Tuesday, September 24, 2019

5 Proven Ways To Eliminate Stress & Anxiety

By Ron Keeping, Certified Life Coach

“Stress is the trash of modern life-we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.” ― Danzae Pace

As a victim of bullying in my teens, I know a thing or two about stress.
It was the early 2000s...
I was a shy kid in school. I didn't have many friends, and I suffered from ADHD (which no one in my small town understood at the time). So people picked on me for being weird.
I would always find myself mentally and emotionally drained. I avoided school as much as possible. I didn't even want to go outside. I wanted to avoid people.
I'd toss and turn all night trying to sleep. I couldn't stop worrying about what awaited me the next day.
Whenever I went to school, I'd fall asleep in class. This would cause my grades to suffer, which made people call me stupid on top of everything else...
So, I would often have anger outbursts at home due to the stress piling up on me.
Unfortunately, this led to me quitting school altogether.

Fast forward to 5 years later...

I had only worked a job for 6 months of my life, and I spent my days playing video games and drinking alcohol. I was going nowhere in life, and I had no drive.
All I could think about is my past, my stress, and my anxiety.
Eventually, I began dating a girl on the internet who had a pretty identical story to my own. Within a year, we were living together, and she was pregnant with my child.
My world was about to change in a big way. I knew that I needed to make some big changes if I were to become a loving father that I needed to be for my child.
I needed to manage my stress and anxiety. I made it my mission to not only manage my stress and anxiety but to help my girlfriend do the same. 
Needless to say, I achieved great success in very little time.
It's been 12 years since I left high school. During that time, I have completed my education, furthered my studies, and have become a life coach.
Crazy, right?
Since managing my stress and anxiety, I have become a whole new person, and I have made it my #1 goal to help others do the same.
Here are some helpful methods that I have personally used to drop my stress and anxiety:

#1: Fine Tune Your Self-Awareness.
The main challenge with stress is that we often get flooded without even knowing that it’s happening.
When you’re submerged in feelings related to anxiety, tension or anger, you need to come up for air. 
Here are some great ways to do that:
  • Practice acceptance: It’s okay to admit to yourself that you’re feeling stressed or anxious. You’re not meant to fight these emotions. Trying to do so often amplifies them. Tell yourself that accepting these negative feelings is NOT the same as giving up. You’re acknowledging that you’re not in the best situation right now - but you’re still doing something about it. This alone can be a source of relief.

  • Practice critical thinking: Being skeptical to stay cool during a stressful time. Question your thoughts related to stress and anxiety. Ask things like, “Am I being rational or am I emotionally reacting to the situation?”
  • Practice mindful breathing or meditation: Slow down and understand what’s happening. That’s why meditation is the perfect way to step outside the moment and observe yourself. As you become more aware of your inner world, you’ll gain better mastery over your emotions. This can be done in less than 10 minutes per day. I recommend 7 Minute Mindfulness

#2: Tame Your Inner Beast.
Stress can trigger feelings of fear, panic or hopelessness. Awareness is the first step. Then you need to direct that negative energy in a constructive direction.
Another way to deal with stress is by rewriting the negative dialogue in your head. Don't project the worst-case scenario in your mind. Counter such thoughts with positive internal dialogue.
For instance, you can come up with a list of positive statements to read to yourself when the occasion calls for it. Try telling yourself things like:
“Everything is going to be alright.”
“I got through this before and I can get through it again.”
“I’m not in an ideal situation now, but I can still take action and make positive changes.”

#3: Eat Better To Feel Better.
The human body can deal with stress better if it’s in a better condition to do so. That’s why a big part of stress management involves being on top of your health.
For starters, cutting out the processed food from your diet is a great step forward. Start eating nutritionally-dense, whole foods. Your body and brain will function much better.
There are billions of microscopic organisms living in your digestive system. They play a significant role in emotional and mental health. Studies show that gut bacteria produce “happy chemicals” such as serotonin and dopamine.

#4: Ditch Your Inner Couch Potato.
Many experts point out the risks of a lifestyle lacking in physical activity. Research shows that inactive people are more likely to develop life-threatening conditions. These conditions include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Learning about this hit me hard, considering how much time I spent playing video games.
Exercise helps cut down these risks big time! Plus it’s your best weapon against the cumulative effects of stress. The best thing you could do for yourself is to figure out a simple exercise routine.
If you can get even get in 10-15 minutes of physical activity daily, you’re already on the right track.
Eventually, you’ll want to make room in your schedule to get in half an hour of exercise 2-3 times a week.
The other easy way to chip away at a sedentary lifestyle is by breaking up long periods of sitting. People who spend most of the day at the computer can get up and move once or twice for every hour of sitting down.
Go somewhere quiet (e.g., the office break room, your living room, an exercise room). Then, do stretches, go for a walk, or do jumping jacks. The more you make a habit of this, the less damage sitting down can do to your body (and add to your stress levels). 

#5: Stay On Top Of Your Bedtime Routine.
A University of Pennsylvania study shows a connection between sleep quality and stress.
Even losing a few hours of sleep can have an impact. It can leave you feeling irritable, agitated, and lethargic. This is why it’s VITAL that you set the right conditions for a good night’s rest.
For example, make sure your bedroom is free of any distractions, such as electronics. Switch off all screens a couple of hours before sleeping. Do something relaxing like read a book, meditate, listening to calming music. I recommend the Wake Up Calm audio tracks. The tracks are Subaudible Soundwave Technology infused. This means that you'll get all the effects of meditation while you sleep!

This quiets down your mind and makes it less likely for you to toss and turn at night. Also, make sure your mattress and pillow are ideal for sleeping, and keep your room as cool and dim as possible.
Don't take this part of the day for granted. Getting a good night’s sleep will make a HUGE difference the next morning.
It sets you up for success and protects you from the stress that builds up throughout the day.
If you implement these tips you should see significant results in no time!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may make a small commission if you make a purchase. This doesn’t cost you any more, but it does help me to continue publishing helpful content. Thank you for your support!

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