Stress is a Beast. How to Tame it, Naturally.
Stress is a beast and to be able to tame it would be life-changing. AMIRIGHT?!?
I spend quite a bit of time chatting with customers about getting help with their mood issues because I’ve been there and done that and it’s rough.
So, today I wanted to share my top stress-taming tips that I find myself sharing with our customers regularly.
Some of these will not pertain to you. Some of them could be things you never thought of.
Pick and choose at your leisure.
I hope something in here helps.
Take your foot off the gas
Are you taking something or consuming something that is perpetuating your stress?
Alcohol? A supplement? Too much coffee? A medication?
I am sensitive to many of the things listed above and many of them have caused issues for me.
Even your multivitamin could have something in it that is causing you to wig out. (For me it’s the B vitamins…I’m very sensitive to B vitamins, which is why I get mine from food sources.)
So, the first step is to SERIOUSLY consider what could be contributing to your stress.
Make a list. Journal about it. Talk it out. Tap into your intuition. WHAT COULD BE FEEDING THE BEAST?
Yes, I know you are struggling with the feeling of stress in your body.
But don’t forget that stress is a cover emotion for fear.
What are you afraid of?
Don’t run from it. Name it.
And… what else do you feel right now?
What else would you LOVE to feel right now?
Can you conjure up the feeling of appreciation?
A little bit of excitement?
Can you generate the feeling of joy or faith or trust or relief?
You gotta move
We were not designed to sit all day. It’s hard on your body and your stress levels.
So, move your body. Go for a walk every day. A short one is great. Or a long one. Just go.
Or do the “Nitric Oxide” workout a couple of times a day. (Do a search for Zach Bush 4 minute workout).
Do some yoga, dance, go for a run, or play a recreational sport. Find a way you LOVE to move and then do it regularly.
I recently committed to doing the Nitric Oxide workout regularly.
I feel so good when I do it, and it only takes a few MINUTES!
Soak in some nature. Reconnect to the wild. Put your feet on the earth. Feel the wind on your cheek. Hug a tree. Slow down and seek out the tiniest of things or the most massive things in nature. Remember: “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” ―Pema Chödrön
When it comes to busting stress, LESS sugar and LESS processed carbohydrates is a great start. Plus more fibrous veggies. Sugar feed our bad bacteria which can add to stress. Veggies, GREENS, and prebiotic rich foods feed our good bacteria which allow us to bounce-back from stressful thoughts (and not get sucked into the void).
On that note, I do have to talk about the gut-brain connection. Elevate the beneficial bacteria in your tummy through probiotic rich food or a probiotic supplement. Stressed people tend to have more bad bacteria than our less-stressed counterparts. Stress is a gut-health killer and so are antibiotics, so use them only when absolutely, medically necessary.
Also, be sure to get enough good fats and protein to balance blood sugar and keep your body satiated.
Believe me. I know. When you are really stressed you often don’t feel like eating. But, it helps. You gotta stay fueled!
Learn to rest your mind and tune into your body. Surrender to the influx of thousands of thoughts and relax knowing they are just thoughts. No more. No less.
If you are totally new to meditation, THREE minutes is a great place to start.
I love using the insight timer to do a phased meditation. You can also use it for guided meditations.
Manage your mind
Some people think meditating and managing your mind are the same thing, but they are actually two very different things.
As someone who learns to challenge thoughts, you are an active participant in the creation of your reality.
Whereas in meditation, you are relaxing the mind and body and learning to calm it and watch it and just allow it.
During this part of the BEAST-TAMING you are questioning your thoughts.
You can use Byron Katie’s model of “Is it True?”
Or Jesse Elder’s model of “Is it useful?”
Or some other thought awareness technique.
Look into RTT, EMDR, tapping, or hypnotherapy. Have you ever considered that your stress is rooted in emotional trauma? Support your stress levels through continued, deep, emotional work.
Lavender is a calming oil, bergamot has been shown to help ease stress and frankincense is a strong and grounding oil. There are oodles more. And, I will say, Plant Therapy and Healing Solutions are two great, affordable brands that can be found on Amazon. I dilute mine with coconut oil and slather them on for a calming boost.
Yes, our breaths get shorter and shallower when we become stressed, but there are numerous other ways that focusing on the breathe can help lessen stress levels.
I’ll share a couple of them:
4-7-8: Breathe in for four seconds. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Then exhale for 8 seconds.
This is a great way to soothe the nervous system. #yesplease
Equal Breathing: Breathe in for four seconds. Hold for four seconds. Then breathe out for four seconds. Experts suggest nose breathing on the inhale to slow you down and to make a greater impact. Exhale through the mouth with pursed lips. This technique is also great to soothe the nervous
system. Also, you can work up to six or eight breaths as you advance!
List out ALL of the amazing things you LOVE and appreciate . What you focus on, you get more of. It’s been said that fear and gratitude cannot coexist. I’m not totally sure about that (insert nervous laugh) but it’s worth giving it a whirl.
Have some go-to phrases that you can think on purpose when you have a stress flare-up. You may call these a mantra, or even prayer. Whatever floats your boat.
From the wisdom of Eckhart Tolle: ‘Words are just sign posts.’
So call it what you want.
Try practicing something like:
I trust the process.
I am enough.
I am safe and I am loved.
I am guided and protected.
I am open to creative possibilities for life.
Feel free to create your own, of course. Something that helps you feel relief!
Write it down
Get all of the stressed thoughts out of your head… and put them on a piece of paper.
Try making a t-chart:
Thoughts on one side. And facts on the other.
This helps me a ton.
Wear yourself out
Do jumping-jacks until you collapse.
Ok, maybe not. But, you can try wearing out your body to show your mind what’s up.
Tame the beast
On a final note, I will say: yes, I believe our probiotics can support our body’s stress levels.
And, yet, I also believe that gut health is only pieces of a bigger puzzle.
Keep investing in yourself. You are worth it!
Yours for the journey,