Episode 12 – Super Easy Stress Management Tips And Tricks

 

Do any of these stress you out?

  • Increased workload or demands of the job
  • Bills
  • Traffic
  • Relationship changes
  • Health scares or illness
  • Side effects of drugs or medication side effects
  • Destructive thoughts
  • Stress caused by family
  • And many others.

 

If you answered yes, then stress is affecting your health and well-being.  Let’s discuss four super easy stress management tips and tricks to help you to manage your stress better.

 

Breath!!! Let’s go!

 

Tip #1 – Breathing awareness meditation

Meditation is a great practice to get into on a daily basis. One of the easiest forms of meditation is breathing awareness meditation. I’d suggest you do this daily as a type of maintenance practice however, feel free to use it to manage your stress directly after being stressed.

 

Follow these steps to get into meditation:

  1. Sit on the floor with legs crossed
  2. Close eyes
  3. Sit upright
  4. Breath slowly (5-6sec count for a “in” part of breath) into the diaphragm (stomach area). Breath deeply using the bottom part of your lungs allowing your stomach and rib cage to expand. Avoid breathing through the chest.
  5. Hold your breath for a bit (one second)
  6. Breath out (again 5-6 sec count for the “out” part of the breath)
  7. Repeat (for 5-10minutes see note below).

Note: Focus less on counting and more on the action and rhythm.

 

Tip #2 – Find your flow state

Flow state is basically finding a hobby and doing it regularly (if not daily). These activities of leisure help to fully engage you in the present moment.

 

Flow state activities

Flow state activities are personal, however, these are some examples:

  • Woodwork
  • Knitting
  • Gardening
  • Sewing
  • Games (eg. Candy crush or angry birds)
  • Sudoku or crosswords
  • Solitaire
  • Surfing
  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Music – producing or just being fully engaging in the experience of music
  • Video games
  • Collecting buttons.

 

Note: I personally think it’s best to go for non-electronic activities but that’s up to you.

 

What are the other 2 super easy stress management tips and tricks? Read on below.

 

 

Tip #3 – Get back into nature

Nature is where your ancestors once lived and those genetics are still very much apart of you.

When you are in nature your senses come alive. You will listen intently, look with wide eyes and all the while feel and smell the environment. There’s a sense of awe and vulnerability being in nature – it might be grand like hiking in the mountains, swimming at the beach, skiing in the snow or just being in the forest.

On the other hand, it could be as simple as taking your shoes and socks off, walking on some grass and getting air fresh down at the local park.

Note: Other benefits of being out in nature also include, getting a good dose of vitamin D, having beta-endorphin activation from the sun, as well as serotonin and dopamine production from being active and social.

There’s also the psychological aspects such as positive associations to reliving your childhood memories, getting fresh air and allowing the subconscious mind to catch up while you’re at play. Get back to nature to help manage your stress better.

 

Tip #4 – Get into sports, ideally a team sport

There is no other activity that will bring you into the present faster than team sports. Team sports are also completely social, you’ll have a network of friends where you can joke around, laugh and enjoy a great atmosphere.

On a personal level, you can challenge and push yourself and when you do this, you can build confidence quite quickly. On the physiological level, you’ll get a good hit of serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline (some of the feel-good hormones) and this highlights why sports is another positive tool to manage stress.

 

Some good examples of sports include:

  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Any sport that requires fast-paced action, teamwork and focus.

 

Tip #5 – Talk it out

Find someone (ideally not a friend or family member) – coach, mentor, counselor, to help you work through your situation or problems. The beauty of this setup is your mentor, counselor or psychologist can help to break your situation down into bite-size chunks so you can prioritise and plan with clarity.

 

Some good questions to start your conversation off are:

  • “I noticed I’ve been feeling a bit stressed from this….”
  • “This is currently happening in my life, how can I move forward from here to get out of the situation and back on track?”

 

Summary – How to manage stress better

There are my top 4 tips on how to manage stress better. Try them out! If you’re finding it difficult, go see a psychologist, counselor or doctor to help you through the challenges. To summarize the tips again, here are the top four super easy stress management tips and tricks

Tip #1 – breathing meditation

Tip #2 – find your flow state

Tip #3 – get back into nature

Tip #4 – get into sports, ideally a team sport.

Tip #5 – talk it out

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Bibliography

  • Seneca (1997) On the Shortness of Life  (Translated by Costa, C.D.N.). Penguin Books
  • Tolle, E. (2004) The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Namaste Publishing
  • 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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