Do you remember back to your high school days when you’d ask your teacher if the test was going to be cumulative? This was usually a bad sign if the answer was “Yes!” Cumulative means increasing in quantity or “adding up.” Did you know that stress is cumulative?

Whether you look at it through a day-to-day, weekly, monthly, or yearly scope, stress builds up!

As you have learned in previous posts, being able to properly manage your stress can significantly compound your efficiency and performance. But, in order to properly manage stress, we must also understand what stress looks like… even in its most simple form.

From eating a big meal to running a 5k, your body undergoes different forms of stress all throughout your day. Being able to recognize stress, then train yourself to spend time briefly recovering, can maximize your ability to perform. However, if these micro-stressors go unmanaged for long enough, you can face Allostatic Overload.

Allostatic overload is an accumulation of stress from all sources beyond your body’s ability to tolerate. Being in a state of allostatic overload decreases performance increases recovery time, and is related to ailments such as chronic diseases, a higher rate of injury, and a higher susceptibility to illness.

So, what does a typical day look like for you? Are you able to recognize when you’ve undergone a stressor and need to recover? Practicing good recovery habits such as …

Deep breathing, meditation, going for a walk in nature or on the beach, and light exercises such as stretching or yoga

…Can all be great tools for combating the stressors in life and help you effectively move from stress to rest to achieve optimal performance!