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4 Powerful Techniques To Manage Stress

October 27, 2015

Did You Know Up To 85% Of All Illness And Disease Is Caused By Stress?

For years I worked in middle management for a high-tech company and saw firsthand how chronic stress affected my co-workers, business associates and myself.  Because untreated chronic stress can result in serious health conditions such as anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes, it is to your advantage to learn ways to handle stressful situations in your life.

4  Powerful Techniques To Manage Stress

BREATHE. For every emotion there is a different rhythm to your breath. When you are completely relaxed your breath is very different than when you are sad, angry, joyous or excited. Learning how to control your breath, how to slow the breath down and being able to recognize the natural rhythm of your breath can be extremely beneficial. How do you learn this?  Breath exercises. There are literally hundreds of breath exercises.  The one I like to start people with is what I call the 5-3-8.  You will be inhaling and exhaling through the nose.  Inhale to a count of 5, at the top of the breath hold for a count of 3, then begin to exhale for a count of 8.  On the inhale fill up the lungs completely and when exhaling completely empty the lungs. Practice in the morning and at night for about 2 minutes. This practice will help you to learn how to control your breath and you will become more aware of your natural breath.

TAKE A BREAK. No matter what type of work you do — make sure you are taking breaks and don’t eat lunch at your desk. For many of us we go from one thing to the next without any time in between. From meeting to conference call, to reading and writing emails, running errands, working on that proposal, organizing and planning….for many of us we hardly find the time to go to the bathroom. Here’s what I recommend, set a timer for yourself.  Set one for the AM and one for the PM. The AM and PM breaks only need to be 15 minutes. If you work inside, go outside for 15 minutes, walk around the building a few times. If you work outside, if possible go inside and walk inside the building.  A change in scenery away from your work allows the mind to relax and calm down. If you have a tendency to skip lunch or to eat lunch at your desk, I recommend you set up a lunch appointment on your calendar.  This will ensure you take time for lunch and don’t book another appointment.

MEDITATE. If you ran your car 24 hours a day, 7 days a week your car would not last very long. When our minds are constantly going, multitasking and running full speed all the time we become exhausted mentally and physically. Learning to meditate, calming the mind, focusing and concentrating on one thought for as little as 15 minutes a day can have an incredible affect on our overall health and well-being. For many people our minds are so busy thinking all the time it is difficult for us to meditate. I recommend starting out with guided meditations. With a guided meditation you will listen to the voice of someone in order to focus and concentrate on what the person is saying. This will start to train the mind and you will be able to learn how to shift from thinking to feeling.

PRACTICE YOGA, TAI CHI or QIGONG. There are many Eastern healing art forms that have a calming effect on the body as well as your mind and emotions. There are many different styles of yoga and there’s literally a type for every person. You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga — in fact — that is one of the benefits of the practice, you will become more flexible. Tai Chi and Qigong are incredible practices for slowing down the mind, relieving stress and anxiety. These practices will teach you how to listen to your body. When we become stressed out in life, many times we are not listening to our bodies. We allow emotions to build up inside us without recognizing it until all of a sudden we are angry, sad or frustrated.  These practices teach us how to turn our focus and attention inward, we begin to listen internally and with continual practice we will become more sensitive to our emotions.  This allows us to do something different before getting emotionally upset about a situation.

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