6 Surefire Ways to Beat Stress
In a recent newsletter, we shared some of our favorite foods that can help ease stress. While nutrition is an important soldier in the battle against excessive chronic stress, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. The great news is that there are numerous lifestyle variables and tactics that you can use to help manage stress.
Sure, stress management can be tricky, but that’s exactly why want to share several of our favorite, surefire ways to promote resilience and stress resistance.
Wake Up 15 Minutes Earlier... Craig Ballantyne has been known to say, “Control what you can, cope with what you can’t, and concentrate on what counts.” Too often, we start our chaotic days behind the eight ball, and instead of being proactive, we’re reactive. We end up putting out fires all day long instead of focusing on what’s truly important. A better strategy is to wake up 15 minutes earlier — before things start spiraling out of control — and work on your number one top priority.
Practice Gratitude… Too much ongoing stress can make even the most optimistic, positive-minded person irritable, anxious, distracted, intolerant, and ungrateful. When you’re mired knee-deep in stress, it’s easy to be negative, which is the exact opposite type of mindset you need to be resilient. Instead, you think about all your “problems” and all that’s “wrong” with your life and the world.
Talk about a huge waste of energy. Take time each day to practice gratitude. Think about all the awesome things, people, and experiences in your life. Not only will this activity give you appropriate perspective, keeping a gratitude journal has been shown to produce sustained reductions in perceived stress and lead to significantly lower levels of stress hormones.
Take a Dump… A “brain dump,” that is. I don’t know about you, but it seems like some of my greatest ideas, worries, questions, and concerns enter my mind as soon as my head hits the pillow. In my experience, people’s wheels keep turning in part because they don’t want to forget the thoughts running through their mind. That’s one reason why I recommend keeping a notebook on your nightstand.
Write down all the thoughts going through your head. This exercise gives you peace of mind, and it helps put things into appropriate perspective. In most cases, you’ll recognize that “wondering and worrying” will do you absolutely no good at that specific point in time, and when you wake up 15 minutes earlier the next morning, you can do something proactive about it.
Practice Yoga... Yoga has been shown to exert powerful “anti-stress” effects, and it has successfully been used as an effective intervention in dealing with stress. Yoga has also been shown to possess potent cortisol-reducing properties.
While a regular yoga practice has numerous health benefits, the stress-reduction effects of yoga are immediate. In other words, research shows that a single yoga session can markedly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Take a Deep Breath… One of the most powerful, immediate ways to combat stress and relax is with deep belly breathing, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, overrides the body’s stress response, reduces cortisol, and increases melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and protects against aging.
Find a dark, quiet room to sit or lie down. Place one hand on your belly. Breathe in slowly through your nose, feeling the hand on your stomach move as you inhale. Exhale slowly, as long and steadily as possible (at least 5 seconds). Try to empty out your lungs. Start small, just 5 to 7 mins each night.
Take a Bath in Nature… Shinrin-yoku, which is also known as “forest bathing,” involves taking a leisurely walk in nature. Forest bathing is commonly practiced for relaxation and stress management, and studies show that it can reduce sympathetic nervous system activity (i.e., fight or flight), increase parasympathetic nervous system activity (i.e., rest and digest), and lower cortisol levels.
In addition to promoting stress management and resilience, studies have shown that forest bathing improves mood, increases vigor and energy levels, reduces irritability, improves immunity, and improves focus.
So, if you are frequently “stressed out,” you don’t feel like you manage stress very well, and/or you just need to take a figurative chill pill every once in a while, start practicing some of these surefire stress-busting tactics daily.
To Less Stress,
Change That Up!
May 08, 2020
It’s the monthly jobs numbers today and they’re not going to be pretty and will be possibly the tip of the iceberg as we head into May.
With all of the negative data and a lot of prominent investors and officials discussing the long path ahead, why does the market seem so impervious to the news?
One reason is the concentration of market capitalization in so few companies. The other, a weaker U.S. dollar making the market appearing stronger than it is.
May 08, 2019
Will You Outlive Your Money?
In 1928, U.S. life expectancy was about 57 years.
Today, according to the Social Security Administration, folks turning 65 this year have an average life expectancy of 84.3 (men) or 86.6 (women). What’s more, folks are living longer than ever. One in ten 65-year-olds today will live past 95, and one in four will live past 90.
Most retirement plans assume you’ll retire sometime around 65 and live for another 20 years.
But consider this … someone who is 65 years old today is expected to live 20 additional years … to the age of 85. But when this 65-year-old was born, scientists expected him to only live to the age of 68. So right now, this typical retiree is already 17 years “ahead of the curve.” And as medical advancements continue, that number could grow even more … even faster.
What does this mean for you? Do you have a real wealth path to follow?
Out living one’s retirement savings is the greatest fear of most people nearing retirement age. According to the Employee Beneﬁt Research Institute, 61% of those aged 44 to 75 say running out of money in retirement is their biggest fear.
The retirement landscape has undergone vast changes over the past couple of decades.
As we already mentioned, people are living longer. And previously reliable sources of retirement income — like pension plans — are dying out.
Here’s to our health, wealth, and a great retirement. 🙂
C.S. Lewis leaves us with this great quote:
“You Are Never Too Old To Set Another Goal Or To Dream A New Dream.”
Sources included: Dr. David Elfrig