Cassandra McCoy Mental Health Physical Health Sophia Pollalis

Stress: How We Can Use Recovery, Sleep and Breathing to Overcome and Heal

By Sophia Pollalis and Cassandra McCoy

In today’s society, stress is a commonly occurring factor in our lives. Join by Be HEaRd contributor Sophia Pollalis and Positively Balanced founder Cassandra McCoy as they discuss a few things everyone can do to manage, overcome and heal during times of stress! Be sure to leave us a comment below about what your favorite stress management tip is!

Show notes:

Key focal point: Stress

Stress can be physical, mental, emotional


  • It’s not always about over-training(stressing), but about under-recovery
  • Has a lot to do with the autonomic nervous system
    • Which can be influenced by sleep and breathing
    • ANS is SNS and PNS, both “fight or flight” and “rest and digest”
    • Can think about stress and recovery as opposites, which we need to balance out


  • Every system in your body is influenced by sleep
  • Life enhancer for any goal
  • Sleep is the low hanging fruit in terms of recovery, performance, etc. To improve performance, we always try and reach for the high fruit like supplements, specific techniques or trainings, expensive equipment, but sleep is the first, easiest, and CHEAPEST step we can try
  • Most sleep issues are behavioral, meaning we can change our behavior and get better sleep (and better our lives)
  • Circadian rhythm – cued from our biological clock that comes from light/dark cycles. Influences with wake/sleep cycles along with exercise and food timing.


  • Pelvis is included in respiration, not just the ribcage
  • Creates pumping motion throughout the entire abdominal cavity and thoracic cage. Creates cerebrospinal flow, organ movement
  • Meditation/breathing/yoga can help increase PNS response and decrease SNS response
    • For our anatomy nerds out there, stimulates the vagus nerve by activating the diaphragm.