Stress can sneak up on you and begin to erode your physical and psychological health.
Use this list as a quick reference on what you can do right now to reduce physical stress symptoms and increase the quality of your life quickly and effectively.
If you take and implement even one strategy from the list below, you will:
Reduce or eliminate such physical symptoms of stress as:
- Heart palpitations
- Various pains in the chest area
- Panic or anxiety attacks
- Energy crashes
You will also get more consistent energy levels and improved sleep.
What Is Physical Stress
Physical stress is what happens in your body when excessive demands are placed on it. It usually manifests itself in such symptoms as pains and discomfort around the heart area, irregular breathing, all the way down to such somatic issues as prostate problems in men.
It is, in its essence, mismanagement of energy. We all have limited amounts of energy available to us during the day. We expend some at work, we regain some at rest.
When we expend more that we regain, we begin to experience symptoms of physical stress, or its manifestations.
Therefore, let’s take a look at what you can do in your energy management right now to begin turning things around very quickly.
4 Strategies to Overcome Physical Stress
Strategy 1. Slow down on stimulants.
I refer here to the stimulants of the central nervous system, such as caffeine-containing plants and products, as well as other stimulants, such as ginseng or gotu kola.
I go into a lot more detail on this topic in this article. But you can start helping your body very quickly by just cutting down or eliminating the intake of stimulants.
If you can’t start your morning without a coffee or an espresso, you know something’s rotten in the state of Denmark. Meaning, if your body demands a boost, it is a sign that it’s running out of stored energy.
By drinking coffee you are not refilling the storage but exhausting the last supply without replenishing. Bottom line – slow down or stop all the caffeine and other stimulants that you can find in energy drinks and some supplements.
Strategy 2. Lower your intake of sugars.
In fact, lower your overall carb intake. But really slow down on or eliminate sugars in any form.
It may seem strange – carbs are supposed to give you energy, and here’s Philip telling me to slow down on the main source of energy, which is what I really need right now.
Yes, you need energy. And the best sources of energy for you are proteins and fats. Yes, you heard me right, and I’ll talk about this below, in the next strategy.
Sugars give you energy spikes and crashes, which are the things that add to your stress. For example, drinking a glass of orange juice causes insulin secretion to lower the blood sugar, which causes fatigue.
In effect, by eating any foods high in sugar, you are simulating a version of a fight-or-flight response, which is the last thing you need when you’re under stress. It’s a straight road to burnout.
When your body is in fight-or-flight response, it doesn’t care about your health and it cares only about your immediate survival. Imagine running in that mode for hours every day. I’ve done it. It almost killed me.
So, lower your intake of all carbs, but especially simple sugars.
Strategy 3. Eat nutritious food, especially for breakfast.
Okay, here’s what I mean – eat some animal proteins and fats. You can have some home fries, too, but don’t make carbs the main part of the breakfast.
Eggs, turkey bacon, some butter, some home fries (optional). You may say, but Philip, I’ve been taught to eat healthy and go green and all that stuff, and here you are trying to kill me with all the cholesterol, etc, etc.
I don’t have the time or space here to explain all the ins and outs of macronutrients. Here’s my simple advice: try eating mostly proteins and fats for three days. And start with your breakfast.
Really do this for three days and notice how you feel. Your energy will level out and crashes will diminish or disappear. Animal proteins and fats are very healthy if they come from good sources.
Buy grass-fed and organic and begin consuming these vital foods. Just try it for three days. If you like how you feel, well, then you know what to continue doing.
Strategy 4. Breathe.
Make your breathing a conscious act at least once, preferably three times a day. You can do what is called diaphragmatic breathing (or belly breathing).
The steps are simple.
Step 1. Inhale while counting to 8.
Step 2. Hold your breath for a count of 32.
Step 3. Exhale while counting to 16.
So, the pattern is inhale for 1, hold for 4, and exhale for 2. And multiply by any number you wish. With practice, the numbers will increase slightly.
This exercise will increase your lung function and capacity. But more importantly, it will provide your brain with more oxygen, and it will relax you.
What You Can Do Immediately
Even if you’re reading this in your office, you can do these three things to get you started quickly and begin experiencing the results.
- Step out and do some belly breathing (10 deep breaths)
- Have a decaf instead of coffee
- Eat a high-protein, high-fat food for your next meal, whether it be breakfast or lunch
Till next time,