By Mark Chetwynd, Ultimate Spark! Coaching Graduate & Certified Health Coach
(picture credit gymshark.com)
Stressed much? Ever had someone tell you to take a "chill pill" while your veins were pumping full of molten lava and you had the clarity and patience of a raging rodeo bull during Corrida de Toros? How'd that go over?
We all get there. While certain patterns of behaviour and thinking can allow us to deflect and often times avoid various triggers and sources of stress, the fact of the matter is that no one is immune to it, no matter how "Zen" they claim to be. At some stage, stress is going to grab you by the horns, give a good hearty shake, and scramble your inner chi. If we accept this to be the case and value our well-being, wouldn't effective management immediately arise as a top priority?
I have contended ad nauseam that when it comes to health, one of the main reasons people lose focus and inevitably meet failure and disappointment is that their baseline of what wellness means to them is far too low. Many folks feel so lethargic, uncomfortable, listless, or stressed to the gills on a daily basis that their idea of "wellness" is, "Wow, I don't feel like complete and utter caca today!" I call that, sad. And no, I'm not referencing the Standard American Diet. I mean, S-A-D!
On a lighter note, as one garners a more holistic view of what health & wellness means, it becomes glaringly apparent that the choices we make and behaviors we adopt directly influence our physical and perceived baseline of wellness. Without going too deeply into the physiological nuances of what stress does to the mind and body, I think we can all agree that it's primarily a bad thing and would serve us well to be managed and avoided as much as possible.
The following is a list of stress management tools and techniques that are proven to be effective on a physiological level and will have you banishing stress from your Kingdom of Awesome like a true Zen master:
1. BREATHE/MEDITATE – Diaphragmatic breathing exercises help to lower heart rate..
blood pressure, and cortisol levels as well as improve core muscle stability, etc. Even just 5 minutes of mindful breathing practice can energize your tissues, improve cognitive function, and lighten the load of whatever dissonance that has been weighing you down.
2. EXERCISE – Cardiovascular workouts stimulate brain chemicals that promote the growth..
of nerve cells; exercise increases the activity of serotonin as well as norepinephrine; a raised heart rate releases endorphins and a hormone known as ANP (atrial natriuretic hormone),
Banishing Stress from Your Kingdom of Awesome (By: Mark Chetwynd / June 9, 2019)
which reduces pain, induces euphoria, and helps control the brain’s response to stress and anxiety.
3. AVOID STIMULANTS & SUGAR ..
When you're stressed, you crave them and when you consume them, stress levels rise. Likewise, while in a state of stress, the body’s digestive system effectively shuts down. Eating while “stressed to the gills,” therefore, is an unwise practice and will compromise your health goals.
Insufficient quality and quantity of sleep raises cortisol levels and hinders critical
recovery and repair which spells, "MORE STRESS." You should be aiming for 7-9 hours of deep, undisturbed sleep daily to optimize well-being.
5. AVOID NEGATIVE PEOPLE –
The cognitive contention between you and your brain to not dwell on negativity or to lash out with unbridled impulse can absolutely TAP one’s energy reserves. Do yourself a favour and cut out toxic relationships and conversations from your life.
There’s no question, stress can be a persistent and formidable foe in the quest for optimizing one’s health.
The upside is, there are numerous effective tools and techniques at your disposal to ward off and banish stress from your “Kingdom of Awesome.” And with some mindful implementation of this robust wellness arsenal, victory will be swift, sweet and best of all, STRESS FREE!
Are you seeking a Free 15 minute Coaching Session with Mark? Email us at UltimateSparkCoaching@gmail.com or send us a message on this site and we will connect you!