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10 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You’re Stressed Out

10 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You’re Stressed Out

Stress can wreak havoc on your decision-making skills. Everyone has made a poor decision at some point because they were overwhelmed by life. Sometimes, those decisions pay off. More often then not, though, we’re prone to doing crazy things when we’re feeling stressed that only adds more stress later. Take a look at 10 things you absolutely should not do if you’re stressed out.

Rehash the issue with anyone who will listen

Do yourself and your friends a favor: don’t beat the proverbial dead horse. You’re stressed, they get it. Really, how many times can you discuss the same problem with the same people? Find one person who can be your sounding board and lay out the issue one time. Only go back to it if you’ve found new insight. By discussing it repeatedly, you’re not only driving your friends bonkers, you’re keeping the source of stress at the front of your mind. This makes it difficult for you to focus on new ideas.

Drown your troubles in a bottle

Alcohol is rarely a good answer to your woes. You can’t run away from your problems by forgetting them through a booze-induced blackout. The stress will still be there in the morning, along with nausea, a headache, and the sinking feeling that you did something you’re glad you don’t remember. This goes for drugs and over-eating too. Just say no.

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Dwell on it all night

Sleep is a precious commodity when you’re stressed out. It’s too tempting to lay in bed worrying all night long. Missing out on sleep can actually make you feel more stressed. Sleep deprivation can interfere with your ability to think clearly. You need your brain in optimal working condition to find the answer to resolve your stress.

Be afraid to say no

When you’re already stressed out, taking on more than you can handle makes it worse. Don’t be afraid to say no to a new project or a major favor. Give yourself a break to explore your own ideas. If you feel really bad about it, you can always resolve to help out later.

Take it out on others

Snapping at friends and family isn’t going to help reduce your stress. In fact, it will likely add to it. If you feel yourself gearing up for a fight, walk away. Friendships can recover from time apart a lot easier than they can from a harsh fight.

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Make major life decisions

Good life decisions rarely come from rash actions. While packing up all your belongings and running away to Madagascar may seem like a dandy idea at the time, you’ll regret it later. The only exception to this is making decisions that directly impact your stress level, like taking a new job or ending a toxic relationship.

Let yourself go

As tempting as it is to give up showering, shaving, and getting dressed, avoid letting yourself go. Taking care of your basic hygiene needs not only makes you more pleasant to be around, it gives you a sense of control over your routine. You may not be able to control the stock market, but you can choose which shampoo you’ll use in the morning.

Procrastinate

Don’t put things off because you are too stressed out to focus. Instead, force your mind to hone in on each task on your to-do list. Getting things done gives you a sense of accomplishment, which helps reduce your stress a bit. On the flip side, putting things off creates a backlog that adds to your stress.

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Forget to relax

You can’t focus on your stress every minute of every day. Force yourself to relax for at least an hour each day. Watch TV. Read a book. Meditate. If you find yourself going back to your problems, push it out of your mind and promise yourself to think about it later. Spending 24-7 trying to resolve stress is just going to cost you an expensive trip to a padded room.

Keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing

Face it, your methods of dealing with stress apparently aren’t working if you’re still feeling stressed out. The colloquial definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Don’t be insane. Try something different. If it fails, try something else.

Avoiding doing these things when you’re stressed out will go a long way to getting you out of your rut. Even better, it will ensure that you don’t completely burn bridges that you may need once you’re back on track.

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Featured photo credit: thornypup 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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