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Making Micro-Stress Work For You

Understanding The Complexity Of Stressors

By Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Published 3 months ago 4 min read

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If you follow the world of Wellness, you often hear about different ways to Improve your Wellbeing.

Lately, there has been a lot of discussion around "Micro-Stress".

Essentially, the Idea is that with a Micro-Stress, you purposefully utilize a small Stressor to build up your Resilience.

There are a variety of methods that this is done in.

You have people that do it through Breathing exercises.

Others use Ice Baths for this purpose.

Then some people use Saunas.

These are just a handful of different types of Micro-Stressors that people use.

When people do these, there are often mixed Results.

Some people gain tremendous Benefits and will rave about one method or another.

Others seem to find No Results, or in some cases, these methods actually make their Wellbeing worse!

Now, the question becomes why?

Why is it that these sometimes work, sometimes create no change, and other times end up being detrimental?

Is this a case of the Placebo Effect?

Or is there something else going on?

Well, it is quite a complex subject, more complex than most realize.

See, Stress itself is extremely multi-faceted.

There is not one type of Stress that exists.

Stress exists on a Spectrum.

Both ends of the Spectrum can be bad when you stay in it too long.

On one end, you have Burnout, where you have been in so much Dis-Stress for so long that your body starts to tear itself apart, literally.

On the other end, you have Boredom, where you don't have enough Stressors in your life.

See, your body "wants" to be used, but it wants to move back and forth between Eu-Stress (specifically Flow States) and Recovery (where the Body can Heal itself from Stress Damage).

So, where do Micro-Stressors fall into this Spectrum?

Well, that is both the Key and Problem that explains why Results vary for people.

Technically, a Micro-Stressor can fall "anywhere" on the Spectrum.

All a Micro-Stressor is would be a "small" amount of a Stressor.

All Stressors inherently are not Good or Bad.

What makes them Good or Bad?

Total Stressors in our Lives.

As I usually put it, All Stress Adds.

When we have too many total Stressors, we will move further on the Spectrum toward Burnout.

When we have too few Stressors, we will move further on the Spectrum toward Boredom.

Now, a Micro-Stress's Impact on us will completely depend on "all" the other Stressors in your Life.

If you are closer to Boredom on the Spectrum and you use a Micro-Stressor, then your Results will be Minimal if anything.

If you are closer to Burnout on the Spectrum and you use a Micro-Stressor, then your Results could actually be Detrimental overall.

But, if you are in the Recovery zone, or the early part of the Eu-Stress (Good Stress) zone, and then you add a Micro-Stress, then you will get great Results.

For the best Results with Micro-Stressors to help you handle more Stress, otherwise known as Building Resilience, you want it to land as close to Flow Zone as possible.

If you do this Consistently, you will be able to use Micro-Stressors to build your Resilience over time, and it is a great way to accomplish this.

Now, to address the Placebo Effect, can that have an Impact on whether a Micro-Stressor works?

Absolutely it can.

Though science hasn't quite proven it, I am starting to suspect that the reason the Placebo Effect seems to work may actually play directly into Total Stress.


Think of it like this.

What happens during the Placebo Effect?

We "Believe" that something will work.

What is happening here?

There is a Decrease in Mental Stressors that is occurring.

If the Decrease is enough, it will allow your body to get closer to the Recovery Zone, where our body can Heal Stress Damage.

It can also explain why Humans struggle to Heal when they "don't" Believe that things will work.

When we think we are doing something for no Purpose, it becomes a Stressor, and if the Stressor is too high, then we cannot Recover.

So, tying this back into the Micro-Stressor, if we are in a low form of Dis-Stress, we may be able to lower our Total Stressors (especially Mental Stressors) through the Belief that something will Help.

Quite literally, the Belief prepares our Body to Maximize the Effect then!

But all of this goes to show "Why" Micro-Stressors have such varied Impacts.

Then, on top of this, there is another aspect to keep in mind.

The Spectrum of Stress is constantly Moving.

Where you find the Flow Zone one day will not be the same place the next day.

It may not even be the same place you find it the next minute!

Which makes it even more complicated with Micro-Stress.

See, for it to be Extremely Impactful, you need to "consistently" find the right spot for Micro-Stress to continually add to your overall Resilience.

Flow then Recovery.

If you can consistently find the Spectrum, even as it moves, then your Resilience will build.

If you can't consistently find it, then your Results will be varied.

It may help a little, then stop working, followed by a detrimental phase, help, detriment, no movement, etc.

The key to Micro-Stressors is to find that Flow Zone Consistently.


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About the Creator

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

Creator of the Multi-Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Digital Writer (500+ Articles), & Speaker


[email protected]

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Comments (3)

  • L.C. Schäfer3 months ago

    So it's not what you put in the cup, or how's much... It's what's in there already? Neat on the rocks with a twist is fine, but if you've got a pitcher full of a stress cocktail you'll be suffering in the morning.

  • Oooo, explaining using that spectrum on why it works for some and doesn't for same made so much of sense! Also, placebo effect would never work on me because I never believe anything would work, lol

  • Alex H Mittelman 3 months ago

    I like meditating and massage for stress! Also I’ll check out the earth day apparel!

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Written by Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

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