Stress is everywhere and within every person out there. Very few people are completely stress free, in fact I doubt anyone is completely stress free. But if there is someone out there who is happy and living stress free.. I envy them very much
Stress can be overwhelming at times and it can also diminish many good things in our lives. People stress for so many different reasons, but what they don’t realize is that they do not need to be stressing about most of the things they stress over. Not only that, but it is easier than they think to get over the stress and be happy. Today I want to talk about what stresses us, what that stress can do to our bodes and fitness results, and how to accomplish a stress free mind-set.
Becoming stress free is a huge mental game and it takes a person who is mentally strong to accomplish this. If you are not a mentally strong individual, that’s ok because you can most definitely become one. It takes some steps and motivation to be happy, but it can be accomplished.
My father was the first person to really make me realize that I was over stressing things and that I needed to work on getting better at controlling my stress. You see, I’ve always been the high-strung type that gets worked up easily. This is probably why my brother and his friends always decided to pick on me when I was younger.
I will admit that it was very easy to make me mad or to get a response out of me. This also carried on into my own personal problems, if anything bad happened to me my day was completely ruined. This is not a good way to live because you’ll be stressed out more often than not.
I can still remember a few years back when I was having a terrible day, it seemed like every single thing that happened was against my odds and it was really getting to me. I went to my grandmas to visit her in the early afternoon and it definitely made my day a little better. She is always so positive and friendly that it naturally brought my mood up.
We decide to get a bite to eat but as we walk into the parking lot of her apartments my car is nowhere to be found.. I know it didn’t get stolen because I have anti theft system preventing that.. So where the hell is my car?!
The old gentlemen who lives next door comes outside to inform me that he had my car towed because I was in somebody’s parking spot. So I ask him, “Was I in your spot?”, he replied, “No, but it wasn’t yours either”.
Well the funny thing was that nobody lived in the apartment that was assigned to that parking spot, which my grandma told me and this was why we decided to park my car there in the first place.
So of course, me being the high-strung young asshole I once was, I yelled at the man for doing so. Questioning him over and over again on why he would do something so rude and senseless. After my grandma calmed me down, we drove to the tow truck place.
I get there and pay the $375 fee for the tow and am on my way, on the verge of driving off a cliff because I am so angry. I then get a call from my dad, so of course I answer and immediately start yelling my story to him. Then he asks me, “What are you gonna do about it now?”
…At this point I’m so angry I just yell a bunch of non sense, so he asks again. He goes on to ask what can me being angry do to help the situation. How is any of the things I’m saying or doing going to make this better or solve the problem. He told me, “Whats done, is done. Now it is time to get over it Cody. You are always so worked up over things that your constantly angry, you need to calm down and realize that your life is not over and things will get better.”
I didn’t even know what to say, first off because I was still so angry and secondly because he was so damn right I couldn’t rebuttal. So he told me he’s gotta go back to work and to call me later on. After this call I swear the sun poked out of the clouds and all of a sudden my chest didn’t feel so heavy.
From that day forward I learned to just brush things off my shoulder and stay positive, I’ve never been so happy and stress free in my life. Now I wish I could tell you guys it’s as easy as that but reading my story won’t automatically fix your stress problems, but I have some steps that will.
1.) Identifying Stressors
- This is the first and most important step in eliminating stress in your life. You cannot eliminate what you do not realize is there, so make a list. Shoot for a top ten and if its more or less that’s ok, the important thing is that your making the list. List out every stressor you face in life, from weekly stresses to daily stresses. List why they stress you out and ways you can work around letting it stress you out. Once you have created this list, start weeding out the stresses. It easier said than done but it needs to be done. You must find the ways to get rid of the stresses, so writing out the stresses and how you can eliminate them is key. Some stressors you may not be able to completely eliminate, but you can write out ways to make them less stressful.
2.) Evaluate commitments
- This is a tough step but also a very necessary step to take. Consider all the commitments you have in life, from religion, jobs, classes, chores, relationships, online activities, clubs, groups, side work, hobbies, friends, etc. Now evaluate them by how much and how often they stress you out. Then you need to decide if it is worth the stress it brings on, evaluate crucially. Yes you NEED a job to have money to survive, but do you like the job you have and the stress it creates? Maybe its time to look for new work. The same idea goes for all the other commitments on the list.
3.) Better scheduling/planning
- This step can relate directly to procrastination, which almost all of us do. If you’re procrastinating everything all the time stuff will pile up on you until your going crazy over how busy you are. So plan out your days and weeks better so that you can get things done on time without piling it all up. A great way to do this is to have a notepad next to your bed, every night before bed write out the next day hour by hour so you know exactly how your day will pan out.
4.) Back off of having complete control
- A lot of people want to control everything all the time, but in reality we are not able to control every situation as we wish we could. If you can learn to be less controlling and just go with the flow, things will go much smoother. At first it takes a lot to back off and just not worry about things, but over time it gets easy and you’ll realize things do not matter as much as you think. It is not the end of the world if something does not go perfectly how you expected it too. Remember, everything happens for a reason.
5.) Choose your friends/associates wisely
- This can be a difficult one because lets face it, nobody wants to tell a friend or associate that they can’t hang with them anymore. But the reality of this is that it can be needed to relieve stress out of your life and also for you to grow as a person. First and for most you cannot grow and become successful if you have people holding you back from your goals. If this is happening to you not only will it hold you back, but it will bring a ton of stress into your life because you have to worry about that person constantly and you also need to worry about what effect they are having on your life. Look at the people you surround yourself with, if they do not help you improve then learn to weed them out.
6.) Slow down a bit
- This is a problem a lot of people have, they rush through everything. They rush through their meals, they rush through their work, they rush their workouts, etc. Its time to take it slow for a while, enjoy your meals and the time you spend with people. Do not worry about what you need to do next or afterwards but instead live in the moment. The only thing that should be on the majority of your mind is what you’re doing that exact moment. You will enjoy everything much more.
- This the last but not least! Start exercising more often, it is a proven fact to be one of the biggest stress relievers. Not only will it help you unleash stress and anger but it will make you more healthy and fit in the long run, which in turn leads to a less stressful life. A lot of times exercising can be looked at like a form of meditation, its like your quiet time to think and just crush weights. On top of this all, being unhealthy or overweight is a huge stressor because of all the negative factors it brings along. Exercising prevents this from ever happening.
Stress is a dangerous thing that can control your life, so it is important to take these steps into play asap. Stress can affect your hormones negatively also causing you too gain weight and alter your goals from building muscle. Stress releases the hormone called cortisol, cortisol is known to promote weight gain and hinder fat loss. So we do not want to be stressed out if we plan to be fit. Not only does it stop your fitness goals but it can stop your relationship goals and personal goals in many other ways.
Stress is our enemy, so take these steps and apply them so you can have the stress free life you deserve to have.