into long-term high performers you usually find the same issue that they are damaging their health by using grit to override stress and tiredness.
If you imagine you are running on a battery and that battery recharges if your hormones and stress levels remain balanced.
When you start running in overdrive this battery begins to deplete, and you can’t charge it up quick enough for the amount of energy you are consuming.
You then utilise your reserve battery backup. As long as you re-charge this battery all is well as you will go back to your main power reserve.
BUT what happens if you don’t? What happens if you carry on running in full overdrive mode? Your reserve DIES OUT.
I FEEL THE BEST IVE EVER FELT! – Running on the HIGH:
At this stage you could feel amazing, energy, motivation, focus, nothing can stop you. Your body is reacting to this stress by pumping our adrenaline and cortisol. These are the same hormones that pumped out when being chased by a tiger or running from a threat. Adrenalin powers your muscles gives you an energy boost while the cortisol numbs any pain and plugs your subconscious of any holes to keep you sailing through the roughest seas. This process should only last a few minutes in the natural world. If you need to get away from the tiger, it would be over in a few minutes. Unfortunately, modern life has extended this process so that it happens over and over again throughout the day in the form of:
Email from the boss
Waking up late for work
Getting the kids to school
Running a project meeting
Traffic jam – road rage
Bad news on the TV
Over training at the gym
fighting with your partner
Receiving a bill in the post
....the list goes on and on
SO WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL THIS STRESS?
I N T E R N A L M E T A B O L I C C A O S:
The consequence of constant high performance and low self-care leads to the idea of Metabolic Chaos.
The term from a functional health perspective is when your hormones no longer balance, and things are getting out of control. When your body is out of sync, and the metaphoric batteries have depleted you go into a catabolic state (you start to break down, rather than build up).
At this stage you start reaching for more coffee to keep you going, more alcohol to help you sleep, more sugar to give you energy and more exercise to give you the feel good hormones.
WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN
How do you FEEL right now?
This graph represents where some high performers fall (dependent on personal factors and current health and resilience). To the left of “Acute distress” could mean you are currently feeling good due to the increase in stress hormones.
Anyone heading towards the “chronic stress” category is where things get serious. This process can take years, and you could be in a state of acute stress for 4,5 or even 10 years before you start to see symptoms. Once you are heading towards chronic stress it takes much longer and more significant personal changes to get you back on the right track.
SO HOW CAN I STOP MYSELF FALLING INTO THIS DOWNWARD SPIRAL?
Be aware of the signs:
· Poor sleep – waking up in the middle of the night
· Going to the toilet in the early morning.
· Waking up at around 3 am and not being able to go back to sleep
· Cant think straight – thoughts all over the place
· Brain fog
· Dependent on sugary foods
· Emotional – struggle to keep a cap on your temper
· Alcohol dependents – need more alcohol at night to unwind
· Can’t settle – feel restless/restless legs
If you think that you may be showing more than 4-5 things in this list, it is a good idea to look at your lifestyle and current health. Balance is always important and following a holistic programme would be my best advice. In the short term, follow the ideas below:
FOCUS - Start to look at where you are struggling the most and focus your attention on what you could do to change this.
SUPPORT - Look at taking adaptogen based herbs like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea to help you deal with the stress.
REST - Try to focus your attention on rest rather than exercise. If you are stressed your body needs rest not more rest rather than a gym session. Going for long walks keeping your heart rate low (around 100-120 bpm) is ideal.
NATURE – Go out in nature for fresh air and walks even if it's for 5-10 mins at lunch.
BREATH – Make sure you take long deep breaths. I recommend setting a timer on your phone every few hours to stand up and breath fully into your belly. This will help switch your body from sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (rest and digest)
AVOID STIMULANTS – Coffee, Red Bull, sports drinks – will only push your body even more and exhaust your reserve. Its false economy to rely on coffee.
If you think you are suffering from acute or chronic stress and don’t want to experience the health downfalls of running on full power why not get in touch for a free consultation on how we can work together.
Holistic Health Coach and Bulletproof Performance Coach
LIFE DOESN’T GET EASIER OR MORE FORGIVING – WE GET STRONGER AND MORE RESILIENT
Disclaimer: *This content is strictly the opinion of the bperformance blog/Mark Wignarajah, and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither bperformance/Mark Wignarajah takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program