Stress is one of those things that most people feel they don’t have. How many times has someone said to you “You look stressed?” Inside you are thinking you are crazy I do not feel stressed at all. Yet if you were to go take your blood pressure it probably would be off the charts. Stress is like this silent ugly bully that lies inside of us and just creeps on us when we can’t even see it coming. According to Wikipedia Stress is a person’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition or a stimulus. Stress is a body’s method of reacting to a challenge. According to the stressful event, the body’s way to respond to stress is by sympathetic nervous system activation which results in the fight-or-flight response. Stress typically describes a negative condition or a positive condition that can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being. Can you see any of that in your life? Yuck it sounds so horrid doesn’t it?
Life creates stress lets just be honest with each other. We all have it no matter how healthy, strong, fit, young or old you are. Now that we know a little about stress, what can we do about it? Here is a great article by Robin Rose on stress. I think you will find it helpful.
Breathe: Every hour take two long, slow deep breaths (like right now as you’re reading this). It’s the second exhalation that shifts our chemistry – activating the parasympathetic system (calm and relaxation) and high function brain states. Increase your laughter – laughter is breathing. Once each day breathe low and slow (fewer than 6 breaths per minute) for 5 full minutes (you can do this before you fall asleep or before you get out of bed in the morning, or at your lunch break). Take a brisk 5-10 minute walk every day.
Nourish: Eat something healthy every 3 hours or so – a meal of mainly unprocessed foods (lean protein, complex carbs, good fats). Include a couple of snacks in between meals: a handful of nuts, pumpkin seeds (I like the spicy ones), an apple, some yogurt. A stressed brain uses glucose rapidly, so keep it sustained with whole food snacks (these sustain consistent glucose levels for longer amounts of time).