11 Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress
There are times in our lives when we find ourselves dealing with more stress than we would like. Stress can come from good situations like planning a wedding, or challenging situations such a arguing with your spouse. What I’ve learned over the past decade is that if we aren’t able to deal with stress in a healthy way, it can be extremely damaging to our bodies and our minds. When we choose to turn to our vices instead of healthy alternatives, we end up doing more and more damage. This is why I’m sharing my 11 healthy ways to deal with stress in this blog post.
11 Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress:
Start with your morning routine
There are so many parts of our day that we don’t have control over. Trust me, when your schedule is hectic, this is one part of your life that NEEDS to work. Create a routine that works for you and when things are a big ball of stress, your routine will already be in place. My blog post about how to make your morning routine work for you will give you some ideas on how to make simple adjustments starting today. If there is only change to make, I’d start by waking up with gratitude and giving thanks for this gift of another day.
Give up alcohol, caffeine and sugar
This may seem almost impossible when you are dealing with stress, however all of these will make things even worse. Interestingly, having unstable blood sugar levels can actually trigger stress. One of the suggestions in this blog post was to start your day with a low-glycemic breakfast to help keep your blood sugar stable. This is one of the reasons why I start my day with a green smoothie. Have you ever noticed the jittery feeling from coffee? That’s also not helping your stress hormones. A great alternative would be green tea or even mushroom coffee. I have yet to try it myself; however Tim Ferriss raves about Four Sigmatic as a coffee substitute.
Take regular breaks
This is critical especially if you’re doing a lot of work on the computer. I find that I need to get up at least once an hour and stretch, or even lie down on the floor for a change of position. A stand up desk or something to raise up your laptop is also a great option. I bought a simple table from Amazon that I put on my desk that allows me to work standing up. Our eyes are also under a great deal of strain when we are looking at a screen for a long period of time. Simply looking up or out a window every few minutes can help a great deal.
Drink a lot of water
When you drink a lot of water there are two immediate benefits. First you end up taking more breaks to pee, which forces you to get up from your chair. Second your brain function is optimized. When you are dehydrated it immediately affects your concentration. A great tip would also be to start your day with a big glass of water before you drink anything else, especially a coffee. Caffeine and alcohol can both be dehydrating, so it’s best to drink water in between drinks or mugs of coffee.
Go outside for a walk or run
A change of scenery helps especially when you are experiencing a mental block or trying to solve a problem. Often when we are stuck to find a solution, fresh air can help to trigger a different way of looking at things. It’s also a great way to relieve immediate stress in a difficult situation. My family knows that when I am in a stressful or emotional state that it’s best to let me go outside for a walk. This allows me to work through my emotions without taking it out on the people around me. I choose to return only when I’ve calmed down and am ready to take on a situation in a rational way. And finally, movement encourages healthy blood flow; and more blood flow to the brain leads to better focus.
Turn up the music
Music can be used to quickly shift your mood, whether it is to bring up your energy or to help calm you down when you’re in a moment of feeling overwhelmed. I use sacred choral music to keep me calm and focused. I love this kind of music and the beautiful feelings it stirs in my heart. If you’re looking to bring up your energy level, why not create a playlist of your favorite uplifting and energizing songs? A moment of stress can evaporate when our favorite song is played. Turn up the volume, get up and dance and let go of stress!
Snuggle with pets, kids or your partner
When we are overwhelmed, we sometimes forget to connect with others. We don’t take the time for the hugs and kisses from our kids or partners, and the dog or cat doesn’t get any love either. The opposite is true however, that if we did take a moment to hug someone else, our stress levels would drop immediately. There are many benefits to hugging share in this post, and I love that it boost our oxytocin levels, which is the opposite of our stress hormones. Take 5 minutes at some point in your day to stop for a hug or two. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the office, ask a trusted friend for a hug in private (if needed).
Play a video game/read a book
Sometimes we need to do anything else that is not work. When we are in major stress more, our brain needs a break. A simple phone game can help us to fall asleep, so that our brain shifts away from the stress. I tend to keep creating to-do lists in my mind, right before I fall asleep. The game breaks that cycle and allows me to escape, at least momentarily. After that, take a few minutes to read a book or magazine to give your eyes a rest from screens. And of course, end the day by writing in your gratitude journal.
This can be a lifesaver when you are feeling stress and overwhelmed. What tasks can someone else do? Who can support you? Maybe there isn’t anyone to delegate work tasks to, perhaps you can ask your family for extra support at home. Delegating can be very tough when you’re an entrepreneur. However, we choose to look at delegating as empowering others to use their gifts too. There are things that we are best at and other things that we aren’t so good at. The sooner we can delegate these things, the more quickly our stress levels will drop.
Breathe deeply and repeat often
When we are in a stressful time period, the first thing that happens is that we tend to have very shallow breathing. A morning meditation of 5 minutes that focuses on your breath can make a massive difference for the rest of the day. When we are more conscious of our breath, we tend to remember to breathe more deeply. All of this will again help with brain function, concentration and focus. Stop what you are doing right now and breathe deeply, all the way to your core. Exhale slowly and allow the stress to melt away.
Have faith that it will all get done
How many times has a project not actually been finished? How many times have you seen a deadline looming and you stress about it, yet end up making it with time to spare? Sometimes I will think about what is the worst-case scenario. Not to dwell on the negative, however this can give me some perspective on the situation. Often I’ll realize that the worst isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. And I can focus on faith that it will be done on time, or at least as close as possible.
We all have periods in our lives when we feel overwhelmed. These simple strategies can help us during those times. However, if you do feel like you are always in a state of overwhelm, this can be dangerous for your health and I highly suggest that you take time to slow down and truly assess your situation to see if there are things that you might be able to let go of. Never-ending high levels of stress and overwhelm can cause serious damage to our cells and lead to degenerative diseases among other things. This is one of the reasons why I also include nutritional supplements as a part of my healthy lifestyle. There are so many amazing things happening at a cellular level, and I want to make sure I’m nourishing my cells every day – and especially during times of stress.
Which of these strategies has worked for you? Are there other strategies that I’ve missed?
Wealthylicious Burlington is BACK!: Want to learn how to create wealth? Please join me for an evening of wealth, wisdom and wellness on Wednesday Oct 4th at the Burlington Golf & Country Club. This event is full of great speakers who will share their expertise. Key topics include creating wealth and the power of network marketing. We’ll also cover how to diversify your income and invest in your health. http://www.wealthyliciousburlington.eventbrite.ca.