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10 Quick and Easy Stress Busters

10 Quick and Easy Stress Busters

Life is busy. These days it seems we are all on the run to jobs, to school, to family events, to work events, to the airport, from the airport! It can be hard to take a second and slow down, particularly if we always have things to check off on our list. The thing we should be checking in with though, is stress. If things go on for too long, or suddenly build up, we can quickly and easily find ourselves in stressful situations. We need to find the time to care for ourselves and de-stress. “Compassion for ourselves means compassion for others.” – Brené Brown.

So even if you are strapped for time each day, when you feel those heat levels rising inside you, take a crack at one of the suggestions below and see if it doesn’t improve your day.

10 Quick Stress Busters

1. Negative Ions

Ions are molecules that seep into your blood stream and help create serotonin. The ions gain electrical charge from nature (negative ions, as opposed to flat charged ions, registered as positive). This is why we feel so amazing when we get a breathe of fresh air, or walk by a lake or the ocean. Get outside. Sometimes in order to get positive you need to find the negatives!

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2. Quick sprint

Get your endorphins going. If all you have is five minutes, jog around the block. It will release the negative or anxious energy that has been building up inside your body.

3. Kiss

Studies have shown that a lot of good feelings are released through human contact – particularly a good kiss. If you can get a quick hug and cheek kiss from a friend, great; If you can find someone to have a pash with, even better. The “love” hormone oxytocin can dramatically reduce stress levels when released through kissing. Love is the answer.

4. Tidy

Clean up. Tidy. An organized space means an organized mind. If there is clutter or anything dirty surrounding your day it can mean added and unnecessary anxiety. Cleaning is the easiest stress buster there is. You can do a lot or a little. It’s in your hands.

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5. Scream

This might seem crazy but to let your frustration out with a good old scream can be just the ticket. Being in close proximity to others we are often kept at a relatively inoffensive level of noise. So if you can’t let out a blood-curdler without alerting the police, find somewhere underwater. Go for a quick dip in the pool, or the beach, or even just dunk your head in a sink of water. No one will hear you!

6. Sing

Bust out a tune! Like screaming, singing is a total release. It is much more emotionally rewarding than people realise. Forget anyone is around and just sing your heart out, wherever you are.

7. Act the opposite

If you are stressed to the point where you are having negative emotions, hard as it might seem, try to do the opposite of what you are feeling. Feel like kicking and screaming? Breathe, shake hands, and smile. Feel like yelling at your kids? Take a breath and then talk to them warmly. The more you practice this the easier it will become. It will also bring your stress levels down, and you will feel proud of yourself.

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8. Step back

Just literally take a step back. Step out. Step off. Step anywhere but toward the situation that is fuelling your stress. Take five. Remember your purpose. And try again.

9. Say “Stop” to your emotions

Our thoughts can take us on a spiral train to crazy town. They move like lightning, and we often arrive somewhere miserable before we know it. When you feel this happening, when you realize your thoughts are swirling dangerously, put your hand up and literally just say “STOP”. It will jolt the process and give you time to reassess. The train will stop in its tracks.

10. Chill out

Literally chill out. If your temperature levels are rising and you are feeling the burn of stress, step into a freezer or fridge for five minutes and take some deep breaths. If you don’t have one large enough, a cold shower will suffice. Just don’t stay in too long — you wanna be cool, but not icy!

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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