You are stressed? Here’s why boxing could help you
There are basically two ways to manage stress, and almost everyone is leaning for one or the other. It’s a question of stress management.
How to manage stress
The first plea offers short-term respite. This does not require much thought. In fact, it is often a reflex – an instant reaction against uncomfortable feelings and emotions, to respond to a stressful situation.
Here are some examples of this way of managing stress and fighting stress:
Excessive consumption of food or alcohol
Spend money frivolously
Adopt other mind-altering behaviors (often risky)
- The other way to manage stress offers longer-term results, but in the short term, this way may be more difficult to implement. It also requires more reflection. This is because, frankly, this way of doing things is not as fun as the other way to manage stress ! Rather, these activities include calming, slowing down and relaxing in a healthy way.
Examples of this way of managing stress are:
Practice yoga or stretch your desk
Go running or hit a punching bag
Take a bubble bath
Cleaning of your office
So … how do you handle stress ?
If your answer is the first, you are not alone. In fact, many people handle stress this way. It’s because it stinks of being stressed ! Everyone agrees that this is a negative emotion that we all want to get rid of as quickly as possible. Stress makes us sad, frustrated and even angry. Therefore, it is not surprising that stressed people want to feel good … as soon as possible, especially for their mental health.
This leads to the first way to manage stress – these instant reactions that you usually regret right after you have done: drink one beer too many, call an ex, let off steam in front of the television, consume too much junk food, avoid responsibilities, ignore exercise plans, etc. What you need is to put in place an appropriate stress management plan.
The good news is that if you are chosen this path, it is the first step to get out and take a smarter one.
The wise way to manage stress
We already know the smart and wise way to manage stress. It’s about calming, slowing down, relaxing in a healthy way and, if possible, avoiding stressful situations.
But it all starts with realizing that you are starting to be too stressed.
Think about it. How do you know when you are stressed ?
Do you know when you are already three or four scotches ?
Or when you find yourself bursting into tears when something relatively minor goes wrong ? You know when you start arguing with your other half ?
Ideally, spot the first signs of stress long before you get there. It starts with learning an acute awareness of thoughts, feelings and emotions. If you are not used to self-monitoring, it may be a new skill for you, but it will benefit you for the rest of your life and stress management is essential, helping you to deal with stress and pressure.
To learn to self-control, an excellent starting point is full awareness.
What is full consciousness ?
The practice of full consciousness comes from ancient Buddhist practices. Full consciousness is essentially about staying in the present moment and watching and observing everything you can in your internal and external world.
You can practice full consciousness anytime and anywhere. The goal is to stay there, and the best way to do it is to focus on breathing. This is because your breathing is omnipresent and occurs continuously.
Inevitably, however, your mind will go astray. He will walk in good and bad things, worries, happy thoughts, intense emotions, daydreams and everything in between.
Observe these thoughts, emotions and feelings. Try not to judge them.
On the contrary, accept them for what they are, and do not reject them. As soon as you can, just bring your mind’s attention to your breathing.
In this way, you will learn to see exactly when your thoughts, feelings and emotions start to drift towards a state of “stress”. For example, if you are fully aware at work and you observe your mind wandering to the past and the terrible argument you had with your spouse last weekend, you will see that this is a thought and a set of feelings that bother you latently. This is a good starting point to rectify the situation.
If many other stressful thoughts and emotions frequently pass through your practice of full consciousness, these are signs that you are too stressed.
When you realize that you are too stressed, it is time to take a break before acting immediately.
This step is crucial and can be done even if you do not perceive the first clues to your stress.
The main goal here is to stop before mechanically acting on your stress. Because remember: It is these automatic reactions (throwing on sweets or alcohol, telling yourself that you should not exercise for the day …) that put you in trouble when you manage the stress.
How to stop when you know you are stressed ?
The best way is to find a quiet place to go for at least three or four minutes. This may mean apologizing for going to the bathroom if you are at work or at school. It can mean going into the room and closing the door for a while if you are at home. You can even find a moment for yourself in the car.
During this period, it is essential to ask a few questions:
1. What bothers me ?
Sometimes you won’t know it right away. It can be a combination of things that bother you, or maybe an elusive embarrassment that you can’t pinpoint. However, if you can identify precisely what is causing you so much stress, this can be helpful.
2. What do I want to do with these emotions right now ?
What is your instinctive reaction to excessive stress ? You want to go after your colleague ? You go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of junk ? You have canceled the exercise plans with your training companion ?
Find out what you are facing.
3. What will happen if I do what I really want to do now ?
In all likelihood, you have already done what you wanted to do, and if it is something like arguing with someone or scrolling away and ignoring your responsibilities, it is very likely that the results have not been positive. Try to focus on the negative consequences of acting mechanically and irrationally and not thinking about your actions.
4. What else would I be happy to do right now that wouldn’t end in bad feelings later ?
There are other things you can do to feel better that are not irrational and unhealthy.
Here are some of the best options for managing stress and pressure, and remember that each person and each situation is different.
Take a walk outside
Hit a strike bag
Go to your favorite restaurant for a delicious and relatively healthy dinner or lunch
Take a nap
Call a friend
Do yoga on the floor
Take a hot bubble bath
Write in a newspaper
Light a candle and read a book
The goal here is to do something that is not unhealthy (like eating too much or spending money that you do not have), but that gives you welcome relief from tension and stress.
Again, what allows you to relieve stress will inevitably change. This is why it is good to have many options. You can decide to take a relaxing bath to reduce stress for a week, while the following week a hot bath may seem horrible to you and you will prefer to go to a boxing gym to vent your frustration on a punching bag.
Keep a list of stress behaviors that can help you in difficult times.
Then identify your main sources of stress.
Once you are in a calmer, stress-free state, think about the cause of your overabundance of stress. The goal is to be able to identify your main stress markers. That way you can stop the “snowball” effect of stress before it starts or at least before it gets out of hand.
In general, stress can be caused by feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities. Therefore, for many people, excess stress comes from the fact that they say “yes” to too many things.
If this is the case for you, it’s time to start saying “no” to more things. Overwork is a recipe for disaster. Taking time for yourself and for things that matter to yourself can help you get away from the super stressful moments of life, helping you feel more relaxed.
In some cases, however, stress cannot be avoided. For example, if your children are sick, you are very busy at work and you are about to move … can we really avoid all of this ?
The answer is probably no. So your best option is to do the best you can first. Take it easy. Use your healthy stress reduction habits as often as possible.
Here are some examples of stressful situations that can be considered as stressors:
Your teacher asks you to answer the question
Interview for a management position
Current maintenance issue
You are asked to describe your professional experience
The reasons why you would be a good candidate for a given position
What are your general skills ?
Try to figure out how to solve a problem
Know that the due date is approaching
Present to management what you think is a good idea
When asked a question like, “How do you manage pressurized work.”
How to stay motivated despite constant pressure or a toxic environment ?
What to remember from all of this is that you shouldn’t stress yourself, stay motivated and believe in yourself.
Second, you will want to build on some new behaviors that can help reduce the impact of stress, even the inevitable … on a larger scale.
Regularly adopt new healthy habits and behaviors that inherently reduce stress
It is not possible to eradicate all stress, and one should not try to do so. Not only is regular stress part of life, but whether you believe it or not, it can be beneficial. Being stressed by an important presentation or a future competition simply means that you are concerned about these events.
By regularly adopting healthy behaviors of self-management of health you can however reduce the overall negative effects of any stressful event.
Here are the habits you might consider trying on a regular basis:
Full consciousness practice
The last two behaviors are quite simple: Adopt a balanced diet made up of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats and move regularly. In some cases, yoga can also be a form of regular exercise (although you also need to focus on cardiovascular activity and bodybuilding).
Meditation, the practice of full consciousness and yoga are a little more complex, but their effects on stress levels can change life:
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and is one of the best ways to trigger the “relaxation reaction”. With only 10 minutes of meditation a day, you can reduce stress and anxiety in your life, learn to focus better and teach your body and mind to engage in deep relaxation whenever you want.
Meditation can be performed alone, with a partner or group, or in class. Many people find that short periods of meditation can help calm the mind in times when you want to engage in unhealthy behaviors due to stress.
The practice of full awareness is a subject that we have already touched on, but which deserves to be mentioned again. This practice can be used at any time and anywhere. In fact, you can even learn to be constantly attentive – an idea supported by ancient Buddhism and practiced by Buddhist monks and nuns.
Why is full awareness so useful for reducing stress ?
It teaches you how to avoid rumination and a wild spirit that cannot stay focused. It helps you enjoy your life by emphasizing the importance of the present moment. Finally, it helps you identify the thoughts, feelings and emotions that bother you, so that you can learn to correct them, take care of them or accept them radically as part of the ups and downs of life.
Yoga can also be practiced almost everywhere. You can take yoga classes, but you can also do it on your desk at work, at home on the floor of your room, and even in line at the post office.
Yoga helps reduce stress by teaching you to focus on breathing and breathe more effectively in general. Dresses and yoga movements relax the body and, by nature, the mind. This can help you release emotional energy and develop a stronger connection between your body and mind. If you are looking to relieve pain, then mild yoga sequence may be your answer.
Start reducing stress in your life slowly today
Keep in mind that learning to live a life without stress will be an endless journey.
The good news is that you can start slowly, but be sure to start. Add stress reduction practices one by one. Although your progress may be progressive, you will reap the benefits of a less hectic, less stressful and less anxious life. Ask one of our welfare advisers to explain how we can help you. Remember that the call is FREE !
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