Let’s talk about stress, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things, and the bad things, that maybe. Let’s talk about stress.

Anyone else have Salt-N-Pepa in their head now?

Seriously though, I wanted to take some time today and talk about stress, because I firmly believe that managing stress is one of the most critical steps we can take towards living a healthy life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about stress lately, as exactly 2 years ago I had a complete breakdown which was entirely stress related. I was still at nutrition school, working full time, and attempting to get my blog set up. On top of that, the holidays were coming, there were parties, and friends to see, and shopping to do. My to-do list was like 2.5 miles long, and it felt daunting. There was one particular night where I had made these grain-free granola bars, with the intent to photograph them and share the recipe on the blog. I also had a big research assignment due the next day at school, and I had a ton of work left to do on it. It was going to be a late night.

Well, my wonderful, loving boyfriend could see I had a lot on my plate, and thought he’d help me out by cutting up my the granola bars I had just made and putting them away. A normal reaction would have been to thank him, except he didn’t know that in my mind I had plans to cut them a certain way, and then style them for a photo shoot. This was the straw that broke this camel’s back. I lost it over a kind gesture and granola bars. Tears ensued, and all rational and logical thought was out the window. I was a mess, this clearly was not normal, and I recognized a need to get control over my stress before granola bars were no longer my biggest problem.

Medical research suggests that up to 90% of all illness and disease is stress-related.

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Stress can be defined as what a person feels when they PERCEIVE that life’s demands exceed their ability to meet or adapt to those demands. I’d definitely reached that point, and I know that many others are trying to cope with their excess stress every single day.

Let’s take a closer look at what stress is.