We are victim to stress at many points in our life
Whether it’s school, during work or in our personal lives, it’ll shows it’s face uninvited.
I remember a point in my career when I felt deathly stressed.
That morning two years ago I woke up like any other day. The day was new, the air was fresh and I was ready to take on the day.
Work welcomed me gratefully until I received the 2PM phone call. “Nate, I ordered the wrong material.” In my head I was freaking out because I knew what order he was talking about. “I need you to cancel the order and correct this.”
At this point I wanted to curl up and hide. The order was a few sets of commercial airline brakes worth $500,000. We had already spent $150,000 into the work we needed to accomplish this project.
That night I stared at the ceiling, wide eyed feeling angst and worry. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do and my mood and behavior was unpleasant.
This scenario was one of the many stressful periods I’ve encountered in my profession. It has led me develop specific strategies to cope with stress, big or small that I would like to share with you.
Stress from a chasing rhinoceros
Stress is a physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance. It’s a result of adrenal chaos.
In one way it may save your life, like when a rhinoceros chases you. Your hormones kick in and it helps you run, jump and think better than you normally do. Some people may even call themselves superman, or woman.
Stress is normal in small bursts. A rarity.
Once stress becomes an everyday problem you’ll begin having memory problems, anxiety, moodiness, nausea, and chest pain. The list can continue on to poor sleep, eating too much, isolation, procrastination and even alcoholism.
An ancient stress philosopher once said…”stress is no bueno (totally made this up).”
How to overcome stress
I’ll be honest, depending on what stage of stress you’re in it can be very difficult to overcome. It takes control of your mind and body and you begin losing your sense of self.
Before you do anything recognize you’re stressed and how it’s effecting you. Then take these 5 actionable steps that address your mind, body and soul.
Step 1: Take a break and get away. Leave all technology behind and take a long walk in nature. The fresh air and the smell of the trees has a calming effect. During your walk focus on your surroundings, nothing else.
Step 2: Mediate. By meditating your allowing thoughts to come in and then immediately letting them go. Just focus on your breath. Inhale in, exhale out. Notice the feeling of your breath. Is it in your nose or the rise of your chest? Focus just on that point. Don’t make meditating so complicated, 8 minutes is all you need to get started.
Step 3: Change your eating habits. Stress tricks your body into thinking it needs pleasure foods such as fat and sugar, Snicker bar anyone, for energy. Don’t mistake this desire for wanting to eat junk. Your body isn’t built for prolonged periods of stress. Avoid these urges. Eat a meal with high quality fat, protein and healthy carb. If you want carbs chow on a sweet potato or white rice. Your body and mind will thank you.
Step 4: Get moving. According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America (http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st) a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy. It also produces endorphins, a natural pain killer.
Step 5: GET SOME SLEEP. Yes, I’m yelling this at you. Although this is the most important, I find sleep is hard to get when your mind is racing. This is why you must adopt the previous steps first. Get your mind right. Just like fitness sleep produces endorphins and is the only way you can repair your mind and body. Download a sleeping app to see how your doing. I use the sleep cycle alarm clock on my iPhone.
As you can see getting control of your stress is crucial. A stressful you is an inefficient you.