After reading Mark Sisson’s post on stress over at the Fitness Spotlight…… it made me think, yup stress really does suck the life out of us. Let stress get the better of you and you will feel lethargic, scared and a shadow of your real self. I’m going to look into some real ways I find helpful to tone down stress that can help you fight those tough times.
1- Have a Release
Whatever that may be make sure you have one, just make sure its not something destructive to yourself or those around you. If you haven’t found a release try and find yours its easier than you think.
I enjoy exercising to release stress preferably hitting the weights or going for a run, I have also found writing and meditating a good way to release stress or at least calm my mind in times when I have too much going on and too much to think about. Learning to meditate is simple and anyone can pickup a pen and paper and jot down what’s on their mind. Make sure your release is something you can do alone without the need for anything more than yourself and some time. You never know when your going to need to unwind!
2 – Read
Reading can be an effective stress buster in a variety of different ways; Firstly reading a good book you enjoy will allow your mind to get away from what it is thats stressing you out. It will quiet down your mind and allow you to be in the present moment which is the real key to removing stress. Try and read anything that you can get into whether that is a novel or a biography it doesn’t matter. Personally I like going somewhere quiet and free of distraction to read; try a cafe near home or a peaceful room free of televisions and computers.
The other reason I suggest reading is that there are a variety of personal improvement books which can help you quiet your mind and deal with stress. Some of my Favourites are;
– “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle
– “Happiness” by Matthieu Ricard
Both of these are great books which can vastly improve the quality of your life. I highly recommend investing some time and reading both of these, they will give you a different perspective on life.
Earlier this week I was looking into some of the benefits of Fish Oil and it astounds me how important this stuff is for our brains to function properly. Its been proven that fish oil and Omega 3 consumption has a dirtect effect on our seratonin (feel good hormone) levels by dramatically improving it! on top of this it stabilizes mood and calms the mind. This is really a supplement no one should turn a blind eye to so to make sure your getting an adequete dose;
– Take 1-2 TBSP of high quality Fish Oil a day (Carlson’s is good)
– Try to eat oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackrel etc) a few times a week
L-Theanine is something I also am a big fan of, its the stuff that comes naturally in tea (notably green) a good dose of around 150mg is typically what you would get from 4-6 cups of green tea. The stuff can calm anxiety, reduce stress and is a potent antioxidant, plus it really works have you ever noticed the calming effect of a good cup of green tea? Well that’s the Theanine working! If you can’t drink enough tea consider supplementing with capsules the stuff is cheap and its proven to be extremely safe……
Supplementing effectively will really help you deal with things when the going gets tough, they may even allow you to see things in a different light halting the problem early on, allowing you to deal with stressful situations better.
Magnesium is something we also lack in our diets today this is partly due to the water we drink being low in minerals and the soil our food is grown in suffering from the same problem. Magnesium is necessary for every major biochemical process, such as digestion, energy production and the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is also needed for bone strength, muscle strength and proper functioning of the heart and nervous system. Try taking 200mg a day of Magnesium Citrate to start, it could help calm your body and mind.
4- Appreciate Social Support
If you are lucky enough to have a good set of social support in the form of friends and family then make use of them, they will be the best thing you can get when times get tough. Having someone to talk to about what your stressed about is great, just make sure you don’t moan about your predicament rather discuss the issue and ask for a second opinion if your unsure as to what to do. Having social suport gives you;
– A Strong Sense Of Belonging: this can help free yourself from lonliness knowing you have someone to talk to can help hugely in hard times. No one likes to be lonely even in the best of times!
– A Feeling of Security: Having people that you can talk to gives us security for when the going gets tough (which it always does) and friends/family can always keep you posted when problems arise, allowing you to know who to trust.
– Others Can Depend On You: When you go to others in hard times they know you have trust in them which gives people great comfort. It also allows them to be able to turn to you in times of need. Helping others out is a great feeling and it will help deepen and strengthen relationships.
Stressful times are hard but they can always be dealt with effectivly. In an ideal world one should always try to do the following:
– Deal with the Situation in Hand
– Learn form the situation and take out the valuable lesson’s
– Move on with life and avoid dwelling on the past
Often easier said than done as is knowing when to walk away in when in a dispute or argument, but its often the best thing to prevent tension and limit the damage of a stressful encounter.
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