Stress is a very common complaint, yet quite subjective. Difficult and challenging situations are part of life. Yet, this “stressful” situations, which are seen as problems can also be opportunities for change.
It is your approach to them that makes the difference. It is of extreme importance to learn how to cope with stress in a healthy manner since stress has devastating consequences, not only for your mind but for your body, spirit and relationships.
COPING WITH STRESS
There are many ways to manage your stress in a positive way. It is highly recommended to take a holistic approach, involving the mind, body, soul and your environment.
Address Your Mindset
Your mindset is the most important player since all else stems from here. Adjust your mindset. Aim to approach stress differently (for more info, read my previous article: Stressed???)
Keep a Dynamic Well-Fed Body
You must keep your body highly engaged. Being physically active is primordial since activity stimulates endorphins (neuropeptides released by the central nervous system and pituitary gland that elicit a feeling of euphoria and joy). There is countless research showing the positive impact of exercise on perceived stress. Exercise seems to act as a buffer to life stress. And it is a great way to de-stress the mind.
Incorporate different kinds of activity into your daily routine:
- Strength training
- Aerobic exercise (swimming, running, cardio classes, walking, etc.)
- Sports (baseball, basketball, volleyball, etc.)
- Balance training
In addition, be mindful of what you put into your body! You may ask what does food have to do with stress…. Well, just like exercise has a direct effect on your body, food has a direct correlation with your energy, health and capacity to deal with stress.
It is indispensable to be mindful of what you consume. Certain foods (processed foods, fried / junk food, sweets, etc.) have a negative influence on your cells and mood. At the same live, healthy foods (live foods like veggies and fruits, good fats, lean proteins, etc.) help your body to thrive. Healthy nutritious foods provide much needed energy and positively affect your metabolism.
Connect Your Body, Mind and Soul
Human beings are an interrelated beings. The body is influenced by the mind and vice versa. This is why everything functions better when keeping the body, mind and soul in sync. It is highly beneficial to integrate activities into your routine that help stabilize the bond between the body, the mind and the spirit.
The following are some practices that help integrate your whole being:
- A strong spiritual foundation
- Deep breathing
- Body scanning
- Progressive muscle relaxation
Other activities that help harmonize your being and lower stress levels are:
Remember: If you are feeling “stressed,” do not ignore your feelings. Take a moment to center yourself and implement a coping strategy that works for you.
In order to remain healthy and balanced, incorporate activities that enrich the inter-connectedness between your body, thoughts, emotions and spirit. Weakness or imbalances in one of these areas can be detrimental to the others. However, when all dimensions of the human experience are nurtured and well-integrated, “stressful” situations can be managed adequately, pre-mature aging can be avoided and the body can thrive.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor