BEGINNERS GUIDE TO STRESS

We all seem to lead very stressful lives these days. Which is rather silly considering there are more gadgets, projects, information and available help than ever before.

Our lives seem to be a constant battle to find ways to make it easier, give us more free time, generate money easier but things don’t seem to change. In fact the more we get the more stressed we often become.

So how do you change this and what can you do about it?

Well, the first step would be to take a minute to yourself, away from telly, phone and people. Do you lack motivation? Are you making up excuses about training and exercise? Then stress could be the factor here.

Once you have decided wether or not you’re stressed, it’s time to deal with it.

If you are feeeling drained then chances are your physically stressed and run down. This can be from training too much and not recovering fully. You may have heard over training is a myth, you can never over train etc. Whilst over-tranining is rare in the every day gym goer, under eating is not. If you are pushing workouts and stressing your body, you need fuel for recovery, growth and funnily enough energy to go again. Not eating enough? Your body will become stressed and you will fail to recover, running down your system making you suceptible to injury and illness.

By eating the right amount of food to suit your training goals and body type you will be on the right track to escape physical stress and promote receovery. This should be from healthy sources and not just crap food. If you eat crap, your body can’t digest it, and you will feel like crap. Simple. You will hear folk go on about how they can eat takeways and still have abs. Cool, but guess what. A six pack does not equal good health. It means a low body fat percentage which can mean a whole other load of health problems if a healthy diet is not in place. By eating good quality foods and a good range of vegetables you will find you feel better, funny that but there you go. This does not even mean going organic, but try to make most of your food yourself and stop eating out all the time.

So eating better will make you feel better. Guess what else will help, drinking less alcohol and drinking more water.

Right, lost a fwew folk already but there you go. If you are drinking alcohol on a regular basis then chances are you wont be on top form (even if it feels like it when you are drinking). Alcohol is a depressant so again probably not the best choice if you are already feeling down. Your body requires hydration to function effectively and water provides this hydration. It’s as easy as opening a tap, filling a glass then tipping it down your throat. And it will make you feel better in the long run so patch the fizzy drinks and get your H2O on.

Eat and Hydrate. Simple solutions so far. Ready for another belter that is crutial to stress reduction, recovery, repair and growth?

Sleep. Yes one of my favourites, sleep. Generally 8 hours is what you should aim for. ^ hours may be seen as fine but really you should aim for 8 hours in bed. Get into routine of 10pm for bed and soon enough you will be sleeping until 6 or 7. This may seem too early for most but if you really want to tune into what your body wants try it out as it can massively reduce stress. Also avoid use of phones, computers and tv’s in the bedroom before sleep as it actively stimulates the brain, opposite of what you want when going to sleep and is the most common mistake those that “can’t sleep” make every night and don’t change. Lack of sleep causes a massive stress to the body so get some!

This list seems too good to be true. EAT, SLEEP and DRINK water. So simple that most don’t even bother and wonder where the stress comes from!

Now it becomes a bit more physical, EXERCISE. yes the benefits of exercise are widely known as a reductor of stress. If you are not currently exercising then get started, if you don’t know where to start then message me when you’re done reading.

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Now an even easier one to follow….REST. Too often we take rest for granted. Our days off become more work than days at work or we don’t shut off from work and work some more. 24 hour living for ya! So on days off try and do something different than the usual routine, aknowledge this is a rest day and take an hour or 2 to relax and unwind.

Something that most people cannot do is stay positive. I discussed this earlier last week but by keeping positive thoughts, being around positivity and encouraging positivity in our lives we can help reduce stress.

These are all small changes that can create a big difference. Try this out before smashing drugs or looking for “easy fixes”. This is a pretty easy list and something most would benefit from wether stressed or not, but if you are feeling stressed then defintitley to talk to those around you and seek advice from a professional.

Good luck folks and

Lift, Live, Learn

 

Euan MacNeil

 

 

 

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