Stressed, anxious, fatigued, overwhelmed by decisions, troubled in falling sleep and staying that way, challenged to solve to problems?
Here are 5 tools to defrag stress:
- Find 8 minutes of silence. Close your eyes, even if you have to go to the toilet, put on the fan, and cover your ears.
- Play 3 of your favorite songs with your earbuds in.
- Move everyone of your joints in a circle 5 times (about 9 minutes).
- Practice 30 square breaths: 4 seconds exhale, 4 second pause, 4 second inhale, 4 second pause, repeat.
- Find your heart rate, and listen to its pace for 5 minutes.
Stress is one of the essential ingredients for growth. You can have all of the best building materials for your body, your mind, or your career, but if you don’t have stress, the construction crews will never be called upon. You need good building material (think “nutrition” but also water), you need adequate recovery (think “sleep” but also mobility), and you need sufficient stress (think “exercise”).
However, when you have too much stress in too many different aspects of your life, and that stress turns chronic, then the reverse happens. The chemicals released in your body start to devour itself and fragment your nervous system. Continuing with patterns of excessive stress can turn your endocrine system into a cannibal and lead to disease.
Hans Seyle, the founder of the theory of stress, if he had the chance again would have distinguished between stress, which is adaptive pressure, and strain, which is permanent deformation. Seyle called the stress evoked by any positive emotions or events “eustress” and stress evoked by negative feelings and events “distress.”
Distress refers to the baneful effects of stress, with long-term negative impact. Distress may appear either when stressors are too strong or too frequent. Whether a certain stress will turn into distress depends greatly on your ability to recover from (called resilience) and resist stress (called toughness).
An intense workout when you’re highly stressed can temporarily feel good, but then powerwash you with aches and fatigue. Distress causes the body to go into crisis response: it cannibalizes muscle, stores fat, induces fatigue, introduces nerve pains, allows muscle strains, enables injures, exhibits anxiety and depression, impairs cognitive function, creativity and problem-solving, manifests flu-like illnesses and eventually fosters disease. Why? Because your body is smarter than you are. It’s doing everything possible to make you tone it down, slow it down and recover. And the longer you ignore its requests, the louder the demands will become; until the ultimate finale - the only way to make you stop is to murder you.
To “clean the slate” and let our brain fully reboot incorporate the above top five methods and track your results.