There’s so much stress going on in the world right now. I used to enjoy getting out and going to malls in my spare time. Now, I can’t do any of that. However, I’ve been in drive-throughs with angry customers behind me. I’ve been called names that reduced me to tears just because I was ahead of someone in line. People aren’t acting right these days.
Your home might become a sanctuary if you’re lucky enough to work from it, but not everyone has the luxury. I’ve had to do a lot of dealing with people even though my job is mainly home-based. When I come home, I am literally shaking sometimes. There is so much tension and anxiety out there. Even my daily walks are ruined with people in groups walking by me. They tell me that they think COVID is a hoax and that I will see one day. It almost sounds like a threat. That I’m the only crazy one suffering and the rest of them think I’m some paranoid, ill person.
Before we start, remember that…
You know stress is bad for you. It can lead to insomnia, poor sleep, digestive issues, high blood pressure, and headaches. Stress has been a constant of human existence for millennia.
Humans have evolved to have specific reactions to stress, that back in caveman days could mean the difference between life and death. And these reactions are still there, buried in your reptile brain, prompting your fight or flight response, flooding your brain with cortisol and adrenaline.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re facing a saber-toothed tiger or an impossible deadline, your brain and your body react in the same way.
Unfortunately, the demands of modern life mean that many people are dealing with chronic stress, keeping those cortisol levels high, which leads to a greater risk of reduced cognitive function, poor memory, and retention, or even dementia.
In the past year, I’ve tried lots of things to start the day off right: I bought coloring books and threw myself into baking projects. I tried to self-soothe with lots of meditation and a steady gratitude practice. None of it helped ease my stress in any meaningful way and I still found myself super anxious from the moment I woke up.
That’s until I started tweaking my morning routine. But more on this later.
Here are four simple ways you can reduce your stress levels and improve your brain health.
Recognize Your Personal Response to Stress
Learn how stress affects you and what your own personal triggers are. Some people deal better with stressors than others.
Notice your physical, emotional, and mental health symptoms when you are experiencing stress.
Sometimes I can really feel stress in my belly and my stomach. I wasn’t like that before. But now stress is a real tangible thing.
Identify Your Triggers
What stresses you out may be water off a duck’s back from your partner, friend, or colleague. If you can identify what breaks you out in a cold sweat or raises your anxiety levels, then you can anticipate stressful situations and head them off at the pass.
Or at the very least learn to manage them better.
When I know that I’ll have a difficult conversation with someone (my wife, for instance 😀 or at work when I disagree with my manager’s technical decisions), I just take a deep breath beforehand, try to calm my nerves and be as much relaxed as I can be.
Learn to Say No
Most people nowadays feel overstretched and overcommitted. Much of modern stress comes from feeling disempowered and overwhelmed. As well as stress management techniques like meditation and exercise, learning to say ‘no’ confidently and positively is one of the most potent weapons you can use against stress.
Once you know what triggers your stress response and how that response affects you, it’s time to make self-care-based choices.
Work out what you want to say ‘yes’ to in your life and let that drive your decision making about what you take on and what you don’t.
If you want more time to be with your family, take up a new hobby or exercise, then you can choose whether you want to work late, or take on extra responsibilities.
Turbocharge Your Morning Routine
My morning routine is greatly inspired by Hal Elrod’s book:
- 5 minutes meditation/visualization
- 5 minutes reading
- 5 minutes exercise
But recently I’ve added a secret ingredient to this routine that prevents stress because these days are not for the faint of heart. They are more stressful and more taxing for everyone, even those who have not had to be essential workers. For this reason, I’m glad to have discovered mindbodygreen’s hemp multi+ supplement. It will help people with anxiety. It can also help those who live in congested, urban areas that cannot get out for walks. It has vitamin D to give busy people the vitamin D that others are getting from natural sunlight.
Just two capsules of mbg’s hemp multi+ supplement can really help. It can take away the tension and stress that has been building. Also, there is 1,000 IU, the recommended serving, of Vitamin D. That really helps people too. It can aid in knowing that the one supplement is providing life-giving nutrients back as well as aiding in anxiety.
I want to be healthier. I definitely want to emerge from this quarantine as a healthier, stronger person. I have literally been racking my brains at home trying to come up with a solution. Some of the time, I’m thinking about reducing coffee or other stimulants. However, the coffee has been what has been keeping me awake to do my work in an otherwise rather unstimulating environment. There is no reason to quit something that isn’t broken. I’ve come to the conclusion that I just need that extra bit more to get me through the days.
It can be hard admitting that I need to take on yet another supplement. However, I do realize that there is nothing usual about the times that I have been living through. If it will help me focus and not stay stressed, I am willing to do anything. Hemp has been known to help with vitamins and nutrients in the body as well as to ease tension. It’s a safe approach because you will not get high. Rather, you will be able to just have natural, calming experience that is giving the body what it needs.
There are a lot of solutions out there, but anxiolytics are not the answer for the long term. They are only meant to be taken for a short-term fix that can last a couple of months. In the long term, anti-anxiety medication is addictive and can have symptoms such as memory loss and blackouts. This is not healthy for the body, and it is not a conspiracy to suggest that this is what long-term dependency leads to.
I recommend taking small and not drastic strides in these times. The measured consistent system that is healthy can really go a long way to better wellness. A person should remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but through group effort, it did happen. This is exactly what people need to understand when they take their supplements.
I look forward to a better outcome for everyone after the pandemic is over. I believe that if we take strides to practice better mental health through wellness practices, we will find that we all make it through together.
What about you? What have you implemented recently in your life to deal with these hectic times?
Let us know.