Slow down there, Speed Racer. You want to get your life back, not induce gray hairs or heart attacks over things you can’t control. Speaking from experience, it can be very easy to find yourself racing through life feeling like stress is just the nature of the beast. I’ve found that when we hit that overload point, we can do one of two things: lie on the floor rocking back and forth in the fetal position or follow these five simple strategies I’ve used to reset, recharge and refocus:
1. Change Your Channel
Our brain uses two main channels: the sensory channel (the sights, sounds, sensations, and smells of the situation) and the intellectual channel (where stress lurks in dark corners). ?To reduce stress, you need to take the focus off your intellectual channel and put it into your sensory channel. Get out of your head and into your body!
My favorite: the rebounder, a mini trampoline. The rebounder is used to control your breathing, stimulate your lymph system, and strengthen bones and soothe joints. This one “toy” has honestly been a huge stress buster for me.
I set it up in front of my window as I look outside and bounce around like a 10-year-old. The repetitive activity with practiced breathing helps unclutter my brain and gives me a refresher.
– Make sure you do little jumps without exerting too much effort.
– Jam out to some good music.
– Practice controlled breathing (inhale for 5, hold for 10, exhale slowly, repeat.)
– Try to have a good view or something to look at if at all possible. Make your own space. You don’t want people walking in and out.
2. Wake Up Fresh n’ So Clean, Clean.
Starting the day off right makes a huge difference for how it turns out. When we wake up our bodies are dehydrated from going hours without fluids, so it’s important to have some nutrients first thing in the morning to replenish your body and get ready for the day.
I take a greens supplement when I first wake up to energize my body and begin balancing my body’s pH levels. When your body’s pH drops (meaning it has become more acidic), the likelihood of ailments increases. This is very obvious but whatever we put in our body has a direct effect on our pH, which in turn controls how good we feel. You can be pro-active and help out your pH level in your body (making it more alkaline) by incorporating a greater portion of alkaline-forming food and supplements.
My morning supplement routine: Udo’s Oil, Greens, Probiotics, Vega protein, Multi vitamin, 1 liter of water with some ginseng.
For more info on alkaline vs. acid and a list of foods containing each, check out this article here.
3. Get Moving
We are all aware of the benefits of exercise, but sometimes we discourage ourselves to take action. Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t have time” or “I don’t have money,” etc?
The goods news: walking is easy and it’s free! So get off your butt out of that desk chair and into the outside world. FRESH AIR…MMMMM. I call this walking mediation.
I make this part of my routine in the morning, or as soon as I start feeling a lot of stress coming on. A 15-minute walk outside can radically change your focus. Sometimes I’ll take a walk to reflect and calm my mind and body; other times I’ll brainstorm and get into my creative space. A lot of times I have my “aha” moments during these walks because my mind is free. I’ve been known to figure out a new app or plan out strategies as I walk (the native voice memo app is perfect for recording thoughts on the go).
4. Eating Right – Energy Generators
Energy and vibrancy allows you to conquer anything you want. So how do you get energy? Cocaine. Just joking, stay with me…You get it by putting good things into your body. Foods are like people. They either nurture you or they are toxic. You must choose them wisely if you want a healthy life.
If possible, stick to organic veggies, proteins and small, frequent meals. Proteins (fish, soy, legumes, lentils, beans, and nuts) slow the absorption of glucose so your brain gets a long and steady flow of fuel, rather than the brief crack-blast you get from eating carbs and sugary foods. The amino acids found in these proteins help produce the neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine – that keep us focused, energetic, and upbeat. Also, eating smaller, more frequent meals keeps your energy up and your metabolism revved. Too much food, even if it’s well balanced, is going to make you drowsy because it introduces too much glucose for your body to handle at one time. Your body spends most of its energy digesting, so if it’s overloaded, it will drain all other areas of your body. Yes, all area.
Make it easy on yourself and stock your house with nurturing foods and toss all the toxic ones. Again don’t be a complete General, a cookie here and there is not going to matter, but don’t make it the norm. Also, when you’re going to work or traveling, bring some good food with you (I choose fruit and nuts or a green bar). This prevents you from getting so hungry you black out and come to at a McDonald’s saying, “Yes. Supersize me.”
5. Induce a Quick High
It’s easy to visit Negative Street on Blah Avenue, but it’s not ok to stay there. Simply relocate by getting high…naturally high that is. Releasing endorphins in your body for a natural high results in a calmer, happier you. One strategy I use is to look through “special moment” pictures or watch funny homemade videos as a quick pick-me up. Guess what? They are right – laughing is actually the best medicine. Reminiscing on happy or hilarious memories keeps me centered and puts everything into perspective. This completely re-energizes me and makes me feel the best emotion of all: gratitude.
Other endorphin-releasing methods:
– Watch a funny YouTube clip.
– Eat some spicy food (keep some breath mints close by!)
– Listen to music while you work.
– Call a supportive friend or family member for a quick chat.
– Try something new (start with small things first, like a new food, then build up to bigger accomplishments)
– Create a gratitude list to visualize why you should be thankful.
– Exercise: Everything from walking to sex, to hiking, to running etc.
Make it easy to feel good. Set up a routine that makes these tips easy to do every day. If it feels like a chore, you will be less likely to keep it going. Once you do it for a week, you’ll start to recondition yourself and make it a pattern.
“If you create an act, you create a habit. If you create a habit, you create a character. If you create a character, you create a destiny.” – Andre Maurois