Stress is everywhere. Our fast paced, ultra-competitive and technology connected lives have over-loaded us with stress.
Being connected to work emails 24/7, being expected to respond to texts in a timely manner, trying to meet expectations of being a good parent and a career person, self imposed peer pressure created by social media, juggling schedules while figuring out what to feed everyone, finances, obligations, having laundry done/folded/put away, making sure homework is completed, not to mention the affect environmental toxins and chemicals in our food has on our bodies... the list goes on and on. Phew! I am getting stressed just thinking about all the stresses. Lol!
There is nowhere to turn to get away from it (unless you just go hide on a tropical island). But you can learn to deal with it better!
Since starting Propello Life over three years ago, I have done a ton of self-work on natural ways to reduce stress.
I found that starting a company, having 3 kids in school and sports, owning a home, and all the things life throws at you was causing me a stress overload. And the funny thing about stress is that the people around you can feel your energy.
And the energy I want people to feel from me is positivity and happiness.
That got me searching for answers. Not on how to stop stress from happening. Because that is a lost cause; something largely out of my control. What I was searching for were ways for me to better deal with the stresses on my life. To build my resilience.
Then over the past few months, the topic of stress kept popping up. It was like the universe was sending me a message. Life issues for one family member and then another. A major life change for another family member. Random people talking to me about stress. And so on. The topic of being stressed out, not being able to sleep, feeling anxious, etc... kept popping up in conversations with the ones I love.
So, I decided to write this blog about my own journey to better deal with stress in my life hoping others may find value in it, and maybe some useful tools they can apply to their lives.
Here is what I learned and a few tools I use to deal with stress better.
Health Issues caused by Stress
For me, stress comes in the form of a short fuse, no patience, and anxiety to get $hit done. I tend to work harder and faster when I am stressed. Let's just say this can be hard on the family - just ask my wife!
What I learned is that there are a lot of short-term health issues associated with stress and some pretty bad long-term health consequences of stress. Below is the list from WebMD. To read the full article, click the link below.
Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
Obesity and other eating disorders
Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon
Key Causes of Stress
You can probably guess what the common causes of stress are: money, family, love, relationships, work, and life changes.
What you may not know is that the list doesn't stop there. Other sources of stress include: over training/exercising too much, not getting enough sleep, poor dietary choices, environmental toxins, drugs and alcohol, a cluttered environment, and many others.
Natural Ways to Reduce Stress
I firmly believe that we need to manage our own health through preventative, holistic, and natural ways. Meaning, that we can live a healthy, happy life through proper nutrition (diet & supplements), exercise, mindset, and relationships (connectiveness).
For me, I have found the following to be my go-to techniques to reduce my stress as it pops up.
- Exercise: when I exercise, I just feel better. The endorphins, connecting with my gym friends, and the self-confidence exercise brings always makes me feel better.
- Cold Shower: studies show there are a ton of benefits to cold showers; one being that it trains your body to deal with stress better. When I am feeling stressed, I like to start my day with a cold shower.
- Hot Shower or Bath: a nice hot shower is just relaxing. Better yet, turn on some relaxing music, dim the lights, and just breathe deeply for about 10 minutes as the hot water relaxes your body. Do this before bed and you will sleep amazing!
- Meditation or Deep Breathing: I typically turn to quieting my mind and just breathing deep for about 10-15 minutes. But I keep hearing all of this talk about meditation and am very intrigued by learning more as the benefits can be profound. New to meditation like me? Try a guided meditation or check out zivaMEDITATION.
- Laughing, Music, and Friends & Family: basically, get out there and do something that makes you feel good. Be with the ones that make you happy, listen to music that makes you happy and want to sign along, and just laugh.
- De-stressing your environment: make your environment stress-free by simplifying and de-cluttering. Clean up and organize your work station. Clean up your house and keep it tidy. Throw away all the clutter in your house. You will be amazed at how relaxed you feel having less! Lastly, surround yourself with people who make you feel less stressed.
Want some more options and ideas?
Below is the list from WebMD on their 10 techniques to Zap Stress Fast. To read the full article, click the link below.
Tune In To Your Body
Laugh Out Loud
Crank Up the Tunes
Stress is part of everyone's life. Unfortunately, there just isn't any way around it. But, there are many ways to reduce it and to deal with it so it doesn't end up affecting your health and well-being. Try some of our suggestions and let us know what works for you!
And if all else fails, remember - "Smile. It's almost impossible to feel better on the inside when you're smiling on the outside."