Stress Is a Pain in the Neck

Stress is a killer! We have all heard this before, have we not? Most of us have experienced it at one point in our lives or another. Typically it is that one thing in our lives that is out of sync with the rest of the glorious parts of our lives. We all have elements in our lives that give us a little heartburn, and coping with it is not always easy. There are many factors to weigh in: our mental state, our nutrition levels, our exercise level, and even social interaction.

Stress is a killer! We have all heard this before, have we not? Most of us have experienced it at one point in our lives or another. Typically it is that one thing in our lives that is out of sync with the rest of the glorious parts of our lives. We all have elements in our lives that give us a little heartburn, and coping with it is not always easy. There are many factors to weigh in: our mental state, our nutrition levels, our exercise level, and even social interaction.

Sometimes all we need is a good venting system or sounding board to work out our issues. We don't necessarily need feedback, but knowing that a person is listening and responds actively helps (at least something with a pulse). However, there are elements that we can employ to help us with our daily states of mind.

This starts with proper nutrition. Our body works on cycles and proper nutrition is necessary throughout the day. We have three- to five-hour cycles in which our body starts to run low on proper nutrients and energy. Eating smaller meals helps our bodies function on a more optimal level. In turn, it affects the blood to our brains and nutrients carried for the proper synaptic response. Without this, we can have mood swings, become irritable, or even hostile. This is a response to the lack of getting the proper nutrients our bodies and brains need to function.

If we eat large meals, then our body kicks into overdrive to process the food consumed. Again, we have less going on upstairs and signals to shut down occur. Ever felt sleepy after eating? This is a direct response to our bodies processing larger meals. Instead, stick to lighter meals, make sure they are packed with nutrition, and then snack on a carrot or apple between those smaller meals.

It's true, this brings you one step closer to mitigating how our bodies deal with stress. Get the proper nutrition to your body/brain and you will deal with the issue with greater ease. Now let's go one step further. Our body needs to expend energy, so you are getting the proper nutrition. However, you may not be burning it off. Our bodies will stockpile this energy.

Burning energy

Burning energy is necessary to rid the body of a whole host of calories and stockpiles of the not-so-wanted waste products. One such waste product during the time of stress is high levels of cortisol, which has a direct impact on our fight-or-flight responses. If we have too much of it, then we may bunch up like a ball and can experience a whole host of unwanted psychological and physiological issues, including migraines, irritability, or muscle cramps. 

Exercise on a regular basis will reduce the buildup in your bloodstream (not just cortisol). It will build your coronary heart muscles and increase the blood flow to the brain. Wow, are you thinking optimally again? Proper exercise also helps to relieve stress, ward away ailment, and others. Don't overdo it, though. Remember too much of a good thing can be bad.

TotalWaveFitness Exercise Machine

My workout of choice while locked away in the house is the TotalWave Fitness. I get a total body workout and bust those obliques in the process (you know that pesky side fat that everyone complains about but do little to get rid of). The added benefit? I don't have to spend an hour walking to get the same calorie-burning workout, and I have worked on all the muscle groups, not just one. It also acts as an HIIT Trainer, building my endurance and cardio all at once. I can go at my own pace depending on the day and it keeps my mind engaged as I am thinking about the exercise and position and not about some stressor. The TotalWave is like surfing or skiing, where you are free of your problems and the only issue is the task at hand. A bonus is that it is for all ages and requires no special skills, although you do get better as you use the machine, and learn new positions and exercises (no position or exercise is wrong if it works a body part).

When I am not confined to a building, I love to go for a bike ride. One hour can burn up to 700 calories. The same can be said for the TotalWave. But, getting out in the sun has its own benefits as you build up much-needed Vitamin D, which is similar to photosynthesis. Our bodies need the rays, so get some and moderate that as well.

Lastly, we need sleep. This is a time for our brains and bodies to relax. We receive a chemical transmitter that keeps us from acting out our dreams and allows those muscles to mend and replenish nutrients. Without sleep, we have plenty of chemicals built up in our system (remember cortisol). We need to release and cleanse our bodies of these. Much like meditation, it puts our bodies in a release state.

Let your body do its thing. It needs a break, and we all know how we love our sleep. All these things can help mitigate and even lessen stressors. Often, if we are able to deal with our problems in a clear state of mind, then we do not dwell on the issues and make that anthill into a mountain to overcome. By maintaining our mind and body balance, life seems to get a bit better, and in even sweeter ways we may not notice.

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