Dealing With Stress

Not all stress is bad. We all go through it at different points. Things such as getting fired from a job or a death in the family will cause stress.  But even positive things, such as a promotion, new relationship or new baby, can cause stress. The key is to make sure you balance out stressful times with times to relax.  When you go through one stressful period after another, it can affect your physical and mental health.

Below are lists of some common symptoms of too much stress. See if you’ve experienced any of these in the past month.

Physical changes

  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Change in bowel function, either constipation or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Change in appetite, eating less or more than you normally would
  • Headache, backache or chest pain
  • Numbness anywhere in your body
  • Muscle spasms, tremors felt in any muscle in the body

Emotional changes

  • Moodiness
  • Difficulty controlling your temper
  • Irritability, anxiety or depression
  • A noticeable negative attitude (either you have noticed, or others have told you)
  • Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
  • Poor concentration
  • Little things have started bothering you that didn’t bother you before
  • Crying frequently

What it means

  • If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, try some stress reduction techniques, such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing or relaxation.
  • If you feel you’ve experienced half or more of them, consider asking a healthcare professional to help you identify and deal with your stress.

Some ways to deal with it

If you prefer to deal with stressful or crisis situations head on:

 

Try taking an active approach to managing your stress.

  • Write down your worries as they come up and then put them away. At an appropriate time, allow yourself thirty minutes to an hour to go over your worries and find solutions.
  • Some signs of stress that you may experience include nervousness, butterflies in the stomach or tense muscles. Exercise can help you relieve your tension.
  • Focus on exercise that requires your concentration, such as playing a sport rather than running or doing some meditation. Running or meditation will give you too much time to think about your problems while you are doing them instead of relaxing your mind during that time.

If you prefer to ignore stressful or crisis situations:

 

Blue Lagoon, Iceland entrance
Water therapies are good stress relievers. The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

You may not be fully aware of your body’s reaction to stress if you avoid problems.

  • You may need special help in recognizing your body’s reaction to stress. For example, biofeedback therapy helps train people to control muscle tension, blood pressure or heart rate.
  • You may also need the help of a therapist or support group if a crisis comes along that you can’t ignore, such as the death of someone close to you or job loss.
  • Meditation, reading, yoga, deep-breathing or taking a hot bath are effective stress reducers for you.
  • Exercises such as running or swimming are also excellent ways to reduce stress.

These are just some ideas. What are some of the ways you use to deal with stress?

Apple Spinach Smoothie Bowl

Personally, I’m a fan of apples that are sweet. Sour apples take me longer to eat, and mixing them with other unsweet things, would take me forever to finish. But, I like to experiment with food and figure out combinations that work. So, the surprise in this bowl (to me) is it was delicious – an enjoyable blend of healthy greens and the right apples.

  • Makes: 2 servings
  • Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

spinach

  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1-2 sweet or semi sweet red apples or a combination of both, peeled and cut into squares (McIntosh, Red Delicious, Snow or Honeycrisp are all good)
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of vegan protein powder

Toppings of your choice. These are the ones I used:

shaved coconut

  • 1 kiwi cut in half
  • Handful or tablespoon of shaved, slivered or chopped coconut
  • Handful of Blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons of maize seeds of if you’re not vegan, bee pollen

Directions

Add all ingredients minus toppings into a blender and puree until smooth. Add toppings and enjoy!

Approximate nutrition information for one serving size (Based on brands and amounts used in this recipe)

  • Calories: 442 (without toppings: 264)
  • Fat:  6.5g (without toppings: 2.5g)
  • Carbohydrates: 58g (without toppings: 35g)
  • Protein: 24g (without toppings: 33g)

Holistic Living

A lot of people think that the holistic approach to life is nothing more than woo-woo mumbo jumbo, others think that it is taking a spiritual approach to life and others, others like me, think that it is simply a better way of living on your own terms, being aware of your own actions and doing whatever works for you to live an optimum life.

If you believe that everything we eat, think, practice and believe has a huge impact on your life and the lives of others, it makes sense to like at your life holistically, taking care of your mind, body and soul so that you can live a truly beautiful, happy and healthy life.

Sound good? Here’s what you can do to start living holistically:

Eat a Clean Diet

If you want to take care of your body and your mind, then a diet that is low in toxins and junk food and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats makes imminent sense. These kinds of foods will fuel your body and feed your brain so that you are able to function optimally.

Slow Down

We undoubtedly live in a fast-paced world, but is it really a coincidence that so many more people are suffering from fatigue, anxiety, stress, depression and a whole host of similar conditions? I doubt it! We all do so much so fast that we have very little time to just be. If you want to live a more holistic life, you need to change that. So, cross a few unnecessary things off your schedule and replace them with things you love like reading a good book, hiking somewhere beautiful or simply spending time with good friends and family.

Connect More

Connecting with other people who are also interested in living holistically – maybe at a yoga class or a local music festival, even in a Facebook group – is a great way to learn more about the experience of life and how to live optimally and make some very good friends.

As well as connecting to other like-minded people, forming connections with animals and the universe will make you feel less alone, more in the flow and happier than the average person who spends more time playing games on their phone than talking to people or enjoying the natural world.

Move Your Body

Moving your body is a basic way to feel more alive and to maintain a healthy body. Exercises like yoga and tai chi which engage both body and mind are best from a holistic point of view. However, any activity that gets you moving which you enjoy will lift your spirits and benefit your body.

Taking care of every part of your life as a human being is the only way to feel truly happy, healthy and at peace, So, do something about it, by living more holistically today – it’ll change your life.  How do you live your life? Any thoughts? What are your tips? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.

Until next time, shine amongst the stars!

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