Are you already shaping up for the New Year? Sounds about right, January first is only a few days away, and who can claim to be prepared? Anyone? Right again. With the holiday frenzy right upon us, everybody seems to be busy in gathering presents, or eating healthy to fit into that old gown, or trying to lose those last extra pounds that we will gain right back in a month or two. However, has anybody ever considered they should try to get rid of stress instead of focusing on the external things?
While it is a great thing to keep yourself healthy and fit physically, and live your life to the fullest, most of us never pay attention to the stuff that’s piled up inside. Our fast-paced lives leave us almost no time to pay attention to our stress levels, and keep us from living to the best of our potential.
Chronic stress can be found everywhere you look, and if you make a living and work on Earth, it’s almost impossible for you to never experience it. If you have been suffering from stress, maybe the best resolution for this year is to let go of all the worries and get rid of stress that you have accumulated this year. That would be the right way to truly cherish and celebrate the holidays!
There are hundreds of very simple habits that you can adopt, and things you can do to deal with then release all the stress in your body and mind. Here is a list of things that can help you find the ‘happy place’ you’ve been looking for.
There is no mystery to it anymore; meditation can help you actualize your current condition and then move forward. It’s a way of being conscious of your being, and trying to find the inner core of who you are. If you are not one to do-it-yourself, you can opt for a short guided meditation to get you in to form.
The practice has been around for centuries and modern science agrees with its benefits. Meditation can actually help you find what’s causing the stress you are trying to get rid of, and then deal with the issues from the root up. At the end of the day, a healthy mindset free of stress means a healthier and happier life.
People have experienced stress from the beginning of times, and to imagine the kind of life-threatening situations the early humans might have gotten themselves into because of it is a bit scary. When you are stressed, your body starts to produce large amounts of cortisol, adrenaline, and stress hormones. Your blood pressure increases, the heartbeat quickens, your pupils dilate, and you can even start to breathe rapidly. The body naturally prepares itself to battle, but while this response is effective when you are in danger, it might be very harmful for your daily life.
Believe it or not, the little problems you face at work, the chores you do at home, and even something as irrelevant as traffic can trigger the same kinds of responses from the body. So what must one do?
I’ll tell you.
There are many ways to counter stress, but the best way is to simply start trying to relax. Daily relaxation exercises can make a major difference and your body’s responses can then be changed. Like this one:
Sometimes all you need is a few seconds to feel better. So try sitting down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Start concentrating on your breath and let your muscles relax, then breath in, count to 10 and breath out. Keep doing this exercise for a few seconds and you will feel your mind clearing up. Reason? Your stress levels might have just dropped a bit.
Don’t Take No Pressure
While it can be healthy to experience some minor ups and downs and feel pressure every now and then, chronic stress is another matter entirely. All those office demands and relationship obstacles will remain, but your mental state may not.
Excess of cortisol in your blood can cause your body to neglect the immunity system or digestion. If the cortisol levels of your remain elevated for longer periods of time, your health can suffer huge consequences. A lot of stress eventually leads to painful situations like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, weak immunity to infection, and in worse cases, infertility.
So forget about that comment someone made that’s been bothering you for a week, stop overworking your mind and body and stop believing that chronic stress won’t catch up to you. People tend to make irrational decisions when they are stressed, and their body goes through hormonal imbalances quite often. The only right way to live your life is stress-free.
Treat External Causes & Internal Causes Equally
Stress is caused by your body’s responses to certain external or internal situations, and while some of these situations can be dealt with, others may not. However, try looking at it this way; your thoughts and attitude could actually be the real reason behind your elevated stress levels.
This means that dealing with any tension and stress begins from within you. You may never be able to control every externa situation, but you can train yourself to adopt a better attitude. Once you start to see the difference you’ll be surprised, but a change of attitude helps thee tension and stress in your body almost disappear, no matter how bad your external situations get.
Let us take two very different people as an example, where both have very contrasting mental attitudes. Now put them in exactly the same situation. Once you observe their behavior, you will be able to actually see the behavioral patterns that these two individuals follow. One of the individuals might be more prone to stress, feel more exhausted and have a lot of negative thoughts, while the other may be completely relaxed, calm and composed, and at the same time, energetic.
This is how much of a difference a positive attitude can make, which means that you have to train yourself to accept only as much negativity as you want. It’s all in your mind, my friend.
Listen to Your Body
Pay close attention to your muscles and your body, do they feel tense and contracted? Well, that means you have to release the tension and get rid of stress your body is holding on to. The easiest way to detect stress is by paying special attention to the scalp and your face. It is very important to target these areas and try to release the muscle tension. Remember that we have been accustomed to a way of living that makes us susceptible to stress, which means that it can become more of a habit than anything else. So consciously realize that your scalp and facial muscles are stressed and keep releasing the tension till it’s completely gone.
When you are feeling tensed, you can simply stand in an erect posture, with your back completely straight along with your head. Start taking in slow breaths and try focusing your mind on different areas of your body that feel the most tensed. Slowly, start releasing all that built up tension by taking deep breathing. The inhaling and exhaling will help your mind concentrate.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Most of the time, we don’t really know how the food we eat is processed and what effects it may have on our bodies. Coffee drinkers often assume the bet drink of the day is that first cuppa coffee in the morning, but what they don’t realize is that coffee on an empty stomach can end up doing more harm than any good. The caffeine can trigger the release of stomach acids and hormones that will cause indigestion that may ruin your entire day. So be careful with your portions, and never let coffee be the first thing to have to on an empty stomach. So even if you indulge every now and then, don’t turn it into a habit. Besides coffee there are also herbs such as Tongkat Ali that can relieve stress.
You can also try ditching the cold water and settle for warm water instead, which will help your body maintain good hormonal balance. As for the foods, try eating things that are natural rather than sticking to the fast-food-lifestyle.
Your body is like a temple, and it’s your job to treat it right.
With the hype of the New Year, I am sure you have already given getting fit some thought. Now it’s time to put it into action. There are many activities that can help you get the daily exercise you need, and some of them might even be fun. So here is a list of exercises you can try:
You are not alone in feeling like the entire world’s weight is on your shoulders. Tons of your friends are probably feeling the same anxiety, so why don’t you get yourself and your pal to the tennis court the next time you feel like you’ve got jittery nerves? Tennis is a very good way to bow off the steam since the activity is aerobic; it helps in managing the stress hormones while releasing all the feel-good endorphins you so desperately need. The only way that tennis ca get stressful is during a competition, and that kind of stress will actually train you to deal with challenging situations more effectively.
Getting done with multiple tasks in a short span of time may be a benefit if you live a fast-paced life, but it can also become the source of your anxiety. And when you are already managing so much work in such little time, adding an hour for your workout routine might seem like a laughable idea, but it isn’t. What we all need to understand is that we don’t have to run 10 miles each day.