We all deal with it. We all deal with it differently. Stress is one of those things that can sneak up on you over time and completely control your life. It’s amazing how our health can change from stress if it affects us long enough. Things like problems sleeping, poor eating (too much or too little), picking up bad habits (drinking and smoking etc), short tempers, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, lack of desire for everything else and the list can go on and on. Bottom line is; stress can and will affect you negatively and even kill you faster than almost anything else you can do to yourself from a lifestyle perspective.
With this problem in mind here are 6 simple yet impactful ways to get your stress under control and back to enjoying life…
1. Drink water – when your body is dehydrated or filled with caffeine or alcohol it will affect your brain chemistry to a point where stress begins to take over. Water has the opposite effect and keeps the stress centers sedated.
2. Positive input – Books, People and Experiences – When you fill your space with positive there is no place for the negative to come into. Look at what you read, watch, and interact with. Does it build you up or eat you up?
3. Be Disciplined – Many people let a day just happen and are a victim of circumstances that just ignite stress. Set your day how you want it and be disciplined to follow it. If a fire happens deal with it without throwing your day away. Be in control versus letting the situations dictate your direction.
4. Virtual Reality – No this is not a game. Take 5 minutes when you get up and close your eyes (without falling asleep) and walk through your day like you want and expect it to go. Don’t stop doing this until a smile comes across your face. I guarantee this will change your brain and get you off on the right foot. Take the time to do it.
5. Have goals – Make sure you have something you are chasing. When you have a purpose and passion behind something stress is much less an enemy. You will still have stressful situations but you will realize that those are just obstacles versus things that totally derail you.
6. Feed your nervous system positively – We are not just talking food here! Things that calm your stress centers of your brain are quiet time, fish oil, vegetables, getting adjusted (this is a BIG one) and naps. All of those sound great and you are probably thinking there isn’t enough time in the day for them…that is the problem! Make the time! There are obviously more but these are good places to start to reset your brain to a better spot on a consistent basis.
Take the time to not only read this and do these things but also share them with people around you. Stress is contagious and when you help others you help yourself. Focus on what you want and don’t let stress be in the driver’s seat.
Dr. Brett McDonough