Crucial to the changing lifestyle of any person, particularly a young adult such as myself, is that of being both physically and emotionally healthy in order to succeed in this forever changing world. When undergoing stress, whether it be physical or emotional, the brain changes in ways that will affect its overall function. When a person undergoes a high amount of stress for a long period of time without any treatment, it can lead to more serious problems such as strokes and heart diseases.
Physically, an overload of stress constantly can lead to long term, negative effects. Some effects can include heart problems, musculoskeletal conditions, migraines, and headaches. Other effects that could arise include internal problems having to do with digestion and diet. Emotionally, an excess amount of stress can lead to problems mentally such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, etc. Difficulty focusing and irritability can result from this as well. (1) As for a physical therapist, the healthcare industry is constantly changing, just like the outside world.
These physical therapists face many different situations in which stress is a prevalent factor, and it is essential in this field to be able to handle stress incredibly well in order to do their job to their utmost potential. Everyone has some sort of tolerance or outside forces including stress, however, tolerance levels vary from person to person. Not only can too much physical stress over a period of time affect the body on the outside through fatigue and laziness, but it does internal damage as well. Long term stress can disrupt the body’s digestive process in a negative way.
By affecting nutrients that can be absorbed by a person’s intestines, stress can cause nausea, constipation, vomiting, and other irregularities. (1) To maintain proper physical health, it is important to exercise regularly and attempting to reduce stress in any way possible. A physical self-assessment I did on myself allowed me to conclude that my physical health is excellent. My resting heart rate was 57 bpm, and my resting blood pressure was 125/70, and after slight exercise, both my heart rate and blood pressure increased at a healthy rate in accordance to the amount of exercise I did.
These are average for a healthy person of my age range. My waist to hip ratio was excellent as well being that my score was 0. 835. After calculating my body mass index, I landed in the healthy range scoring a 21. 401. In terms of flexibility, I scored in the normal range of the 90/90 floor stretch, and I was able to touch my fingers when reaching behind my back which result in having good shoulder flexibility. When doing modified pushups, I was able to score excellent in the upper body strength category by doing over 20, and I also did over 20 chair tough squats which landed me in the excellent category for lower body strength.
I have a small frame size, but I am very active and athletic. My body type is in between ectomorph and mesomorph, but I am closer to mesomorph. (2) By playing soccer for Maryville has allowed me to relieve much of my stress through daily exercise. Also, we have “chalk talks” in which I can direct my attention away from other stressors in my life and focus on our team’s system and what I can do to contribute to it. My physical activity routine will continue for the next four and a half years because soccer is a year round sport.
In the offseason we will be doing workouts as well, and we will receive a summer workout program to participate in as well to ensure my health and continues physical fitness. I have good bone health and am at less of a risk of getting any bone diseases because I am caucasian and regularly take protein supplements and sometimes take other vitamin supplements. (2) Although my large amount of exercise plays a huge role in my physical health, it also plays a key part in my emotional fitness.
Poor emotional fitness is linked to a lack of focus and bad decision making. Psychological effects can include irritability, anxiety, depression, phobias, relationship conflicts, and others. (1) Any kind of stress relieving activity will help with gaining emotional fitness. Exercise, meditation, or having fun can release stress, calm the mind, and fill it with healthier thoughts. It is so crucial to have a positive attitude as well. A person can think of others and themselves in a less judgmental way and in a more compassionate way.
I filled out a few questionnaires about happiness. For example, a questionnaire called the PERMA (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment), and it stated that I scored higher than 99% of people my age and higher than 98% of my gender by scoring a 9. 67/10. (3) Another questionnaire I took called the Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) showed that I have had more stress than normal in the last 6 months. (4) This is most likely because I started college classes and college soccer.
My life has changed a lot in the past 6 months, but I am coping with everything in a professional manner. The stress has not been affecting me in a negative way. In fact, all of this stress has been motivating me to do my best. It is a good idea to try to channel the bad things in your life into things that will push and motivate you to do your best. I can improve my physical health by directing my focus to the most important things in my life. I can also focus on form by letting my mind wander less and focusing on the mechanics of my efforts.
In terms of working out and staying with a routine, just getting myself to the gym is half the battle because until I get there, there are a million other distractions getting in the way. (5) In order to achieve my goals, I must be more dedicated than I previously was by having self-esteem, a positive attitude, and the will to succeed and become the best version of myself I can be. The improvement of my emotional fitness can be improved in a way that is parallel to improving my physical health because they correlate with each other.
If I improve one, then that will improve the other. To specifically work on keeping my current emotional fitness or even improving it, I must work on setting reasonable goals for myself and get creative when tracking my progress. For example, if I plan to run 3 miles a day for three times a week, then I should get a map of your missouri, draw a line across it, and trace a specific number of miles along the line for each week I meet my goal. (5) Being able to visualize my goals in my head and how I am going to reach them will automatically give me a positive mindset.
As long as i continue to do this, or do it more often, I will improve my emotional fitness. As a physical therapist, it is important to have optimal physical health and emotional fitness. A PT will be more effective if he or she is a model for what the patients want to become. They will be able to handle many situations in the forever-changing healthcare industry if they are emotionally stable as well. If I continue to stay physically fit when I eventually get a job in physical therapy, then I will be more likeable to my patients who are trying to achieve the physical health that I have.
The physical self-assessment that I filled out said that overall I had excellent physical health in all areas. Along with that, the two emotional fitness questionnaires gave me results indicating that although I have been somewhat stressed, I still remain positive and have excellent emotional fitness. As long as I continue to work towards becoming the best I can be in every way possible while maintaining a positive attitude, I will have no problem becoming a physical therapist that others look up to.