Episode 29 – 4 ways to eliminate stress forever

Stress is more than just common things like traffic, a frustrating boss or no WIFI.

 

Stress can also be caused by poor digestion, malnourishment, emotional circumstances, under recovery, lack of sleep and even overtraining. Learning to manage chronic stress will not only improve the way you look and feel but, dramatically lower the risk of symptoms caused by stress.

 

So, what are some of the simplest ways you can manage your stress on a daily basis?

 

1. Get a good night’s rest

A good night’s rest is about quality as it is quantity. If your having trouble consistently sleeping 6-8 hours per night, add in a “sleep routine” leading up to bedtime.  A “sleep routine” will help create a habit loop, which triggers your body to prepare for sleep.

 

What to do:

Turn the main lights off at least 60-90minutes before sleep, put your phone away and a keep your room cool, dark and as quiet as possible. AND no TV! Instead, try nighttime stretching, reading books or good old fashioned real conversation with friends and family.

 

2. Take time out

The office environment can be a fast paced lifestyle and eventually this will all catch up on you. To manage stress in the corporate life, learn to balance work with rest. And the best way to do this is by offsetting the high intensity mental activities of work with low intensity physical activities.

 

What to do:

Take time out to attend a yoga class, to go for a walk, a swim or even meditate. No time? Simply get away from the office for a 5-minute walk, focus on deep nasal breathing into your stomach area and feel your mind and body relax.

 

 

How else can you eliminate stress forever? Read on.

 

 

3. Train smart and recover hard

It’s common to hear about the risks of overtraining, however it’s more likely to be a different problem called under-recovery. How many times have you spoken to a friend who hits the gym 6 days per week, goes for a run most morning mornings, and swims on the weekend but they don’t ever appear to look any healthier from when they started. I know I have. A simple rule of thumb is the harder you train, the harder you must recover.

 

What to do:

Recovery can be in the form of power naps, eating healthy food or even remedial work such as, foam rolling, stretching and trigger point therapy. If you need to do something, focus on one of these factors to help you recover harder. Note: muscle tissue is broken down in workouts and rebuilt in recovery.

 

4. Avoiding the stressful situations

It may seem common sense but doing your best to avoid a high stress situation is worth its weight in gold. Like all things, avoiding these situations now is much better than having to control chronic stress later.

 

What to do:

Learn to observe what sets you off by listening to your body. Put a simple strategy in place such as, excusing yourself from the situation or, simply give yourself time to vent directly after the incident through a reflective journal or a good chat with a trusted acquaintance or counsellor.

 

BONUS: If lower stress is good, is no stress better?

Interestingly no!

 

When cortisol levels (a stress hormone) are too low you are likely to see decreases in energy, health and vitality. Typically your cortisol levels should be higher in the morning to wake you up and then it tapers off throughout the day with the lowest levels being towards the evening.

 

It starts with stress!

Like all things in life, stress is about balance. Learning to manage stressful situations will optimise your health and prepare you to be your best at home, at work, in the gym or even on the playing field.

 

 

-yoga thank you for the photo

Bibliography

  • Seneca (1997) On the Shortness of Life  (Translated by Costa, C.D.N.). Penguin Books
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  • Chopra, D. (1995) Boundless Energy: The complete Mind/Body Program for Overcoming Chronic Fatigue. Three Rivers Press
  • Chek, P. (2009) How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!
  • Pirsig, R. (1999) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An inquiry into Values. Harpertorch
  • McKeown, G. (2014) Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less. Crown Business.
  • Kotler, S. (2014) The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance. Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt Publishing
  • Levitin, D. (2014) The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. Plume Printing
  • Kok Sui, C. (2005) Achieving Oneness with the Higher Soul: Meditations for Soul Realization (2nd Ed.) Institute for Inner Studies Publishing Foundation, Inc.
  • Emoto, M. (2007) The Shape of Love: Discovering who we are, Where we came from and where we’re going. Doubleday
  • Aurelius, M. (1964) Marcus Aurelius: Meditations (Translated by Staniforth, M.). Penguin Books
  • Pirsig, R. (1974) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values.  HarperTorch
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1MHyyWsMeE&spfreload=10 – Talks at Google: Steven Kotler: “The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance”

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.

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