If you read my previous post, you will know that I have discussed 10 things you might be experiencing due to stress. (Click here to read if you haven’t done so already). So now, in this post I will continue from my last one and talk about 10 useful ways in which I deal with my stress. I hope you find them useful too.
When my stress gets overwhelming I like to attempt meditation/yoga practices. Doing so makes me feel still, in the moment, and puts my mind at ease. It is a peaceful experience which distracts me from all the stressful thoughts that occur inside my head. It’s just nice to detach from everything for a while and focus on mindfulness, developing tranquility. Sometimes I even play peaceful meditation type of music (such as the one in the YouTube video presented below) in the background while I do this sort of activity. It really helps me stay clearly focused on what I’m doing which is the main goal here. Honestly, I hope to one day maintain this habit every single day for the rest of my life. I feel like people shouldn’t be doing meditation/yoga only in times of stress, but they should involve it as part of their daily routine because it gives you that special boost of energy that you need to go about your day.
2) Eat healthy/have a healthy diet
Over the years (ever since my mid teen years) I have come to realize that eating healthy isn’t just about eating fruits and vegetables (although that is part of a healthy diet), but it is mostly about maintaining a good balance of all the nutrients and minerals that your body needs in order to fully function properly. For me, eating healthy has really proven to help with maintaining my stress levels. I started cutting down on sugar, reducing my calorie intake when it comes to certain foods (such as cookies, fries, pizza) and replacing it with foods that are high in iron, selenium and protein (such as leafy green vegetables, brazil nuts and greek yogurt) – all these types of foods alone have generally made me feel better about myself. When I eat sugary/packet foods, I tend to get headaches and heart palpitations which actually make my stress worse than it already is. But making little changes such as replacing cookies with oat biscuits that are high in fibre, have made such a big impact on my health.
However, above all, it is crucial to drink lots and lots and lots of water. I always carry a 1 litre water bottle with me to make sure that I am not missing out on staying fully hydrated. Sometimes, I even refill it up to 3/4 times. I can’t get enough of water, it helps to give me that feeling of being awake and feeling fresh inside. I think that drinking a lot of water as oppose to resorting to fizzy drinks and caffeine can have a huge impact on stress, because it can keep your mind feeling refreshed. And after all the human body is made up of 70% water, so keep it close to you as much as possible.
3) Journal/write it down
So when my moods are all over the place (whenever I feel stressed out, down, anxious or negative) and I don’t want to explain myself or be around anyone, I like to journal and write my feelings and emotions down into my notebook or just a piece of paper. I find this to be very useful for me because it feels like my pen and paper are my actual best friends that actually listen to my feelings. I know it’s weird but believe me this helps – it is far better than being in a state of feeling terrible and not doing anything about it because it gives you something to do. Journalling/writing things down is a good distraction as it helps you let out all your stress in ways you didn’t know was possible. It definitely has me feeling more calm. Here’s an example of a page from my journal:
4) Improve sleep routine
A big sign of stress is a poor sleeping pattern, so what I like to do to keep my stress levels under control, is to sleep earlier than I typically do (which is usually after 1am). I won’t lie, I don’t have the most perfect and consistent sleeping pattern in the world, but I have my good days days (when I actually feel under control) where I naturally fall asleep just before 12am and then wake up nice and early (around 9am) feeling refreshed and positive. I plan on working on improving my sleep routine to get my daily 7-8 hours of sleep, by sleeping and waking up around the same time every day. By doing this I think it would have such a significant improvement on stress making me feel like I have my life under control. I really think everybody should work towards this goal. Without good sleep, we are barely living.
5) Be social; engage with friends/family
Instead of constantly being isolated, I think it’s good to sometimes be social and just generally be around people to distract yourself from your daily stressful thinking habits. Take some time out and engage with someone else other than your own thoughts. As for my case, I try to be social by being around my family when I can, even if I’m just present, sitting in the same living room as them. I like to strike random conversations with my siblings too so that in itself can be refreshing because it makes me feel less lonely, like I actually have a family/ life to participate in, and not just stressful situations to deal/occupy my mind with.
6) Take breaks from social media
I never knew that one of the things that would trigger my stress levels is my need to keep up to date with social media apps until one day I realized that I was waking up every single day to focus on what others are doing instead of thinking about myself. I would take literally hours and hours scrolling through people’s lifestyles on apps like instagram and pinterest which would end up stressing me out so much bloody more because I was too focused on what I was missing out on. I can’t believe I used to do that. But now thankfully, I’m at a stage in my life where on most days I spend less time (or even none) being the way I used to. I actually prioritize time for myself (okay…maybe not always, but more than I ever did before). I take breaks from my phone and take time to be productive in a way that would help me build myself out of the stressful mess. This is definitely not easy to maintain, but it’s worth it. Sometimes you have to cut out all the social media bullsh*t and put all the focus on you.
7) Get plenty of rest
When I get to the point of exhaustion and restlessness, I can usually tell by picking up the signs that my body tries to give me (usually through a headache, fast heart rate or feeling zoned out). I never dismiss these signs, so I accept them and give myself some time out to put my feet up and rest. I also try to take regular breaks from tasks that I work on and I avoid doing everything in one attempt. This helps me feel like I’m dealing with smaller and easy to handle tasks and so makes me feel less stressed out.
8) Believe in yourself
Who says you will be stressed out for the rest of your life? Who says you can’t overcome your stress? Who is going to stop you? Well, the answer is… you. Only you can control what happens to you. So now is the time to believe in yourself. If you can build an “I can and I will” mindset then you will truly be unstoppable. I have started to do this more often and it has made a big difference in my life. Instead of focusing on the problems/negative side, I try to focus on solutions and think positively. Remember, what you think, you become. Know that nothing or no one can keep you away from thriving and succeeding in your dreams, goals and ambitions. Only you have the power of the outcomes of your life. Speak good things to yourself and never doubt yourself, ever.
I think one of the ultimate, best ways to deal with stress is daily exercise (moving your body and sweating it all out). Generally, exercise is supposed to help you lose weight, but for me that’s not the only goal. My main goal when it comes to exercise is to feel good about myself, knowing that I’m taking full control of my health in minimising things like heart disease, cholesterol and maintaining a good mental health (including stress levels). I feel that daily exercise (I go on my treadmill machine) is so powerful in the sense that it transforms and improves my moods and helps me relax better.
10) Do something you enjoy
When I’m feeling low energy or just not in the mood to do anything I like to do something that I enjoy such as going to a shopping centre or even just window shopping. This instantly gives me more energy as it is something that I’m not forced to do, I like doing it and it makes me happier. It’s just fun and it really helps me stay distracted from stressing out. If you’re feeling stressed out I recommend you to put your energy and focus on something you enjoy and makes you happy.
So now you have reached to the end of this blog post, I would love to hear your thoughts about it. Have you tried any of the tips? What do you do when you’re stressed out? Do you have any useful tips to share with the world? Leave your comments down below 🙂 Thank you in advance, have a nice day 🙂
The Cold, Harsh Truth About “Detox” Products That You Never Knew
In the world of beauty, health and fitness business, the word “detox” is far too commonly used. For example, you may get offered skincare products such as a detox face mask that promises to help completely remove your blemishes if you use it in the exact way that it has been described on the packaging/label. But the sad truth is that “detoxing” doesn’t actually work; speaking medically, “detoxing” is nonsense. And simply enough, the only real way to get healthy is by diet and exercise.
In this modern era where social media (such as Instagram) exposes “flawless” fitness models to its audience every single day, it is so easy to get sucked in by the detox industry, especially when you are continuously following profiles that show off beautiful skin. You get blown away by the idea of cleansing away your many years of unhealthy eating habits and believe it to be the medicine to your sugar filled calorie intakes and sleepless nights. But wait… before you decide to take steps to a clinical detox solution, you need to first understand the concept of detoxing on a much deeper level: this whole idea that you can completely purify your entire system of flaws and leave your skin spotless and untouchable by toxins – is a scam. It’s a made up concept and the purpose behind it is to sell you products so that substantial profits are being made. It’s all part of business.
Edzard Ernst from Exeter University describes two types of detox where “one is respectable and the other one isn’t”. He goes on to explain that people with life-threatening illnesses that start from conditions such as drug addictions deserve medical treatment, and this may be regarded as a respectable detox. However, the not so respectable one is simply the word “detox” being hijacked by entrepreneurs who want to sell a bogus treatment that apparently detoxifies all the toxins from your body.
Detox doesn’t make sense because you would most likely be dead if toxins actually built up in a way that your body couldn’t excrete. And, the healthy body has kidneys, a liver, lungs, skin, all of which are detoxifying as we speak. So, there is no actual way – and most definitely not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.
Too many products out there in the market mention “toxins” as the poisonous substances that you take in to your body, even though it’s not certain what those toxins are. A group of UK Scientists in 2009 carried out an experiment where they had made contact with the manufactures of 15 products that were being brought from pharmacies and supermarkets that promised to detoxify. These products ranged from dietary supplements to shampoos and smoothies. What’s weird, is that when evidence was being asked for behind the claims, not even one manufacture was able to define what they meant by detoxification. And yet, shelves are overloaded with products with “detox” stuck on their packaging..
The thing is, nowadays you can buy pretty much detoxifying-anything including supplement tablets, face masks, shower gels, yoga treatments, as well as seven-day detox diets – yes you might lose weight but the only reason why you’ll lose it is because you’ll have went without proper food for a week, and unfortunately that has little to do with toxins. Ernst describes all this as a scandal because “it’s criminal exploitation of the gullible man on the street who would love to have a simple remedy that frees him of his sins, so to speak. It’s nice to think that it could exist but unfortunately it doesn’t.”
So let’s talk about alcoholics. Would a detox from alcohol be a good thing? Of course it would be great to go days without alcohol as part of your lifestyle, and it may even give you the opportunity to think about your drinking habits if you’re drinking above the limit. However, the idea that your liver needs to be “purified” through detox is just ridiculous.
If you think about it, the best lifestyle detox involves not smoking or drinking, avoiding processed foods, doing plenty of exercise and overall just enjoying a balanced diet as much as possible, all of which is healthy for you. Just imagine a diet full of all the right treatment and care that your body needs. Wholegrain cereals, fruits, vegetables, plenty of water, sleep, etc. All of this naturally strengthens your immune system without the need for a so called “detox”. So why do all those detox advertisements make you feel like you need to punish yourself in order to be healthy?
In conclusion, I can tell you that detox will never benefit you in the long-run. Sure, you want results from detox, and you’ll get them – but the effects of all those products and treatments will not last for as long as you live. If I could invent an actual definition for the word “detox”, then it would be “getting to the bottom and root cause of every problem in your life and work towards fixing them naturally to ensure the happiest and healthiest version of yourself”. I’m sorry, but you need to be committed to healing the right way, not through some temporary relief in the name of “detox”.
5 Beautiful Reasons Why Traveling Is Good For Your Mind And Soul
In this blog post I’m going to discuss 5 points which explain why traveling can be good for your mind and soul. I hope you enjoy reading. 🙂
1. The less stress, the higher mental well-being
The benefits are enjoyed without distinction, regardless of the type of trip you make, either a long trip abroad or a short getaway to a nearby destination. Leaving the routine behind produces a state of relaxation that reduces stress to unsuspected limits. Traveling is the best way to live in the present and worry only about what you are going to live on a specific day. This directly influences mental health, since according to studies conducted by the University of Arizona, people who make a couple of trips a year have less predisposition to be tense, are more satisfied, and enjoy a better quality of life.
2. Your brain thanks you
Until recently, scientists thought that the brain did not follow its development once adulthood was reached. Today it is known that our minds can continue to grow, neurons can create new connections, and even new neurons can be formed thanks to the training and stimulation of our brain. Scientists find the key in facing the brain to novelty, challenge, and variety. Key pieces that are activated when we plan and enjoy a trip. The need to adapt to a new environment and make a mental map of the places visited are activities that generate a strong mental stimulus, even in people who already have a neurological disease. So there is nothing better for your brain than to take a trip.
3. A stronger heart
According to various studies, traveling reduces the risk of myocardial infarction, especially in people over 45 years. On the other hand, when we travel we stay longer in motion, we walk more and develop more social activities, so that the activity of our circulatory system is benefited. Being on vacation in a different destination than usual also breaks the monotony for our organs.
4. Self-esteem through the clouds
Traveling is a challenge for the body and mind when moving to situations that break our usual dynamics. On many occasions traveling makes us leave our comfort zone, live with different customs, new gastronomies and face unknown languages. Face all these situations and move forward, manage to “survive” in a different place boosts our self-esteem as almost nothing else could do, helping to regain that self-confidence that we sometimes lose in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
5. Time for ourselves
Taking a trip helps us take a distance from our lives and problems. A break can make us find new ways to solve a problem. It helps us to see the difficulties with perspective and relativize the problems that make us worry too much. Learning to value what you have is much easier when you enjoy time to reflect, and this makes us feel better about ourselves.
Traveling makes you happy
Finally, I must add that travel creates illusions, new memories, and links with people of all cultures and races, as well as irreplaceable experiences, since no material good can replace them. From these studies, a definitive conclusion is drawn; traveling makes us happier, in a unique and special way.
6 Great Practices To Be Mentally Strong
6 Great Practices To Be Mentally Strong
Every day we must make decisions and, although some have more impact than others, our future depends on them. There are situations in which it is good to listen to our hearts and let it guide us; However, there are others in which it is better not to get carried away easily by the feelings and decide with the brain. Those who do this are called mentally strong.
These people think well before making a decision. They also put into practice some good customs from which we can all learn:
1. Don’t be afraid of the challenges
It is natural to be afraid of the unknown, to fail, not to do a good job, etc. Sometimes we can be too much of a perfectionist, too judgmental of ourselves, or we have a bad habit of setting high expectations and comparing ourselves to others. All these bad thoughts prevent one from daring to accept new challenges and difficulties. Mentally strong people know that, while it is true that failure is probable if they do not take risks, they can never learn or overcome.
2. Accept the changes
The changes are never easy, but they have a great reward in the process and in the result. If a change is hard to bring, pray constantly for God to provide the necessary wisdom and patience.
3. Look for opportunities
Sometimes, opportunities come to us; Sometimes, you have to go looking for them. Mentally strong people know that persistence is the key to success. If a situation does not go as expected, they continue in the search for new possibilities and do not give up until they find them. They know firsthand that if they fail, again and again, it does not mean that they are unsuccessful, but that they have not tried hard enough.
4. Have a positive mind
People who let their emotions guide themselves are predisposed to a situation without having tried. This bad attitude prevents them from seeing the positive side of life and paralyzes their progress. It is important to understand that every circumstance has a positive side and that if one concentrates on it, it is much simpler to have a more affordable and efficient behavior.
5. Know how to handle criticism
Someone once said criticism hurts like a shower of bricks. Receiving such a blow leaves wounds and marks; However, if you know how to take advantage of them, you could build a house with them. Not all criticism is usually true, but at all times, you can learn from it. Instead of taking negative comments as a discouragement, they should be seen as an incentive to improve and get ahead.
6. Learn from mistakes
Many inventors throughout history had to do many trial and error practices. If they had given up on the first attempt, we would never have been able to enjoy the things we have today. Similarly, mentally strong people see their mistakes as one more attempt, but not as the end result. They make their failures guide them to seek excellence in everything.
…So that’s the complete 6 practices of being mentally strong. What did you think of them? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave your comments below, I look forward to reading them 🙂
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