Researching the causes and weapons against cancer over the last year, I continually ran into a cause that is so silent killer that offers very little sign until it’s too late: Stress and chronic inflammation as it is often translated in the body. It’s important to practice a healthy way of living to ensure that stress isn’t something that is going to affect you or those closest to you.
Stress has such a large influence in our modern living due to the amount of pressure that we apply to ourselves. This pressure activates the naturally occurring flight or fight mechanism designed to allow us to react at a higher level of awareness, sadly the body and mind aren’t wired to last in this state for long periods.
The thought of retirement and the medical issues and financial obligations associated with retirement, bring on their own set of stress triggers, but that is a subject for another day.
When naturally forced into this state, by not staying hydrated or through to much stimulants such as caffeine, energy drinks (which you shouldn’t drink at all) and other chemically enhanced sources, for any periods of time, our body cannot function naturally to keep your body healthy and intact – and it sends out danger signals.
Here are Several Ways to Beat Stress During the Day:
Don’t dwell on your mistakes
During the day it can be worrying when mistakes are made, especially if facing confrontation with a friend, family member, or at work. But how you view that situation can change the way that you handle stress and the behaviors associated with it. By judging ourselves in a negative way it increases your chances of stress related illnesses and extending the negative emotions.
When mistakes are made, reduce the amount of pressure that you place on yourself by accepting and moving on. It’s called the past because that’s where it belongs – the quicker you let go the quicker you’ll be able to regain that positive momentum.
Focus on the now
Worrying over something that might happen in the future is a sure way to increase stress levels. Don’t spend time thinking about potential negative events. Don’t overload your mind with negative thinking strategies – this doesn’t help anything apart from to raise your blood pressure.
The future has a way of becoming exactly what you want of it – thinking changes your perception of the world by highlighting those things that you ask of it. It’s like the time you buy a new car and think there are few about, and then the second you drive off the forecourt you see them everywhere. Give your mind positive focal specifics and see how your world changes before your very eyes.
The power of breath
Before I retired and became an author, back in my real estate development and home building days, I worked long hours and experienced high levels of stress – this is when I was introduced by a good friend and real estate executive, Dave Wesley to the power of the breath.
Learning to use your breath to reduce stress levels is one of the easiest and more immediate effective solutions, when you feel your stress levels on the rise, stop what you are doing, close your eyes and take 5 long deep breaths, on the outward breath notice your body slowly relaxing your shoulders, neck and back. Once you’ve finish those five, keep your eyes closed and take a further 5 breaths on the inward breath this time smiling and releasing any tension within the muscles around your face.
This conscious breathing exercise can be used anywhere to overcome the immediate issue, but remember the cause of the stress should be addressed to reduce long-term stress levels.
You’re not a puppet master
A lot of my friends are entrepreneurs that have not retired yet. I am amazed when they speak to me about the lack of control over their staff. I’m get asked all the time for ways to hypnotically control them. One thing that is important to understand and respect about others is that they are their own person and no matter what you do to incentivize them or guide them, they ultimately will do what they want in the long term.
This also applies to clients, partners and even family members – you’re not a puppet master therefore can only be responsible for your own actions. If you’ve done your best to produce positive results in your business and personal life and things turn out not as planned, then move on and do the best to make things right. You can’t control every thought or action of those around you. In this case we are not talking about your kids still living at home. That is for another day!
If you’re looking for a simple way to unwind from your stress-filled life, try this: drink a glass of water.
Sound too easy? The link between water and stress reduction is well documented. All of our organs, including our brains, need water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t running well — and that can lead to stress.
Studies have shown that being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol levels. Cortisol is one of those stress hormones. Staying in a good hydrated status can keep your stress levels down. When you don’t give your body the fluids it needs, you’re putting stress on it, and it’s going to respond to that.
That doesn’t mean that drinking plenty of water throughout the day will magically cause your money problems, your kids’ troubles at school, and your deadlines at work to disappear. But if you’re already stressed by coping with all of these things, you don’t need the additional stress of dehydration to add to your burden.
Eat to Live
Combating stress starts with eating a healthy diet. So many modern medical cures for stress related illnesses are really attempts to undo the damage caused by poor dietary choices.
Of course there are people who can’t eat healthy foods due to their circumstances, either environmental or financial. Though most often these excuses are just that… justification for “living to eat”.. Way too often the real culprits are:
- Not taking the time to educate one’s self about real nutrient requirements.
- Letting taste buds define food choices.
- Taking the easy, convenient, processed option.
There are far more food choices for eating well than most of us need. In most cases, mindful eating comes down to what we don’t eat – that is, avoiding foods that we know aren’t good for us. There are plenty of foods that are both tasty and healthy.
What do you think?
Get the whole story in my new book Eat to Live: More Than Health and Wellness, Eating Well Rocks Longevity. Get a FREE eBook copy and newsletter updates from this website.