Inflammation is one key factor behind aging, fitness and overall general health. Being able to pinpoint the root causes of inflammation is key to maintaining not only physical health but healthy relationships with friends and loved ones as well.
Stress is something we all have to deal with consistently in life, by having defense mechanisms established and practiced regularly, stress becomes another simple facet of existence instead of a debilitating trigger leading to frustration, fatigue and an unhappy existence.
So what are our 5 favorite tools for stress management?
These tools include:
- Strength training
- Healthy eating and cooking
- Practicing mindfulness
- Unplug and unite
- Organize and goal setting
These five tools for stress management aren’t just great methods for stress, they are excellent practices to incorporate every day for general pleasure and positive energy.
#1: Strength Training
Think about the meathead boy. He has entered the depths of puberty, he is overly concerned with societal norms and judgment of his personality, looks and reaction to everyday communication with peers. This same boy becomes a mature adult, over and over again by embracing strength training. The young boy becomes a man from the age of 13-17 by pushing themselves in the weight room, they gain confidence in themselves and they believe in their ability to overcome consistent obstacles.
This situation is just as true for the mature adult! By embracing resistance training, adults have a physical and mental method to handling their imposed stress. By strength-training 3-5 days a week, adults are able to stimulate endorphins, feel better about themselves, improve their physical capability and focus more on general tasks in life.
Strength training is a great way to improve cardiovascular health, mental acuity and overall flexibility and mobility. Find a program that fits your needs and schedule, hold yourself accountable and become a stronger version of yourself!
#2: Healthy Eating and Cooking
It’s common knowledge that eating real food and avoiding processed junk food can lead to a dramatic improvement in health. Establishing a nutrition plan based around whole foods and consistent nourishment based around physical stress and even utilizing food for positive stress management is something many people are doing to optimize their daily habits.
One aspect of real food nutrition that tends to be missing is a focus on the act of COOKING! By cooking food and embracing the time and effort around cooking, we will spend more time with our friends and loved ones and we will spark a greater appreciation for nutrition. Gone are the days of just knowing what to eat! It’s time to become more involved in the nutrition process, food preparation is great for hitting proper amounts of macronutrients and for spending intimate time with fellow humans.
#3: Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness is all the rage recently and rightfully so. The Wim Hof Method is gaining popularity, meditation is being studied more and more, it’s well understood that yoga is an incredible way to manage stress and religious prayer has consistently been shown to improve daily stress management. Quiet sitting is another form of meditation, started during the 11th century as part of Rueism, a form of Confucianism and an offshoot of Buddhism.
By setting 15-20 minutes aside each day to practice mindfulness, we are creating a unique defense mechanism for stress management. We are able to embrace stress, understand where it stems from, become more introspective and coordinate our efforts more toward aspects of life that bring happiness and joy. Some of the best methods can be found below, look into what fits your season of life and start being mindful!
Wim Hof Method
#4: Unplug and Unite
Human contact is incredibly healthy, even to the point where staring into another person’s eyes will result in a positive emotional reaction internally. This is generally attributed to the emotion of empathy, our primal way of relating to others, their struggle in life and our innate goal to help humans be happy and thrive.
One of the quickest ways to ensure stress management is natural is to turn off all electronics, get off social media and avoid media consumption and focus on spending that time with your family. By directly engaging your family in a non-distracted environment, you will feel a deeper connection and have a more positive relationship.
Some tricks of the trade are to set time limits on your favorite apps. Set Instagram or Facebook to 30 total minutes of usage each day, turn off text message notifications and begin to treat texts more like emails. Check emails and texts in 1-3 chunked time periods instead of checking them every 5-15 minutes throughout the day. Finally, make sure you have a ritual to unplug at the end of the day. When you are home and united with your family, make sure you are PRESENT and not deep in your cell phone or social media.
#5: Organization and Goal Setting
Ok, so maybe we are sounding like your high school guidance counselor, but seriously find ways to get organized! Organization makes stress management EASY. Why? It helps you be prepared for stressful situations, it helps you set aside time for self-reflection, it helps block out your day, week, month into specific time periods devoted to various important parts of your life. Set a Daily Big 3 for goals that you want to achieve for each day, then a weekly Big 3. By establishing these Big 3’s, you are able to hold yourself accountable and focus on the things in your life that raise your positive vibes.
Find a planner that you deem usable and successful. Use that planner every single day, take it everywhere! We recommend using a digital and analog-based planner. Many people have found that as they resorted back to the old school analog planner, they have done a better job disconnecting from the virtual world and in turn have developed healthier plans that have lead to spending more time with their family and more time doing healthy habits such as resistance training and cooking their food!