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Stress

How to cope with stress at work and school

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Unfortunately stress is part of our days and life, most of us live with chronic stress and think it´s normal, we think that´s how we´re supposed to live because when we were growing up that´s what we saw, but this is not true.

Stress is the leading cause of many diseases, or at least it makes everything worse, many visits to the doctor are because of stress. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep we go through many different situations that increase stress, getting up late, being stuck in traffic, going to a place we don´t feel comfortable whether it´s school or our job, working with people we don´t trust and don´t feel comfortable, listening to everything we do wrong whether it´s from our teachers or boss, worrying about everything we need to get done and we don´t have enough time, worrying about how are we going to pay bills, etc.

With all this going on we need to find ways that help us cope with the stress at work or school since we spend a lot of time there, here are some actions you can take:

1.- First you need to know where the stress come from, is there a specific person that makes you feel stressed for whatever reason? Is there a specific moment or situation that makes you feel stressed?

2.- Then you need to be aware of how you respond to that person or that situation and how you feel afterwards. Most of us react in a wrong way like shouting, screaming, we´re rude, disrespectful, we react in a very aggressive way and this only makes us feel worse.

3.- Use strategies or tools that help you remain calm. When you´re under a stressful situation or with a person that increases your stress the best option is to remain calm, for this you need to be aware of your emotions and thoughts and the moment you start feeling anxious or stressed take some deep slow breathes and focus on how everything starts to calm down.

4.- Once you´re calm think about the best way to respond without making the issue worse, if you don´t have to respond or give any answer then do nothing, just stay calm.

5.- Learn to say no and set your limits.- If you don´t set limits then other people will start giving you more work to do whether it´s at school or your job, be aware of how much you can handle and what are your priorities, if you know you can´t handle more work just say no.

6.- Concentrate on one thing at a time.- Many of us try to multitask with the idea to finish more in a short period of time, but this lead to bad results, concentrate on just one thing at a time and give all your attention, this way you´ll actually finish that activity faster and with better results.

7.- Stay away from stressful situations.- Most of us know who are the ones that create conflict and stressful situation at school and work and there are times and moments when we can stay away from them, when this is possible make sure to stay away from this people.

Avoiding stress at all cost is always the best option, but it´s impossible we´re all going to face some bad situations every day. If you´re working in a place where you don´t feel comfortable, where your classmates or coworkers only make fun of you and do their best to bring you down then it will be better to find another job or change school especially if your teachers or boss don´t care about the situation but it´s really hard for most of us to do this so the best option is to find ways to reduce stress.

The 7 points here are really helpful to reduce stress, if you can only focus on one then trying to stay away from people who create conflict then do this as much as possible, the farther away you can stay from them the better. When this is impossible then focus on remaining calm, control your emotions and thoughts and don´t let any outside negativity take control of you.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

An easy way to reduce stress

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Life is hard and stressful; we all face stressful situations on a daily basis we all live with high levels of stress and think is normal. Even when we´re all exposed to stressful situations we can decide if we live stressed out or not.

Positivity has been raising over the last months and years, I see a lot of people with a positive attitude always talking about how amazing life is even when everything is falling apart, when we´re living on chaos and by being positive what they´re doing is hiding or ignoring all the uncertainty, all the fear, the pain, failure and struggle, all the stress that we all experience in life.

We can´t deny that we all go through amazing moments just as we all go through hard and tough times, it´s inevitable. It´s in this tough and stressful times that we can decide how much we will let those moments affect our day and life.

There are certain actions you can take to make sure that daily stress does not affect how you feel and do not affect your day and life. These 2 actions have to do with you, focusing on what you can do regardless of what´s going on around you.

1.- Focus on what you can control.- There are so many things going on every moment of every day and in most cases we don´t have control over what´s going on, we don´t have control of the situation, in this case the only thing you can control is how you respond or react here is where point 2 comes into play. If you do have control over what´s going on meaning there´s something you can do to improve the situation then remain as calm as possible so that you can think clearly and come with the best solution, then take action.

2.- Control your thoughts and emotions.- It all starts by being calm and living in the present. Most of the times when something goes wrong our when we´re on uncertainty our brain starts creating all kind of negative results and scenarios, it´s great at focusing on the worst outcome and this only increases anxiety and stress. By remaining calm you are able to think clearly and concentrate on what´s actually going on right now without creating future negative scenarios that may not even happen. Being able to remain calm or calm yourself gives you the opportunity to step back, take some time and analyze everything that is going on and think clearly. Sometimes you don´t need to take action, doing nothing is actually the best you can do.

Controlling your thoughts and emotions is the hardest step you can do but will improve your life dramatically in all areas, it requires self-awareness, knowing your body, being aware of how you feel when you are in a calm and relax state and how you feel when you´re anxious or stressed or when you react to something or someone.

Most of the time we suffer a lot more thanks to our mind, it´s amazing at creating negative scenarios for every situation all these unreal thoughts create fear, anxiety and stress. Most of us let our mind wander whether on the past or the future instead of concentrating on the present. We must accept the past, take what we can learn from it and let it go, this doesn´t mean that you need to forget this means being able to remember and recall certain moments or situations you lived without being attached emotionally to them, without letting them control how you feel right now. Stop letting your mind wander in future scenarios and focus on the present moment, if you have a plan or goal you´re working on you can create images on your mind of the end result, how would you look and live when you achieve that goal. Every time you catch yourself wondering on negative thoughts whether it´s from past or future events change those thoughts to positive ones and think about your plans in a positive way.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

How we react to stressful situations is key

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Life is hard, and we all go through very difficult and stressful situations. There are so many things and stuff that we need to go through each day and if we don´t respond the best way possible to each situation or if we don´t manage the way we respond those stressful situations can get out of control and lead to mental health problems.

We´ve mentioned before that it doesn´t matter what we´re living right now, where we are or what situation we´re going through there´s always something outside of our control and there´s something we do have control.

It doesn´t matter what we´re going through we always have control over how we respond to each situation and our emotions. There are some situations that may not be positive, they may not be what we were expecting and they are actually negative, if we´re involved on an accident or if received a bad news, or the project didn´t work out the way we wanted. If we just react in that moment without thinking and analyzing everything going on then chances are we´re going to make the situation worse.

Our perspective on each situation we live matters and also our values, we go through many different situations every day and many of them are not that really important, we give too much attention to minor stuff that does not deserves any amount of attention and we just bring them up, we give them attention and even react in a very negative way that only increases stress and it shifts our day to becoming a bad day. This is really common when we´re driving to the office and someone cut us in a really aggressive manner, but nothing else happens, we can make the whole situation worse by starting shouting a lot of stuff against him even when he/she is not listening. This only sets our day in a negative way.

When you take a step back in any situation to give you some time and space to breathe, to calm yourself down and think then you can react the best way possible. Once you are calm and thinking you can ask yourself if that situation is really important, does it really matters, is it going to make a huge difference a week, a month or a year from now, if it´s not then forget it. If it´s really important think about all the negative outcomes and all the positive outcomes, what´s the worst thing that could happen and what´s the best thing that could happen. What´s the best thing you can do now that is not going to make the situation worse?

It doesn´t matter what goal we set, or what project we´re working on life will get in the way, we´re all going to receive bad news in the moment we least expect, we´re all going to go through bad situations and at those moments our brain will focus on the negative, the negative outcomes, the worse thing that could happen and we react in a very negative way even rude and disrespectful which only increases the levels of stress and anxiety.

Most of us let external issues control how we act and how we feel, if we´re not in control of our emotions, our thoughts in normal situations there´s no way we can take control of our emotions and how we respond in stressful situations that require a lot more time and space to calm and think so that we can respond the best way possible.

It doesn´t matter what we´re going through there´s always something we can control, and that´s the way we respond to each situation, by how we respond we can make the situation worse, it can stay neutral or maybe we can make it a little better. For this we need to be able to be in complete control of our emotions and actions, we need to be masters of them, we need to be able to remain calm and be able to think. Sometimes the best we can do is nothing, do not react, do not respond. Just breathe and stay calm, this is simple said than done, remaining calm under stressful situations is so hard to do but sometimes it´s better.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

Signs of stress, be aware of these!

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We all go through hard times in life, but how we respond to each situation can make it worse. Most of us live with high levels of stress and this leads to health problems, it can be something small but with time those problems get bigger and bigger.

We all get stressed for many different reasons, it may be some class at school we don´t like, it may be a teacher, classmates or our boss, maybe some coworkers, traffic to get to school or job and back again. The simple fact of not feeling comfortable with our team or the people we´re working with it doesn´t matter if it´s school or job that increases stress, if we don´t like what we do that increases stress too and if for some reasons we don´t feel safe it´s another way to keep stress high.

The worst part of this is that most of us live this way, we don´t like what we do, we don´t feel comfortable, we don´t feel safe which keeps our levels of stress high and we face certain situations that make life worse and spike that stress to the roof, it´s on this times when we feel and are more aware of certain symptoms or signs of stress.

Some sings of stress are:

1.- Hair loss

2.- Insomnia or poor sleep

3.- Digestive issues

4.- Weight loss or weight gain

5.- Increased heart rate

6.- Chronic pain

7.- Headaches

8.- Acne

9.- You get sick like cold or flu

10.- Low energy

11.- Depression

The first step of lowering stress is to know that you are stressed so this symptoms will help you with that, if you feel any of them and you´ve been through a difficult situation, maybe a lot of work, an exam, maybe you´ve received a bad news then know and realize that we all go through times like that and we need to find ways to control that stress.

We all react differently to stress and to stressful situations so you also need to be aware of how far those symptoms go and how able are you to control them, if it´s hard for you to remain calm and you get frustrated, easily agitated, you feel overwhelmed, you feel like you´re losing control and things do not get better whit meditation or breathing exercises you need to find help to help you go through those times.

Most of us take a pill to deal and cope with the symptoms, we all know what to take to get rid of the headaches or any other pain, we also know what to take for digestive issues or constipation. The problem is that most of us are not aware that some of those symptoms like digestion, constipation, bloating, acne, weight gain, hair loss are caused by stress. If we´re trying to lose weight but we´re not getting results we get so discouraged and go lower in calories or think the diet doesn´t work because for some reason we didn´t lose weight or even gain some, but we don´t realize that if we´re stressed that can be the reason for not losing weight, some people are aware that their acne and hair loss can be caused by an unhealthy diet or stress and they do something to improve their diet but they don´t do a lot to reduce stress when managing stress can have a better impact on your overall health.

Stress is a huge problem for most of us, we focus a lot on diet and exercise and we blame the situation of someone else when things don´t turn out the way we wanted, but we do not take stress seriously. If we take a couple of minutes a day to lower stress by doing breathing exercises we will get better results on our weight loss journey while being more enjoyable and our overall health mental and physical will improve.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

Reframe de situation

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Yes, life is hard sometimes more than others, we all go through tough situations but how much we let those situations affect us and how we respond is our choice and the way we respond can make the situation better or worse.

Most of react in a negative way to even small things or situations, we let simple and small situations take complete control of us, of our emotions, our thoughts and our actions and we end up making everything worse than it actually is. If we let this happen with small things then when we´re in a really tough situations we break apart emotionally and mentally, but there´s a tool we can use to help us get the most out of any challenge, every situation and every moment, this tool is reframing.

It doesn´t matter how bad everything seems to be, it doesn´t matter how big a challenge seems to be or how tough any situation appear you always have the choice to see that challenge or that tough situation from another angle, another perspective or another view. Instead of letting your mind just focusing on the negative you train your mind to focus on the positive, to find every positive outcome and solution so you are opened to more possibilities and you lower stress.

Most of us when something happen we get stuck in our perspective, we view everything just from one side or one frame and in most cases it´s negative so by changing that perspective and seeing the situations from another side or another frame we open ourselves to different possibilities, we get more insights of what´s happening, we understand more so our thoughts, emotions and actions change.

Most of us let small things get in the way, in this happens every single day so since we´re used to get stuck in one negative frame for everything that happens to us and we need to train our mind to reframe every situations we can start with those small ones until we reframe all situations unconsciously.

Here are the steps you need to follow to reframe any situation:

1.- Describe the situation you´re going through.- Try to find out what caused that situation and everything that happened

2.- Be aware of your beliefs.- Make a list of all the thought and beliefs you got in your mind related to that situation

3.- Make a list of the possible results and consequences.- The way we respond and act in every situation goes according to our thoughts, beliefs and emotions so think about how you’d act, what you would do and the results of those actions.

4.- Now take the list from steps 2 and 3, read them and think about them. You´ll find out that they´re negative and you´ll get negative results.

5.- Challenge your thoughts and beliefs from step 2 and turn them into positive by looking at the situation from another angle, think about all the positive outcomes that can come from it.

6.- Analyze the situation and think about what you have control over, once you define what you have control over think about what you can do with those options to get the best results.

This takes time and practice, most of us react to all situations, we don´t stop to think about what´s really happening, what you have control over, what´s the best option and what you can do. We´ve been educated to react instantly without thinking on the consequences and this only makes the problem and situation worse, it can lead to big mistakes in the future and increases stress. If you practice this with small events with time you´ll find it easier and easier and with enough practice you´ll go through this process instantly which leads to better choices and results.

Here is an exercise you can do that is a little quicker, the next time you are going through a hard event or situation start by thinking of what are the things you can control, once you recognize them think about what´s the best choice, action or thing you can do to get the best results. Always think a positive outcome and how you can use what you can control to get those results.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

How to manage stress

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We´re living very fast paced times where most of us don´t pay attention to our health until something´s wrong, until something happens and our body can´t handle more and we get sick. When it comes to health most of us think of diet and exercise, but we forget about stress and sleep and they´re both important.

Nowadays we´re all living with high levels of stress and that stress is the cause of 90% of all visits to the doctor, it´s the cause of many diseases or at least it makes diseases or illnesses worse. We worry and put a lot of attention to the food and lack of exercise when we´re trying to make a change but sometimes just by doing some daily exercises that helps us lower stress can give us way better results and can actually make it easier to stick to a diet and exercise program.

Stress is not always something we can see physically until it is really high, when you´re under a lot of stress you may feel tired, angry, your body hurts, you may have pain, feel tense, have headaches but most of the time we don´t have symptoms or we´re not aware of them because we´re so busy with our daily activities.

Unfortunately we´ve gotten used to living with high levels of stress and we think it´s normal, we go through stressful situations every day from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep, situations like waking up late, getting stuck on traffic and we arrive late to the office, maybe school, our boss or teacher, all the work we need to do, the classmates or coworkers plus some day we get that sad or unfortunate news that makes everything worse. We didn´t pass the exam, we get fired, someone we love has been diagnosed with a chronic disease, etc. Life is tough so we need to find ways that help us keep daily stress low and to manage that increased stress that comes from unfortunate situations.

There are different options or different tools that helps us manage and lower stress but you need to find the one that works best for you, we´re all different and what works for me may not work for you, here are some ways to help you manage stress.

1.- Find the root cause of the stress.- In some cases it´s really obvious what causes the stress, it may be a new project we´ve been assigned, or being fired, changing home, school or job, a health diagnosed. In other cases it may be harder to find the root cause so you need to be aware and listen to your body, food can be a cause of stress like allergies.

2.- Improve your diet.- Eating highly processed foods that contain unhealthy seed oils like canola, safflower, corn, soy, cottonseed, sunflower, grapeseed, ricebran and sugar are toxic for your body, for some people gluten and dairy can also be huge problem so you need to be aware of what you eat and how you feel so that you can find which foods are causing problems. You can start by avoiding unhealthy seed oils, sugar, flours, maybe gluten and dairy.

3.- Exercise.- You don´t need to do intense exercise to lower stress, going for a walk is a great option, find some physical activity you enjoy doing. Some people like kickboxing, box or martial arts as a way to get all the energy out. Make sure you have a trainer or someone that can help you perform any exercise the right way and avoid injuries.

4.- Do something you love every day.- We all have hobbies or some activities that we love, for some of us it´s painting, others like playing a musical instrument, reading a novel, writing. Schedule 20 to 30 minutes to do that activity you love and make sure that you are completely focus on it so that your mind can relax.

5.- Meditation.- Meditation or mindfulness is another way to lower stress, there are different types of meditations and mindfulness so find one that you feel comfortable doing.

6.- Breathing exercises.- Something as simple as breathing can calm your body and mind and lower stress, just by taking your attention from any thought and anything that´s going on to focus on your breathe, focus on slow inhales and exhales.

This are 6 strategies you can use to help you lower stress, we´re all under stress so we need to find the tools or strategies that help us lower it, when things get harder and we go through difficult situations that increase stress breathing exercises are an excellent tool you can use to lower stress in that moment. The moment you start feeling anxious, or nervous, or you feel your heart rate increasing, your muscles tense or any other symptom of stress which usually comes after we received a dab news you can stop for a moment and start focusing all your attention on your breathe, take a deep breathe in, hold it for a couple of seconds and exhale slowly repeat this 5 or 6 times and you´ll feel more calm and relax.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve been looking for strategies to help you lower stress and if you´ve used some of them how did you feel?

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

How to deal with challenges while keeping stress low

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We all face challenges and in fact we need some challenges in our life, those positive challenges help us grow and achieve things we first thought were impossible, that´s what life is about facing challenges and achieving our full potential but there are some challenges that will increase stress and can cause problems in all areas of our lives. Those unhealthy challenges are the ones we´re going to talk about today.

It doesn´t matter if we have a 9 to 5 job or if we decided to start our own business or if we are still at school we will face some challenges every now and then, maybe our teacher let us a huge project that represents a huge challenge or our boss chose us as leaders of a project, starting a business also represents a huge challenge and it doesn´t stops there, we can add to this accidents, injuries, diseases, health issues physical and mental, new home, new school, grief, divorce, unemployment, death of a loved one, etc.

The way we respond to each challenge is what determines if it has a positive or negative impact on our health and life, in most cases any challenge that aligns with our purpose or is related to something we love or enjoy then it´s easier to have a positive attitude and mind-set which leads to a positive result, when we face a challenge with the right mind-set knowing that it will help us grow mentally or emotionally or professionally maybe all of them we are opened to more opportunities and we find more solutions.

Every time we set a goal or start a new project we know we will face challenges but knowing that we´re working on something we love, something we enjoy and care about make all those challenges easier to over come and makes the process more exciting.

When we face a challenge that is unrelated to our interests, we don´t like anything about it, there´s nothing we enjoy, it doesn´t align to our purpose or values then every challenge gets more complicated we close ourselves to opportunities and we only see block roads. If there´s nothing that motivates us towards an end result then we won´t have the right mind-set to get over all the challenges and the chances of us failing increase.

All challenges are opportunities to grow, we can learn from failures or we can give up we can find opportunities or we can only see block roads, what determines this is if whether we´re able to find a positive result after completing a challenge, is it aligned to your purpose, to your believes and values? Do you care about it? Is it something you´re interested in? When we´re at school there are lectures or classes tat we´re not really interested in them but we need to take them and those represent a challenge that can lead to stress, since we´re not interested in them it´s harder for us to stay motivated, this also happens in any job where you need to do a project or activity you´re not interested in and you don´t like which makes it really harder to work on it.

What you can do is be patient, the best option is to do something you enjoy doing but for most of us is hard so patience is key. Set small activities you can get done in 45 minutes and work in intervals, concentrate on one activity for 45 minutes and take a 10 to 15 minutes rest. Try to find out something positive you can learn from it, do not stress, let go of all anger, resentment and negative emotions and focus on facing the challenge with a more open mind so you can be opened to more solutions.

When it comes to accidents, injuries, health, death of a loved one you still ne patient, do not over react, practice breathing and meditation exercises to stay calm, write in a piece of paper all your negative thoughts and emotions, let go of all the anger, resentment, injustice and burn that paper when you´re done. Be more optimistic, this means that you accept that things are going bad right now, you accept you´re facing a challenge but you know you´re going to make it pass this challenge, you know that in the future some days, weeks, or months from now everything will be great. Take it one day at a time, what can you do to face this challenge the best way possible? What can you do now to start making progress in a positive way? It can be as simple as breathing.

Let us know by leaving a comment below and on Twitter how do you react to challenges? Do you get stressed and anxious?

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

How to use meditation to reduce stress

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Most of us live very stressful lives, we wake up every morning and follow the same routine every day, some of us get up late and try to arrive on time to our job to work with people we don´t feel comfortable, doing something we don´t like and leading with a boss that doesn´t care about us.

Doing something you don´t like with people you don´t feel comfortable and dealing with a boss who doesn´t care about you creates stress plus the stress from traffic, paying the bills and other worries we all have leads to a life of chronic stress. This leads to a lot of health problems, but fortunately there are ways or strategies you can use to lower stress.

If you´re living this kind of life one of the best steps you can take is quit your job and find one where you love what you do or start something yourself. I know this is impossible for most people so in this case you can use meditation as a tool to help you manage stress.

Different types of meditation had been practice for thousands of years, it´s not clear where and when it began and why, most of them used them as a practice to train the mind, to center, to calm the mind, to bring calmness and tranquility, to live in the present.

You may have heard of different types of meditations, some of them are:

Guided Meditations.- You can download some of this where you start by focusing on your breathe and relaxing your body and slowly you start visualizing different images on your mind depending and you need to use your sense while keeping the image of your mind like smells, colors, textures.

Mantra Meditations..- You repeat a word or phrase in your mind or low voice, this helps you stay focus on your breathe and the word or phrase you are repeating and since you have something to work and focus on it´s harder for your mind to start to wander.

Mindfulness Meditation.- Here you focus on your breathe and keeping your body and mind calm and relax, in this case it´s easier for your mind to wander. You want to increase awareness and stay in the present.

Some benefits of meditation are:

1.- Reducing negativity

2.- Reduce anxiety

3.- Reduce stress

4.- Focus on breathing

5.- Focus on the present moment

6.- Increase awareness

7.- Calm and relax your body and mind

8.- Improves sleep

9.- Improve concentration

Mindfulness meditation is one you can start practicing right now, because you don´t need any guidance or mantra in the only thing you need is find a place that is quite, take a seat (I recommend seating on the floor), close your eyes and bring all your attention to your breathe, take a deep breathe in, hold it for a couple of seconds and let it out slowly, while you do this slow breathings relax your body, imagine all muscles of your body relaxing. As you do this you´ll find that your attention and your mind starts to wander, this is fine, do not judge or get obsessed or angry with your thoughts and your mind wandering just the moment you are aware of it bring your attention back to your breathing. This all you need to do to start your meditation practice, you can start with 5 minutes and increase the time. With time you´ll be able to make each session longer and add some visualization exercises, a gratitude practice and other tools that help you stay present all day.

Since we´re living very fast-paced times and there´s a lot of expectations we need to meat in different areas we demand so much of ourselves, we demand a lot to our body and mind but we get to a point where it´s just too much so we need to take some time for ourselves every day to leave all the negativity out of our minds, all the worries, fears, anxieties and relax, concentrate on breathing deeply and slowly, to center, to connect with our desires, to focus on our projects.

Do this at night before going to bed, take a seat on the floor, close your eyes and start breathing slowly, take a deep breathe, hold it for a couple of seconds and let it out slowly, take a couple more of slow breathes in and out, focus on relaxing all the muscles in your body, feel all your body and mind relaxing and calming, once you are completely relaxed focus your entire attention on your breathe. Do this for 5 minutes.

Let us know how you feel after doing this small exercise for a couple of days by leaving a comment below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

ExerciseStress

How exercise helps lower stress

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Whether you love or hate exercising we can´t deny that it has so many benefits for mental and physical health, lowering stress is one of those benefits so if you want to lower stress start moving.

Exercise is stress for your body, and it increases cortisol but, the right amount of exercise is necessary, and it helps our brain and body work better. Exercise improves mood, when you do some physical activity in the morning it helps you get ready for a great day by making you feel happy, excited and motivated. If you exercise at night after work, it can help you release the stress from work and get a better night sleep.

Exercise has a positive impact on every organ, system and hormones of our body, from our brain, heart they all get the benefits of it.

Exercise reduces cortisol and adrenaline which are stress hormones and it increases endorphins which are the ones that make you feel good and improve your mood.

Exercise is a great tool to lower anxiety and depression but, you need to be consistent with it, exercise is considered to be a really effective way to lower stress, anxiety and depression and it´s free. The type of exercise you do needs to be something you like and enjoy doing so that you do it for at least 5 days a week.

The bad type of stress which is chronic stress is caused by daily situations and the people we need to cope with every day, from traffic, to teachers and classmates at school or our boss and coworkers at our job, we also need to consider all the worries and keep our mind busy like paying bills, finance, relationships, home. Exercise helps you get rid of all those stressful and negative situations and when you shed some of that stress, you also get rid of tension, when you finish your workout you feel a lot more calm, relax and focused, you are more present and it´s easier to go through your day with a better attitude.

We know that exercise is one of the 5 principles of fitness because it help us maintain optimal health but it also helps us lose weight and maintain a lean physique, as you improve your physique and start looking and feeling a lot better your self-confidence increase. Feeling more confident knowing that you can accomplish what you set your mind to and feeling more energized lowers your levels of stress. Sometimes stress increase because we feel uncertain about our capabilities, we don´t trust and we don´t believe in ourselves, this increases stress so by getting in shape and feeling more confident the stress that comes from this lack of self-esteem decreases.

Cardio exercise has been shown to be more helpful to reduce stress, and if you have the opportunity to go outside and exercise in nature the benefit increases, spending some time in nature helps you calm and relax, it brings you more to the present moment, if you are able to go for a walk or jog outside in nature it´s the best thing you can do lower stress, to feel more calm and relax and improve your mood.

If your goal is to use exercise to reduce stress then you´ll need at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise 5 to 6 days a week, feel free to choose the activity your prefer because you need to be consistent with it, it´s better to keep changing the exercise or activity to keep it fun and entertaining also to give your body a new stimulus, otherwise you can get bored and stop.

Exercise also lowers stress by improving the quality and quantity of sleep, maintaining optimal health depends of so many factors and the 5 principles of fitness play an important role on maintaining your body in balance, lack of sleep or poor sleep increases stress, but when you exercise especially in the morning and if done outside you get better sleep at night and less stress.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you exercise just to look great or if you use it as a way to reduce stress and maintain optimal health? Exercise needs to adjusted according to your goals as with all the 5 principles of fitness but there are ways to modify it and use it for a couple goals at the same time.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

Mindful breathing to reduce stress

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Stop and breathe! Take a deep breathe…

You´re going a thousand miles per hour every single day and as we´ve seen on other posts the way we´re leaving nowadays leads to chronic stress so just stop and take some minutes to breathe.

When you get stressed, when you feel anxious, angry one of the best things you can do is breathe. This may seam so simple and you may be wondering how this could work or you may be laughing thinking it doesn´t work but, the positive results you get are outstanding.

Various organs on our body can go for periods of time without blood flow but the neurons in our brain only survive a few minutes. When you are under stress or feeling anxious your body is tensed and you are breathing faster and even harder, this heavy breathing leads to a decrease in blood flow.

When you focus on your breathing and are aware of it you can take control of your brain and the stress and anxiety lowers, when this happens you make better decisions or choices you actually feel more in control of the situation.

Mindful breathing has benefits for all of us in all situations, you can make it part of your daily routine. The only thing you need to do is close your eyes, relax all your body and start breathing slowly, be aware of your breathe, take a deep breathe in and out. Mindful breathing and mindful meditation go hand in hand, with mindful breathing you are focusing on your breathe and with mindful meditation you focus your mind on the present moment. When you are being aware of your breathe and making it slow you are also concentrating on the present moment. There will be times when your mind starts to wander, when this happens the only thing you need to do is bring your mind back to your breathing.

Studies show that mindful breathing and mindful meditations improves your brain and body. It also keeps your entire body and brain working together, in sync. When our body and brain and all the systems on our body are working in sync then physical and mental health improves.

Here is what you can do every night before you go to sleep to reduce stress which will help you improve the quality and quantity of your sleep which lead to a better day and a better life if you do it constantly:

1.- Sit down on a comfortable chair or a couch, or the floor or lie in bed (do not fall asleep)

2.- Breathe slowly through your nose

3.- Hold your breathe for 1 or 2 counts

4.- Exhale slowly

5.- Repeat for 10 minutes

While you are doing this exercise make sure that you are focused and concentrated on your breathe, stop all your thoughts and worries during this 10 minutes and just focus on your breathing. You´ll find out that it´s hard to maintain concentration on your breathing, when this happen, when you catch your mind wandering and thinking other stuff just bring it back to your breathe. It will take time for you until can go through the 10 minutes completely concentrated on your breathe. The more you do this exercise, the easier it gets and the more benefits you get.

Doing this exercise before going to bed will lower the stress of the day but you can also do it when you are under a stressful situation, when you feel anxious, angry the problem here is to be aware and actively stop before we react and taking a couple of minutes and take 4 or 5 deep breathes. You need to do this consciously which is really hard because most of the time we are just reacting. The next time you feel anxious, angry or any negative emotion or you are leaving a negative situation remember to stop and breathe.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve tried mindful breathing before and what you noticed. In case you haven´t tried it give the exercise I share a try for a couple of weeks and let me know the results and how you feel.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam