Care Less or Stress Less?
I remember when I posted "To care less is to stress less." Do you agree with this mindset? I mostly do for my high anxiety self. This may be the first time that I'm sharing this and that is that I am an HFA (High Functioning Anxiety) person. I dealt with trauma growing up and also felt like I had to protect/take care of myself and as a result, I would push through the fear that I regularly experienced (still do). I developed compulsions that included pulling my hair out. I was constantly stressed. I write in past tense but I still have lots of things that stress me out that I care about. I would tell myself, when I stop caring that's a bad thing. At the same time, to not care so much or rather, not worry so much, is to reduce my anxiety and that's what I've been working on because anxiety is literally harmful to one's health. Overthinking is another way to add stress by ruminating over things in the past and/or future. Me!! I do that. I work on that as well. I also posted "Stop overthinking. Create space for yourself. Live in your entire body and not just your mind." (This image) I need to say that to myself every day.
So, how do you work on stress management? Let me share a little. And I'm especially targeting those of us working to treat high blood pressure/hypertension in order to get off the meds- what I'm all about all day; as well as helping/working with women to prevent and reverse hypertension.
Keep it simple and manage that stress!
Keep in mind that chronic stress is a leading cause of high blood pressure and is highly dangerous to the body. Yes, stress will always be a part of daily life. But when excessive stress over an extended period of time is combined with poor coping strategies, it can lead to disease and even death. Some who report experiencing more stress don't necessarily have more stress in their lives. In most cases, less stressed people have similar stresses but are able to release their stress in a healthy manner, rather than internalizing it. Learning how to defuse your own body's stress response is vital medicine for bringing your blood pressure down and preventing other adverse health effects. Stress relief comes in many forms. Here are 10 Simple Stress-Busters to consider adding/leveling up on:
10 Simple Stress-Busters
Walk, run, swim or cycle
Get a good night's sleep
Get a pet
Try tai chi
Try meditation - My second favorite way to reduce my stress after exercise -#1. You can even say a mantra out loud or in your head to help you bring balance and harmony back to your body, even if for only 5 minutes. You tell yourself, Whatever I have going on can wait for me after this 5 minutes so that you can work on clearing your mind during those 5 minutes. It takes practice since we're so used to being in our heads. Don't give up on this one. This is a jewel! You can work up to a goal of 20 minutes of meditation a day.
Try guided imagery- Tap into happy memories and use the mind to create visual scenes of peaceful places where you concentrate on the scene to make it seem as if you are really there. For me, it's the beach!
Listen to calm music
Try relaxation breathing- Deep breathing is so important. We tend to take shallow breaths more than deep breaths. Try taking 6 deep inhales and exhales over a 1-minute period multiple times. It does wonders for your body and helps relax your arteries through which blood flows.
Do your best...and forget the rest- This will help you make the most of stressful situations over which you have little or no control over. It's usually your reaction to a situation, not the situation itself, that is the primary cause of stress.
I love all of these stress-busters and have tried them all including tai chi. YouTube has EVERYTHING! The ones I practice on a daily basis, or mostly daily, are walking, getting a good night's sleep, listening to calm music (during wind down hour before bed), relaxation/deep breathing and getting better at doing my best and forgetting the rest.
The important takeaway is to experiment to find out what works for you and practice that/those thing(s) daily or as often as you can. Another important takeaway is to simply slow down. We are always going sooo fast! Heck, we sometimes don't even realize that we're stressed and in a sympathetic nervous system state. This system's primary process is to stimulate the body's fight or flight response. Man, I think I'm in this state more often than I realize and I'm never in a true fight or flight situation yet my body thinks I am. I should be in a parasympathetic nervous system state most of the time which is the opposite of sympathetic and stimulates the body to feed and breed and to then rest and digest. Yes, the rest part is critical and so is the digest part because when the body is in fight or flight mode, it cuts off the digestive system (which impacts your ability to lose weight) and sends more blood to your extremities (arms and legs) so you can run to/fight for safety. Anyone running from a bear and in that sort of danger? NO! So, relax and release that stress!
If there is anything I've shared resonated with you or you have blog topic recommendations, then I welcome you to leave a comment below or reach out to me for a free consultation to get help in an area of your life or a change/transformation you want to begin this year! Click here to book an appointment Work With Me | Life Chapters Coaching
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