How do you manage your daily stress?
Stress is debilitating in so many ways and hence managing your stress is very important so you can have a healthy and balanced day. I begin my day with the ‘end in mind’ (A habit of Stephen R.Covey). The way I look at each day is precious; I have been given this day and I want to ensure I nurture it as much as I can. Now don’t get me wrong, there are days where stress creeps in, but basically if I use the following, I will enjoy a balanced day.
Point 1. Meditation, Visualization and Gratitude. My meditation is 10-minutes. I usually do this in bed, sitting up, eyes closed and quiet. Music is fine, but for me it is the silence that helps me focus. Breathing is important so become aware of your breath, moving in through your nose and slowly out your mouth. Any negative thoughts that come in, just observe them and then let them go. Visualize your goal for the day as if you have already achieved it. Name what you are grateful for. Doing the above allows your mind to focus.
Point 2. Plan your day according to your priorities, often there will be many tasks that you will need to attend to. Do them, then come back to your goal of the day. If you are becoming overloaded with your thoughts, step away from where you are. Breathe, walk a little then go back to the task at hand. Being conscious of your breath allows your head space to take a rest. Visualize yourself emptying your thoughts and readjusting. If you have negative thoughts, let them go and replace them with positive ones. Smile, because you have allowed your mind to recharge and your body to relax.
Point 3. Without a doubt, exercise is the most important item to do each day. I will often do a 1-minute plank, then a side plank – left and right side sometime throughout my day. Each day is different. It could be a walk in Lake Gardens for 60 minutes. At the gym running/walking on the treadmill – gradient of 8, with a run/walk of 5. 5 KS per hour. A swim – minimum of 40 laps mostly I will do up to 60 laps (21metre pool). Pilates, 30 minutes. I don’t usually do anything Saturday or Sunday.
If you have someone to hug, then hug them. A hug releases a hormone called oxytocin into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering our heart rate and our cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Bottom line – be aware of your breath, take time away from your desk, classroom, meeting, housework or anything that is your major work of the day. Replace any negative thoughts with positive. Remember to allow yourself to be nurtured by ‘you’. Your body and mind are yours and it needs to be loved.