Updated: Apr 29
Here are some tips & tools I use for active stress management.
I tell my patients that the health of their mind has an immense impact on the health of their body and vice versa. Being able to deal with the stressors in life is one of the biggest factors conducive to a longer and healthier life span.
Given the choice between covering up stress with bad habits or substances such as gaming, watching TV for hrs or caffeine and alcohol, would it not make more sense to cultivate the tools to build stress resilience for your better overall health?
I myself am currently dealing with tremendous amounts of stress with 2 persons in my immediate family suffering from debilitating mental health conditions and a demanding work environment simultaneously.
Today I will share some tips and examples of what I do for active stress management. Using these tools consistently can mitigate the harmful effects of our stressful lives.
Understand & deal with the ROOT CAUSE of your stress. I have found therapy both with a professional and self-therapy aided by the right books to truly allow me to deal with challenges and become more resilient. If you are not sure why you are stressed, anxious and depressed I recommend working with a therapist. I would also consult with a Functional Medicine practitioner to determine whether you’re struggling with nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, food sensitivities etc as these could also be the root cause. Book recommendation: Cleaning up my mental mess by Dr Caroline Leaf. Her method, the neurocycle has been revolutionary for myself and many others.
Plan & schedule Active relaxation. This does not mean gaming or scrolling on instagram for hours and in some cases exposing yourself to negative news you can't handle right now. This means practicing meditation, breathwork, walking, swimming, spending time with your friends and family and animals, colouring, journaling etc. Spend time actively relaxing daily, even if you only have 15 minutes. Plan weekends away camping with friends or love-making with your partner and plan holidays with those you love spending time with and enrich your life. For those who are brave enough, take yourself out to lunch or take a trip alone and treat yourself with a good book! I use the app Insight Timer almost daily for guided brief meditations and If I am feelng excessively overwhelmed I will go by the sea and journal and meditate. My favourite thing to do for relaxation other than travel and discover is to float on a lilo with a hat on and read for hours!
Optimize Your Nutrition. Eat clean, a wholefoods diet! Drink loads of clean water! Follow the no.1 nutrition rule, "Did Mother Nature make it or did a factory make it? If the answer is Mother Nature, yes to that, if the answer is a factory NO TO THAT! " Read more about this here.
Move your body daily. Exercise is a powerful way to burn off stress chemicals and heal the mind! It has been proven to be better than or equal to certain meds for treating depression. The ideal would be to schedule in exercise sessions into your day but if you can't, getting in your 10k steps, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and dropping to the floor for 10 push ups or squats throughout the day is also great!
Shift your mindset. Examine your beliefs, attitudes, and responses to common situations and consider actively reframing your point of view. Challenge your perspective. Stress is only bad for you if you believe that it is. Book Recommendation: I found the book Mindset by Carol Dweck to be incredibly eye-opening when it came to examining my responses to situations and how I deal with stress. It has supported me into developing more of a growth mindset, that is the belief that we can learn and improve, and as a result, I deal with stress in an entirely different way.
Learn something new. Try learning new skills such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, a new language, cooking... the options are endless!
Take a hot bath or a sauna. Use heat therapy to help your body deeply relax and turn on the relaxation response.
Actively build healthy relationships. Consciously build your network of friends, family, colleagues and community. Good relationships are conducive to long-term health!
These are just a few ways to actively manage stress and improve your health. If you make time for these tools daily, you’ll be on the right track toward a longer healthspan and lifespan.
I hope this little piece I put together inspires you to show up as a better version of you, one day at a time!
Should you be interested in my health coaching you, get in touch here