Kick-start Your Day Now: Lisa’s Best Stress-Busting Tips

By Lisa Shanken | Blog

"I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go by." - Douglas Adams

There are many scientific reasons behind the existence of stress, but I’m only going to talk about how stress applies to you, a real person who doesn’t need talking down to (and is probably getting enough of that already). You start by receiving a problem. It’s not huge, so you plan to address it later. Now certain factors beyond your control have made that problem a bit worse, but in your mind this tiny issue has grown into a huge unconquerable monster. Now all the other things you would’ve could’ve should’ve done are all beating at your door and you don’t know what to do first. You want to oversleep and overeat. You want to do anything but what you actually need to do. That is pure, unadulterated stress.

Stop & Say Yes

Stop. Just stop, really. Acceptance is the number one key to fighting stress. Realizing it’s you who’s making yourself stressed is one part. The other part is simply saying “Yes! I missed the train! Now I can take the other one or take the bus.” Yes my deadlines are coming closer, but I can do nothing but my best at this point, so I’ll do just that! It’s not like you want to miss the train, or be overwhelmed with work, or have too many chores to do – but you can make subtle lifestyle changes, which I’ll outline below. These tips will make an impact on reducing stress in your life, so I do hope you’ll give them a try.

Include fruits and vegetables in your diet.

The 3 healthy meals that you eat everyday should include fruits and vegetables that can help defend your body against stress.  A healthy diet is composed of lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium products and lean sources of protein. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water will also help reduce stress.  Avoid food that is high in cholesterol, saturated fats and sugar. This type of food can cause headaches, digestive problems, concentration problems, nervousness and irritability.

Incorporate Exercise Time Into Your Routine

Exercise doesn’t have to take place in the gym, nor does it have to be a workout program you follow at home. It can be in whatever form that you enjoy, like shooting basketballs in the backyard, cleaning your home or taking a walk with your pet.  Whatever it may be, start slowly and gradually increase the time you spend doing it until you feel like you’re getting a good workout where your heart rate is noticeably up.

Discipline is the key to a good exercise routine. You can wake up earlier or go home earlier in order to accomplish your exercise routine. You can even try to squeeze it in at your lunch hour y hitting the gym, the stairs, or just power walking. You will find out that this greatly relieves stress and helps you sleep well too.

Endorphins are released during exercise and this chemical has natural healing and calming properties. Doing exercise on a regular basis will increase endorphins and will make you feel more at peace. Doing exercise also takes our attention from whatever is causing stress and has a calming effect mentally and emotionally.

Walking is the simplest form of exercise.

Some Exercise Suggestions

1.         Walking for at least 30 minutes is enough exercise if done regularly.

2.         Swimming is great for the body.

3.         Take an aerobic exercise class. Yoga is great for both body and soul.

4.         Get lessons in kickboxing, rollerblading, Pilates, surfing or any activity that you have always wanted to do.

Meditate or Cultivate Your Inner Calm

Oriental techniques that include meditation, yoga and tai chi are all time-tested stress-busters, helping your mind become free from the stresses of work or daily living. These methods allow you to relax your mind and body, as well as renew the energy that is depleted as you go along your daily routine.

Meditation allows you to focus on your “center” and attain inner serenity. Yoga and tai chi focus on body movements that help stress to  “melt away” as you flow through the routine.

If you are not so keen on the above, there is one simple way to stop stress. Lie down and relax while listening to cool, soothing music. Wear clothes that are loose and comfortable. Slowly blow air out of your mouth and breathe in through your noisemouth and out through your . Concentrate on this until you feel more relaxed.

Correct Breathing Technique

Yoga for a unique spiritual workout.

Correct Breathing Technique

In some cultures, there is an emphasis on breathing, as it is the link between body and soul. When you are stressed, your breathing becomes shallow and rapid and your heart rate will increase, sometimes making you feel panicked. This feeling is very uncomfortable, as you may already know.

Correct breathing is when you allow oxygen to flow to your stomach and into your lungs. Your breath should fill your diaphragm or belly instead of only your chest. Be conscious of how you breathe and correct it.

Make deep breathing a part of your daily routine and soon it will replace your shallow breathing. Your body will have the oxygen it needs and you will feel better.

Breathing Easy Yet?

Let me know how you deal with stress and if you have incorporated any of the above methods. How have they helped?