Adulting is a thing and stress is part of it - work, money, and family all create daily stress. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize its impact on your cortisol and health.
In this second article of the series, we’ll shed light on viable stress-relieving methods.
#1 Physical Exercise
Engaging in physical activity is one of the best ways to deal with stress for several reasons.
Exercise stimulates the body to secrete and release a flurry of nurturing substances and compounds that improve your mood.
Generally, prolonged cardio workouts appear to elevate the stress hormone (cortisol) levels. Resistance training does not increase cortisol but helps lessen it.
If you want exercise to help you eliminate stress, you should focus on high-intensity, short power burst exercising, like weightlifting, sprinting, and calisthenics versus cardio only sessions.
#2 Food, food, food!
The lack of food is a common reason for being stressed or hangry (hungry and angry!).
Without a doubt, not having enough food in your system can make you flip your switch easily.
And so, if you’re feeling stressed out but cannot find a particular reason why that is so, just unwind and have a big, satiating meal.
For this purpose, you are best off eating nutrient-dense foods, such as meat, dairy, eggs, organs, vegetables, fruits, root crops and grains.
In doing this, you will kick into the so-called “rest and digest mode”, where the body prioritizes digestion, absorption and in turn, recovery.
And as you may or may not know - All of those are down regulated when you are stressed out!
#3 Swipe Left
When a stressful condition manifests in our conscious experience, it is a natural response for us to start thinking (and eventually overthinking) about it.
The first thought of this stressor is generated by the brain, and then, some moments later, another similar thought is generated.
Then another, then another and another.
All these thoughts combine to create a story that your brain starts believing and eventually, manifests in your reality.
Usually, that story is the worst-case scenario possible - This is because your brain is bracing for the worst, so that you can cope with the situation no matter what it is.
And though that is good, it generally brings a lot of unnecessary stress, which slowly but surely drains you and spikes your cortisol levels.
Now, these things are automatic, but they are not really beyond your control.
When a stressful thought pops up, you can either latch onto it and follow the similar thought-creating a pattern, or you can stay emotionally neutral and choose what to do with that thought.
Whenever you have a stressful thought, be it about your ex, your job, or your family, try to just mentally swipe it left and throw it in the bin.
In doing so, you will eliminate any fear, doubt, and insecurity, which will in turn open up space for more constructive, positive thoughts.
This type of internal regulation is perhaps the best method to deal with stress, as it goes directly to the root cause of stress - Your perception of it.
In the past, the stress response was something vital: It helped us run or fight anything that threatens our lives in the wild environment.
Nowadays however, we live in modern cities where death by predation is highly unlikely.
The same stress response gets triggered by harmless things like school or family.
Unfortunately, the stress response is automatic and often, it takes over.
However, there are things you can do to buffer and deal with it.
In terms of self-care, the best you can do for stress management, is to regularly engage in physical activity, eat good food and sleep well.
These things however will just push your biochemistry to a more balanced stress.
The real solution for stress can be found on the conscious level, where you can observe and regulate your PERCEPTION & RESPONSE to stress.
This is where the magic happens. And, while you are learning to regulate your perception of and response to stress, try some of the stress reducer “quick hits” below and supplement with AdrenalWork’s “Metabolism and Energy” supplement: