7 Ways to Beat Stress and Kick Ass
Most of us realize that stress impacts our lives in uncomfortable ways, but few of us understand the full impact that stress has on our health and well-being. Different kinds of stress affect us in varying ways. Excessive excitement can also create stress, though often perceived in a good way. Of the two types of stress, acute or chronic, I find that chronic is the most damaging. In my practice as a Certified Integrative Health Coach, I see time and again that clients who experience ongoing, unmanaged stress suffer more deleterious effects than those that have occasional bouts of acute stress.
Stress is impossible to avoid altogether; it’s part of life! However, there are many tools we can access to minimize the influence of stress in our lives both in the moment and over the long haul. Chronic stress on the other hand can and will make us sick – physically, mentally, emotionally. By Jove, it is physiological!
When we get stressed, our bodies shift from the parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest) to the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), revving us into a heightened state that could essentially save our life. GREAT! Living is good! But, most of the time we are not actually facing a ravenous mountain lion; rather we are piling more and more on our plates, trying to do 22 things in one hour and fifteen minutes, judging our inadequacy, then drinking more coffee so we can perk up and get more done, for crying out loud!
When we plunge into this state on a frequent basis it taxes our bodies (and minds) to a point of exhaustion. Hormonally we just can’t keep up. Internally we begin to break down. There’s only so long you can smile your way through it.
In our center we measure clients’ antioxidants levels to see how their bodies are managing free radical damage. Of all the things we have found that lower antioxidant levels, stress is the worst! It is a silent killer.
So, let’s do something about it! Here are 7 easy tips to beat stress, so you can keep kicking ass and taking names:
Running yourself into the ground or spreading yourself too thin are not productive uses of your time or energy. Nobody will be able to receive the best you have to offer, including yourself. Stop, take a deep breath… or two or three or ten, feel yourself relax and ask yourself “what can I clear out of my day that would give me some breathing room?” Eliminate the clutter, whether it be environmental, cerebral or activity based. Do I really need to do 22 things in the next hour or can I actually be ok with 9?
Now that you have narrowed your To-Do list down to 9 things instead of 22; organize them into the proper level of urgency. “What is the most important thing I need to accomplish today?” Number 1. From there, determine where your efforts will be served best and you may even find that only 4 of those things are really priorities.
These 4 things are really important right? And we’ll feel like dog turds if we don’t complete them, right? So now we need to put 100% of ourselves into these 4 acts. Following through on tasks and goals gives you confidence in yourself and if you do this consistently you will build trust in yourself. After all, if you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? And don’t expect anybody else to either. If you’re going to do it, DO IT!
Chaos can spoil great plans. Without organization things can quickly spiral out of control. Take those 4 things you’ve committed to and put them on your calendar (with reminders)! I swear this makes a world of difference. By making appointments with yourself, you are far more likely to complete them successfully. Don’t hope that it will happen. Make it happen!
Sharing what you are doing with others helps you stay accountable to yourself in your moments of weakness. Everyone has them, but don’t be the flaky person that doesn’t follow through; then you’ll become the friend/partner/parent that can’t be trusted. I always keep my word, so if I share something, I Do It! It’s important.
None of us can do it all alone. We need each other; plus it’s more fun! Enlist support from those you can depend on to help you shoulder the weight. Delegating is a fabulous skill to practice!!! I also like being on the other end, as the supporter; it makes me feel good to be there for someone I love. I’ll bet you have people around you that want to feel good like that too.
Ok, so this is probably the most important tip of all! Life is not about working and dying. Taking time to enjoy the richness of our lives each and every day is an essential part of being a low stress awesome person that other people want to be around also. Again; Stop, Take a Deep Breath, Be in the Moment and Appreciate the simple pleasures around you. Yes, you can even be grateful for the stress. A very wise person once told me (many times) “if something doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.” Works for me.
Lower your stress, live better!
If you like what you read and you want more where that came from, check out my terrific online nutrition course offer. It goes WAY beyond eating a balanced diet. http://inspireandempower.teachable.com/courses/nutrition-demystified-powered-by-procoach
You can also work with me one on one. I offer a free health consultation to explore my health and wellness services:
Hikari Ryuza Center