Guest blog from Nicola Rossell at Rossell Fitness

Stress – The Invisible Barrier to Success

Stress is fast becoming the #1 silent killer in modern society.

With many of our largest health issues being related to stress – from heart disease to depression; digestive issues to obesity; increasing stress is playing its part.

If its not killing you yet, stress may still be the invisible barrier that is preventing you from achieving improved health, happiness or body composition

When we think about what optimal health might mean the universal definition in line with the World Health Organisation pops to mind:

A complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ – W.H.O.

Whilst this is all encompassing we might just as easily say that true health simply comes down to happiness…

When our bodies are happy inside, we typically look and feel good on the outside as highlighted by glowing skin, favourable body composition, high energy and emotional factors such as feeling relaxed and peaceful.

So, Are we healthy?

Despite the pretence that we are all striving for greater health, sometimes desperately, both the anecdotal and empirical evidence points towards a nation that is growing undeniably fatter and sicker than ever before.

This disassociation of our collective health goal from the collective reality is a worry that we carry around on our shoulders every day, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Perhaps even contributing to the overload of stressful factors weighing us down and affecting our performance and success rate.

Who is stressed?

I would postulate that EVERYONE is stressed in some way at a level greater than optimal for vibrant health… Whether you are the busy, harassed mum of 3 juggling the school run with a new baby and getting the kids to all of their extracurricular activities on time, while ensuring that dinner is ready and the house clean.

Or the high flying executive stuck in a job that allows you no time to be with the people you love and no end in sight to the crippling deadlines that have you working more and more

Anyone can be stressed and the biggest worry of them all is that perhaps we don’t even know it, have we reached a point where we just think it’s typical to feel like the walls are closing in and that being busy, feeling exhausted and having no free time is the norm?

Hidden stressors and environmental stress

On top of all this as a society we have to deal with an ever-increasing number of environmental toxins that we are often unaware could even have an impact.

Did you know that your environment and the choices you make in your home could have a big impact on your overall health and well being?

For example… cleaning products, air fresheners, water supply, living in the city, pots and pans, make up, shower gel, moisturisers among other things can all add to the workload of our overstressed detoxification system.

This all adds to the accumulative effect of the work, personal, social, and financial stresses we are under

All shown in some side effects we have probably just come to live with as normal over the years… irritability, poor sleep quality, low tolerance levels, poor digestion, depression, anxiety, low libido, low mood, supressd immune system, etc

How do we combat this?

Where could we ever fit in time to reduce our stress levels when we already feel we are running on empty on a treadmill that never stops moving?

How could we fit MORE in or worst take time out without dropping one of the many balls we are trying to juggle?

Counterproductive as it may sound, you just need to stop, take some time out and look after #1, if you don’t you aren’t going to be able to look after everyone else

(There is only so long the car can run with the petrol warning light on, you know its gonna take 10minutes to refill but if you don’t the damage is going to be a lot worst)

At some point something is going to give, your body is giving you the warning signs, and the longer you ignore them the more likely it is that something is going to break.

You need to take time for you, whether you are the busy professional or the busy mum NOTHING is more important than your own health and allowing the stress to mount up without addressing it is a recipe for disaster and total bodily chaos.

It is not going to be easy to carve out time and expend energy on pursuits that fly in the face of a busy schedule especially if it has become habitual to invest no time into self care. Taking a bath in magnesium salts once per week could be the beginning of the prioritisation of your health, walking in the woods and getting back into nature to breathe fresh air is another simple strategy to consider implementing, getting some headspace with the practise of meditation has also been suggested as a powerful system for de-stressing the body and mind.

^^ these are just a couple of things you can do but there are others

from looking for more environmentally conscious cleaning products, water filters, SLS and paraben free personal hygiene products and make ups, to eating a more natural nutrient dense diet and improving your exercise regime.

If you want real change and finally eliminate some of the invisible barriers to your success you really need to look at reducing stress levels and doing many of the little things that we can change day to day that make the biggest difference in our long term progress.

When time is committed to taking care of the body and soul it potentially allows you to become more productive in other aspects of life including work, pursuits and personal relations. Stress interferes with our hormonal balance and makes it much harder to lose weight and be healthy.

What could you do today to reduce the stress in your life and become more efficient and effective in your other endeavours?

  • Find the time to relax and serve your body
  • Get out into nature with clean fresh air and walk gently for 30mins per day
  • Spend 5-10mins per day doing deep breathing exercises or meditation
  • Choose skin care products that are SLS and paraben free
  • Replace pots and pans that are scratched and damaged
  • Consider a water filter for your drinking water

This guest blog was written by Nicola Rossell of Rossell Fitness. Find out more about Nicola and the services she offers in Leicester by visiting her website on

About the Author

"All in or all out" Rachael is a vibrant, no-bullshit-talking Scottish nutrition geek and coach helping women to lose weight without giving up their confidence OR their favourite foods.

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