Relieve Stress Naturally

Men and women doing exercises

Everyday Stress Get You Down? Try These Tips!

Stress is the trash of modern life – we all generate it but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life. ~ Danzae Pace

As a business person, do you get the feeling some days that stress plays just too big a part in your life? Everyday stress can come from a variety of places: work, family, relationships just to name a few. Even the things you do to relax can cause you stress if you let them.

Other times, stress can stem from trying to do too much. Overwhelm can cause a huge amount of stress both at work and at home, especially when your to-do list gets too long.

The good news is, regardless of the cause, you can take steps to reduce everyday stress just by making a few changes in your life.

Here are four things you can do to reduce everyday stress.

1. Pay attention to your diet. The food you eat can have a direct effect on how well you manage stress. It’s hard to be at your best in difficult or challenging situations when your body is lacking in the nutrients it needs to be able to respond effectively.

Even making small changes in your diet can help to reduce everyday stress. If you’re not sure where to start, try these five stress-relieving foods.

2. Stretch a little. Okay, be honest now. How many times do you skip the after-workout stretches because you’re running late? It might surprise you to know that simply stretching and flexing your muscles can help to alleviate stress.

Add stretching throughout your day. This is a great way not only to reduce muscular tension but to increase overall alertness and circulation, too. If you sit at a desk for any period of time during the day you know how important it is to stretch.

But don’t just limit yourself to stretching. Any type of exercise that gets your body moving is good for reducing everyday stress.

3. Get enough sleep. Making sure you get enough sleep so that your body has a chance to rest and recharge is one of the best things you can do to relieve everyday stress. It’s also one of the hardest things for many people to do.

A 15- or 20-minute power nap might do the trick to help boost your energy to get through the day, but only as a short-term fix. For longer term solutions try a natural sleep aid such as essential oils or massage to help ensure you get the amount of sleep your body needs to be at its stress-fighting best.

4. Take a deep breath and count to ten. It may seem like a simple thing, but when faced with a stressful situation, sometimes the easiest thing to do to get back on track is to simply slow down and breathe.

Deep breathing fills your lungs to capacity, helps to oxygenate your body, decrease stress, and increase alertness. The best thing about deep-breathing exercises is they can be done anytime, anywhere. All you have to do is breathe!

These may seem like simple steps to take, but making small lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on your quality of life, and the amount of stress you face. The next time everyday stress gets you down, try one of these tips to get you back on track again.

One note of caution: Before embarking on any lifestyle changes, be sure to check with your doctor or health-care provider, especially if you are already dealing with health issues.

Origami on beach that says work, life, balance

Work-Life Balance and Exercise

work life balance, exercise, motivation, self careBy Grahak Cunningham

We have all finished a tough day at work and then come home from a run or the gym and felt the benefits, both physical and mental. Sweating out the problems of the day, we can feel pleased with ourselves and leave the worries and problems of everyday life behind. Something about it invokes a clarity in our mind and hearts.

So what is the connection between exercise and stress management? Firstly let us look at situations where things just aren’t happening.

Mental stress causes real problems when we are attempting something. Everybody on earth has experienced the stream of endless and meaningless thoughts that crop up in the mind, not just people who exercise regularly. Think back to a time when you have been lying in bed unable to sleep. Never-ending banter and thoughts make you agitated and restless. As a result you toss and turn and cannot rest. The mind will do this all the time unless you learn to control it.

Any doubts or negativities will directly affect your mood and performance whether it is at work or in a fitness situation. I found it happened when training for an ultra-marathon: getting myself depressed about another run or the jog meant I would I lose all enthusiasm.

For example I went for a run the other day and just couldn’t get in the zone. There was no flow. I got every single traffic light on the way to the bush trails, everything ached and I wanted to walk. My mind kept telling me how torturous this particular run was and the best thing about it was finishing. It happens to us all.

When we hit the wall exercising, our bodies have reached tipping point and our minds will chime in with it’s It two cents worth. It’s funny, though, most of us will keep going. It would be much simpler to quit, easier to catch a bus home and sit on the couch, but we don’t.

Something inside us won’t give up and we keep moving forward trying to reach the goal. Stress management techniques involve touching on this something and help to maintain positivity, health and general well-being despite being in what could be considered a ‘stressful’ situation. During a run my heart rate is elevated, I am sweating and tired…just like a tough day at work.

Combining Exercise with Relaxation Techniques

If you have never tried meditation or stress management techniques formally it is probably not that foreign to you. Everyone has meditated sometime or another. Being under a canopy of stars, the simple smile of a child, the vastness of an ocean, the power of a mountain, they stir something inside us and make us feel uplifted. It is the same when exercising.

During strenuous physical activity it’s certainly possible to maintain clarity and peace. Nature helps carry you. Your mind and body feel purified. Fitness regimes push us to take that extra step, to move forward despite obstacles, to transcend ourselves, to make progress. The further or harder you go, the deeper you have to dig. Exercise is a simple thing. We are forced to be focused and positive. If we don’t it’s very noticeable and you have a tough run, just like I did.

It makes sense to combine meditation and sport on a more formal level. Many great sportsmen talk about moments of absolute conviction before a major victory or event. They feel at peace with the race, game, or task ahead. Nothing is forced and as a result, victory or achievement just flows.

Watch any professional tennis star about to receive a serve. They are deep in concentration. Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis meditated before his big races. “I would just go quiet and try to listen for the farthest sound away…just having my peace, where it all stops and you’re just aware of where you need to be.” He once commented. “Every record I set, I knew it was a record because it was the easiest race I ran.”

To do well in sport (or anything for that matter) you need focus, clarity, and concentration; skills that can be learnt through formal practice. The repetitive movement and regular breathing in running for example helps induce a calm and reflective mind, with it comes a positive power. I have been 1000 miles into an ultra and sometimes I felt like I had the strength of ten men coursing through my body.

A Relaxation Exercise

  • Do this exercise sitting upright in a chair
  • It is advisable to practice with your eyes open so you can use it while at work or excercising
  • Chose a quality like peace
  • Breathe in this quality into the mind and body, relaxing all your muscles
  • Breathe out the opposite, in this case anything that takes away your peace such as stress, restlessness and intruding thoughts
  • Try the same thing while exercising and try other positive qualities such as power, joy, or strength

grahak cuninhaamGrahak Cunningham is based between Australia and New York and is a motivational speaker and business speaker and four time finisher and 2012 champion of the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race.

African American mother and daughter in kitchen making healthy breakfast

Five Tips to Boost Your Energy During the Day

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” – Tony Robbins

It’s 10:30 AM. You just feel like you need to boost your energy to get through until lunch. You decide to grab an extra cup of coffee to get though the morning. Thirty minutes later the fatigue returns, making it harder to stay focused and feel productive.

Being stressed out can drain you of physical and mental energy. You run on all cylinders all day between work and home, feeling wired but tired when you put your head on the pillow at night. Your mind races with everything that still needs to be finished. Yet there is a nagging fatigue that overwhelms your body. And low energy is hard to ignore when you are dragging though the day.

Your energy bank.

Think about your energy as if it were kept in a bank account. Each time you take care of something or someone, you are spending from your energy account. Giving back to yourself refills your energy. When you withdraw from your energy account repeatedly without putting energy into your account, you enter into the chronic stress zone.

Here are five tips to boost your energy during the day:

African American mother and daughter in kitchen making healthy breakfastEat breakfast. Food fuels the body. Breakfast is a great stress reliever plus it gets you revved up for the day. Make a quick smoothie, adding kale or spinach, protein powder and other vegetables. Try steel cut oats with blueberries and almond or coconut milk for a great breakfast. Keep a healthy snack ready for mid-morning to keep you going strong. Adding protein to breakfast can energize your day and help you feel full longer.

Stretch more. Sitting in one position for any length of time causes stiff, tight muscles. Moving every thirty minutes will promote better circulation, keep your muscles lengthened, and energize your body.

Meditate. Meditation allows the mind to clear get focused and be present. A meditation myth is you must sit crossed-legged and have at least 30 minutes extra to properly meditate. The truth about meditation is even five minutes of quieting your mind in a comfortable chair can be helpful.

Drink Water. Did you know if you are thirsty that you are already dehydrated? While water isn’t a direct source of energy, it is a vital part of the chemical reaction to create energy in the body. Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee will increase dehydration rather than replenish fluid in your body.

Exercise. The last thing that you feel like doing is exercising when you are tired. Exercise during the day helps to energize you and release feel good hormones in the body. Just taking a walk around the block can help you rejuvenate after sitting at the desk for a while.

There are so many choices you can make that directly affect your energy level. Choose one or all of these energy-boosting tips to keep focused, productive, and happy.

The Art of Deep Breathing: A Sanity-Saving Strategy

deep breathing, stress relief naturally, relaxation technique, relaxation recordingBreathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~ Oprah Winfrey

Have you ever had one of those days where you were so stressed that you felt like you could use some help to save your sanity? If so, you’ll be happy to discover a strategy you can use to reduce stress and improve your health at the same time. This strategy is easy and convenient, and it’s called “deep breathing.”

One response to stress is shallow breathing. This type of breathing is not the best way to draw air into the body, since you are mostly filling the upper part of your lungs. On the other hand, diaphragmatic or deep breathing fills the lungs with life-giving oxygen. This type of breathing fills the lungs to their capacity.

Here is a deep breathing exercise. While lying on your back or sitting in a chair, place your hands on your abdomen near your naval. Take deep breaths, feeling the rise and fall of your abdominal area. Taking a few deep breaths will not only oxygenate your body but also will help improve circulation, decrease anxiety and increase alertness.

We automatically breathe without thinking about it too much, unless a medical condition affecting breathing is present. The moment we bring breathing into awareness, we begin to control how we breathe. The beauty is that it doesn’t cost you anything to breathe. But when is it appropriate to do breathing exercises? And how often can they be done?

When To Do Deep Breathing Exercises

There are no hard-and-fast rules stipulating when to do breathing exercises. It really depends on what you’re wishing to achieve by doing them.

You can use breathing exercises at any time to:

• Achieve a state of calm
• Feel alive, invigorated, and ready for your day
• Reduce stress in tense situations
• Wind down at the end of the day

When you wake up in the morning, you may wish to do some quick deep breathing exercises to feel invigorated and ready to go. You can go outside, take a deep breath, and then breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.

This breathing exercise can serve as a workout for your abdominal muscles and lungs. It can make you feel quite refreshed at the beginning of your day and provides a similar effect to taking a morning jog.

When you’re having a rough day at work or dealing with conflict, you can use a few calming breaths to help reduce stress. Sit back, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Hold it in and then let it out. Repeat the process until you feel relaxed.

Health Benefits of Breathing Exercises

If you just need a quick lift, then you’ll only need to spend a short time here and there doing some deep breathing exercises. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have a significant impact on your health and serenity, you can form a routine of several breathing exercises throughout your day.

Whatever the duration, breathing exercises may bring you many health benefits, including:

• Reduce your blood pressure
• Calm your nerves
• Tighten your core muscles
• Aid in better digestion
• Aid in the elimination of waste and toxins
• Bring you higher levels of energy
• Increase your awareness of the functions within your body
• Reduce stress

Your own results will depend upon the type and frequency of breathing exercises you use.

Anyone Can Benefit From Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can benefit virtually anyone. The only individuals who should take extreme caution are those with respiratory issues. Always check with your physician before attempting these exercises.

Nevertheless, sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy the relaxing effects that deep breathing can provide. It’s an effective solution to reduce stress, bring you peace, and improve your life.

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