The Body Healer
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Stress Free Living

Stress free livingWhereas some of us are worry-worts and spend our days continually finding something to be worried or anxious about, other people are naturally calm and relaxed.  They seem to shrug off stressful events and take them all naturally in-stride.  How can we stop stressing and cultivate this state of mind?  How can we not let stress get the better of us and traumatize us on a continual basis?  

We begin by understanding that even though we may not be able to control when a stressful event occurs, we can always control how we choose to respond to it.

If you are unfamiliar with how seriously stress impacts the body, read more about why chronic stress is more debilitating than the effects of a heart attack, and why it causes your chance of developing a chronic or autoimmune disease to skyrocket.  

Why stress is a silent killer...

The Root Cause of All Stress

Before we take a look at the 14 ways you can significantly reduce the level of stress in your life, take a few minutes to understand that even though these tips will be of great benefit to you, it is much more important to understand the true nature of stress:  A belief in the illusion that we are a victim of our circumstances, and that we have no real ability or power to change those circumstances.  

The truth is the exact opposite.  Not only do we all possess the power to create the life of our choice and eliminate our stress for good, but learning how we can do just that is much easier than you think.

Getting rid of stress for good...

Changing How We Respond to Stress

Most of the stress in our lives is unnecessary.  It is the kind that years later, you will look back on and realize how silly it was that such a trivial situation caused you such distress.  By changing certain habits, and consistently practicing different methods of staying calm and relaxed, you can proactively prepare yourself to not be hit blindside the next time you experience a stress trigger.

Here are some great tips to help you develop a mindset to effectively deal with stressful events when they occur.  By changing HOW YOU CHOOSE TO RESPOND TO STRESS, you become much more empowered and in control.

  1. Take action to remove the source of stress
    Happiness Getting to the source of the stress helps you to prevent it before is happens.  For example, if the cause of your stress is a difficult relationship, then take steps to resolve the difficulties.  It may involve defining new boundaries, working with the other party on changing how you interact with eachother, or even ending a relationship.  New or different compromises may need to be made on both sides, or perhaps you have compromised too much and need to reevaluate.  If your job is causing you stress, then see what you can do to reduce that stress.  If your workload is too high, talk to your boss.  If you are working too many hours, then cut back.  If you dislike your job, then look to change it.  If you do not like your boss, look at ways to improve the relationship, or consider transferring to a different department.

    Every problem contains its own solution.  If you approach the problem with finding that solution and taking action instead of inaction, the situation will always resolve itself.

  2. Eliminate unnecessary commitments, chores, & responsibilities
    We all have commitments in our lives.  Consider each of these commitments and the level of stress associated with them.  Work to remove the ones that stress you the most.  Sometimes we volunteer to take on too many responsibilities, when it may simply be time to say no.  Are there responsibilities you have taken on that can be shared responsibilities with others?  Are there activities you have committed to or hobbies you engage in that you no longer enjoy?  If so, it may be time to eliminate them from your life.

  3. Laughter is the language of the Gods
    Make a conscious effort to do things throughout your day that make you smile or laugh.  This can be as simple as playing with your dog, or your children.  It can be reading the comics or touching base with a friend you enjoy chatting with.  Perhaps it is a comedy or TV show you enjoy.

  4. Listen to music you enjoyListen to music you enjoy
    Whether it makes you feel upbeat and has you singing at the top of your lungs, or is calming and relaxing, the key is to choose music that creates a general sense of well-being.  Sometimes you may want to feel energized and listen to Whitesnake, and at other times relaxing to Enya sounds like a plan.  Have fun creating playlists of your choice, and keep your iPod or smartphone and a set of headphones handy.

  5. Stop procrastinating
    When we habitually procrastinate, we allow stuff to pile up in our lives.  That "stuff" then becomes overwhelming and contributes to increasing our stress level.  Create a simple to-do list that you set aside 15-30 mins each day to take care of.  Give yourself an incentive - a treat that you get after your to-do list.  For example, a glass of wine (preferably organic) at the end of the time frame.  The reason I recommend such a short time frame is because it is short enough for you see the light at the end of the tunnel coming very quickly, but long enough where you can get a lot done! 

  6. Get organized
    Most of us are disorganized to some degree, and some of us function well in chaos.  But visual clutter can cause us to feel "psychologically cluttered."  Just a few minutes each day to simply straighten things up can do wonders in creating a much tidier environment.  

    I personally cannot stand cleaning and tidying up.  I set aside a maximum of 10 mins each day to straighten up the house and kitchen and say to myself:  "Ready... Set... GO!" and go on a mad dash to get everything cleaned up, always feeling energized and motivated because I know in only 10 mins it will be over!  Not only that, I blast some music in the background.  The key is to make it a positive experience, no matter how short the time frame.  I now have my house cleaning down to a perfect 10 min science!

  7. Take time out
    Playing with the catsEvery day, take time out for number 1 - and that's you!  It is critically important that you take time to recharge your batteries, reconnect with yourself, and do something that is not done out of any obligation or duty, but simply because you enjoy it for yourself.  

    For some of us, that may be curling up with a good book (if the house is too noisy, many libraries and bookstores have cozy chairs to choose from), or perhaps taking a hot bath.  Going to the gym or playing with kids and pets are great ways to strengthen bonds and make you feel great.  A long walk outside with the dog through a park or natural setting is one of the best ways we can take time out.

  8. Take up a hobby
    Many of us have aspirations of taking up a hobby that interests us.  Perhaps we would like to learn an instrument, or learn to play chess or backgammon.  How about taking up a sport or exercise program such as yoga, or crossfit, or martial arts?  What about that creative spark inside you just waiting for you to put pen to paper in a creative writing class, or take a painting or sculpting class?  

    We all have so many different talents that will forever remain undiscovered if we do not have the courage to follow through with the little voice in the back of our mind who is excitedly waiting to be given the opportunity.  Choose something you enjoy, something you have always wanted to do, and then simply follow through.  Money does not have to be an issue.  From community centers to extension classes at community colleges, the price will often be more than reasonable.  Many people trade services on Craigslist (such as learning to play the piano in return for website development).  Meetup groups and similar get-togethers located all around the world are a great way to get together with people of similar interests who are excited to learn and teach new skills at little to no cost.

  9. Learn to breathe
    Most of us are very shallow breathers, especially in tense and stressful situations.  The air barely hits our lungs before we breathe it out, and our bodies are literally oxygen-starved.  Practice laying a hand on your belly, deeply drawing breath down into the belly first, and then expanding your lungs to continue the inhalation to a count of 6.  Exhale to a count of 6 in reverse, first constricting the belly, followed by the lungs.  We greatly increase the oxygen content in our bodies when we breathe deeply, immersing ourselves in this life-giving element.

    Learn more about how you can experience the difference deep breathing can bring, as well as learn how to do the Complete Breath in our High Vibrational Living program.

  10. Take up yoga, meditation, and other relaxing activitiesTake up a relaxing or meditative activity
    Wonderful examples include yoga, tai chi, or qigong.  Meditation and visualization groups are now very popular.  Guided meditation groups can be a great way to experience relief from stress, while learning to reconnect with your intuition and higher self.

  11. Eliminate energy drains & energy-draining people
    When we take a look at our lives, we usually find that certain things or people drain our energy.  Reducing or eliminating the time spent on energy-draining activities can make a big difference.  It can be a task you find interminably boring such as grocery shopping or an event you attend, or certain people that sap the life right out of you.  Where you can, remove these drains from your life, and reduce contact with people who drain you.

  12. Slow down
    Slow down & relaxRushing through life can create a significant amount of stress.  By learning to slow down, and truly living in the moment, your stress will automatically be reduced.  Take breaks throughout the day where you stretch your legs, walk around inside, or get a breath of fresh air outside.  Perhaps drink a glass of water, or eat a piece of fruit while take a few minutes out of your day.  Take the time to relax and enjoy your food when it is time for a meal instead of gulping it down in a rush.  

    Take a cue from the French, the Italians, and the Greeks who habitually engage in long dinners where the entire family sits, relaxes, eats, chats, drinks wine, and talks about everything from their day to world events.  The average European shakes their head at the American habit of wolfing down junk food at a red light, or rushing down a meal in 5 mins.  It's just not done...!  

  13. Exercise
    One of the best prescriptions for stress relief is to exercise.  A fitter person is able to handle stressful situations better than an unfit person.  Exercise has a unique ability to both exhilarate us and relax us, to counter depression and anxiety, and to make us feel so much better about ourselves.  Clinical studies have verified the success achieved by simply using exercise to treat anxiety and depression.  Not only does our physical health improve, but as our bodies become firmer and more toned, our self-image improves.  

    Even though exercise in general is beneficial for our bodies, the three important types are:

    1. The stretching kind to increase our flexibility, such as yoga or a daily stretching program (see our full set of stretches in the Body Healer protocol).

    2. The active kind, such as brisk walking, jogging, cardio machines, cycling, cross fit, etc.

    3. Being more active throughout the day.  Look for ways to increase your general activity, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or choosing the parking spot furthest away from the store door.  Take regular office breaks where you walk around for several minutes up or down a flight of stairs or around the building.  Doing a set of push-ups or sit-up or have fun dancing during movie breaks, etc.
    Exercise & stay active
    Exercise stimulates the body to release endorphins, which are morphine-like hormones that are the body's natural painkillers.  Endorphins are the "feel-good" hormones that cause us to feel euphoric.  During active exercise such as jogging, these endorphins can be trance-like, stimulating our sense of creativity and clear-thinking.  Our problem-solving skills skyrocket, and we feel uplifted and powerful!  This is what runners call the "runner's high."  Exercise also releases dopamine and serotonin which make us feel better, more upbeat, and less prone to depression, pessimism, and worrying.

    Another wonderful benefit of exercise is that it gives us the opportunity to either enjoy some quality time with ourselves, or to engage in exercise with others and make new friends.

  14. Eat A Healthy Diet
    When we put junk into our body, it does not perform optimally.  Neither do our brains.  Processed foods and the thousands of artificial chemicals they contains are foreign to the body and can create a whole host of negative side effects that range from sluggishness to mental fog.  They directly affect our blood chemistry and the wrong foods can trigger chemical reactions that directly contribute to depression.

    A healthy diet is essential to our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.  Explore the Body Healer protocol to learn the difference between foods that harm and foods heal, and about the many delicious and nutrient-dense foods that nourish our entire being.