Stress. We all experience it. No way around it.
It’s part of life and it arises within us as challenges with work, relationships, finances and health occur.
And having too much of it can create further problems, if we don’t know how to deal with it effectively.
As human beings in a given moment, we are closed systems.
We only have a maximum capacity for taking stress.
And if you’re in a calm or relaxed state you can handle more than in an already stressed-out state.
Your system is already half full let’s say, so when your system gets stressed it’s closer to the breaking point, where you feel like you going to lose it, or maybe you do.
I’m not a big believer in figuring out how to beat stress only when it arises.
I believe in lifestyle changes that will help reduce stress overall, so we’re not always reacting when we reach the point of critical mass aka a major blow up.
Here are some ways to relieve stress that should be practiced, ongoingly, in your life:
1) Breathing: Most of us don’t know how to breathe properly. We aren’t even aware of how we’re breathing.
The majority of people breathe shallowly, up in their chest only, not deep into their belly. There’s a great technique called “coherence breathing” that is all about proper breathing.
The basic form lasts for a count of 6 in, and a count of 6 out (of course we don’t want to be this rigid, this is just for practice).
Breathing into the belly, expanding it, then expanding the chest and upper chest, and exhaling in the reverse order.
It’s a powerful way to breathe, especially in times of high stress.
2) Exercise: Regular exercise of any kind is fantastic.
I like keeping my body in shape with weights and cardio, like many people do. I think it’s great.
However I am a bigger fan of practices like yoga or Tai Chi, something with a philosophical component and an overall well-being approach that isn’t just physical.
3) Meditation: Building awareness with meditation is one of the best ways to relieve stress.
It cultivates mindfulness and the ability to be aware of your thoughts and feelings, so that even when you are stressed out, you can control your reaction much better, allow what you are feeling to be as it is, and let is pass.
Many people try meditation and say it is “too boring” but really it’s a lack of ability to be still, or be by themselves.
4) Proper Diet: Are you aware of any food allergies that you might have that could be causing you stress?
There is something called the “elimination diet” which progressively takes you off of most all food groups, then you slowly add things back in so you can notice if you have any reactions to certain food groups.
The most common difficulties arise with wheat grains and dairy. I recommend doing this to check your stress reactions to certain foods.
So there’s four ways on how to beat stress and to begin reclaiming your life from it.
It’s important to set up rituals everyday to support yourself with a more stress free life, and I hope these suggestions get you started on the right path for relieving stress.
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