Welcome to Lifestyle for Health!
Cheryl’s Top 5 Strategies for Stepping out of Stress and Overwhelm and into Peaceful and Focused!
Step Out of Stress Strategy 1:
Take Time to Breathe
As simple as this may sound, creating the habit of pausing to regularly and consciously BREATHE can do more to restore a sense of peace than anything else you can do - and it just takes 60 seconds!
Many of my clients who have discovered this habit have come back and asked, “I wonder what I did before I remembered to breathe?”
What to do: Stop (pause) what you are doing (it helps to close your eyes), and breathe in slowly through your nose for four counts, hold for 2-4 counts, let it slowly out through your nose for four counts, and then hold until you start to feel the urge to inhale. Remember to relax your shoulders and elbows.
Repeat six times - focusing only on your breathing. When your mind starts to wander (it will), bring it back to noticing your breathing. This will also help train your brain to increase its ability to focus in other areas!
Become aware of your body and mind relaxing and the stress leaving! You are actually taking your nervous system out of sympathetic (fight or flight) mode and moving it into parasympathetic (rest and digest) mode!
Step Out of Stress Strategy 2:
Reset the Vagus Nerve
The Vagus nerve is the longest and most complex of the 12 cranial nerves. It allows the brain to receive and monitor critical information from multiple body systems and processes.
This very simple technique for resetting the vagus nerve helps you relax tight shoulders, tight voice, tight neck, stressed digestion, and even improve your focus and mental clarity.
You will need a simple sparker for this (links for these are below). In the video, I also show you how to do this with just your fingers if you don’t have a sparker. This technique can be done as often as needed - it takes less than 30 seconds. It’s best to have a partner do it for you, and then you can return the favor! You can also spark yourself - so no partner is needed - that keeps it easy!
In the video, I reference two sparker options, here is where to order:
Basic on Amazon: Acu Point Pen cost is less than $20 (the link occasionally changes on Amazon - just search for the Acu Point Pen)
Professional Quality: Call the company to order - Lhasa Oms 800-722-8775 and ask for the Deluxe Piezo Unit (it’s not on their website) cost is about $50
Step Out of Stress Strategy 3:
R & R Pose
What if you could get the equivalent of 4 hours of rest in just 15 minutes?
It’s possible, and it’s a favorite strategy for my clients because it WORKS!
When you are in the fight/flight mode (most people now live in this state 24/7), your blood is pumped to the extremities to prepare you to run or fight. Your digestion slows down, the heart pumps faster, cortisol is elevated (a leading cause of excess belly fat), and your nervous system is in high alert mode! Fight or Flight mode is meant to help you handle short term emergencies, not everyday life!
You can interrupt this high-alert, sympathetic nervous system mode by moving the blood back into your core, by relaxing your breathing (see tip #1) and resting your adrenals. The R and R pose does all of this for you!
This is the perfect way to power nap, to take a break in the middle of a hectic day, or relax from a busy day and reenergize yourself for your evening.
- Lying on your back, place your feet on a chair or cushion with your knees bent.
- Place your hands at your sides.
- Close your eyes and allow yourself to breathe deeply and easily.
- No TV, reading, music, phones, talking, or other distractions.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes if you’re on a timed schedule (it’s easy to doze off).
- This does not replace your sleep - it is meant to fill the deficit!
- There is no limit to how often you can do this nor are there any negative side effects.
- If you can not tell an immediate difference with the R&R pose, then your adrenals are highly stressed, and you may need to practice this regularly before you start seeing noticeable benefits - be patient, it takes time to heal and repair. You may also benefit from additional adrenal support. Contact our office for help with this.
Step Out of Stress Strategy 4:
How many times do you catch yourself: taking offense, fuming with anger, focusing on what’s unfair, what’s not right, blaming others, or just looping on negative thoughts?
These thinking patterns are deeply buried in our sub-conscious and will prevent us from creating a life that is easy, fun, and productive.
How do you break their cycle? How do you keep it simple? How do you get immediate relief?
A simple activity that I teach my clients is the Acceptance Practice. Acceptance, for this exercise, does not mean that you like, condone, or even agree with what you are choosing to accept (I cover this in detail in the video).
It does mean that you are telling your subconscious to let go of believing that the issue or person is a threat.
The basic script format is:
“I accept (insert the person’s name or summary of the situation) completely as they are (or it is) with all of their (its) strengths and all of their (its) weaknesses.”
While you’re saying this, you’ll be making small circles by rubbing with the tips of your fingers just below your collar bone (both sides). I show you how to do this in the video.
This is a favorite tool because it is so easy to do and can be done virtually anywhere and in any situation. You will feel it calming your nervous system immediately and moving you out of threat mode and back to peace and calm.
Step Out of Stress Strategy 5:
More and Less
You are confused about what to eat? Don’t be surprised, most people are! The food industry spends a lot of money to get you to eat what makes them the most money!
Admittedly the system is stacked against you, with over 90% of all food dollars spent today going to processed and packaged foods.
The food industry pays no attention to your health, and for the most part, the health care industry pays no attention to what you eat!
Since eating perfectly is simply not possible and because the stress and challenges of trying to figure out and follow the perfect diet (for you) can add significant stress to your life, start by following this simple guideline - it will help you take a step in the right direction!
“Eat More of what God made and Eat Less of what man has messed up!”
There will always be a choice that leads you toward healthier. For example, margarine or butter? Butter would be the better choice. Regular butter or grass-fed butter? Grass-fed would be the better choice.
As a side note: Dairy products are an area where there are now a lot of choices when it comes to quality. When possible, always choose organic, grass-fed dairy products. To that point, several of my clients who don’t do well on dairy products find that they can enjoy Kerrygold grass-fed butter!
The More and Less question is especially helpful if you’re traveling or eating out. There will be times when you don’t have a good choice, but you can almost always make a better choice.
Remember, baby steps, taken consistently over time, are what create lasting change!
When you’re in the grocery store, the ‘more of what God made choices’ are found around the perimeter of the store, and they actually look like food! Think of the little boxes that processed food comes in as coffins - they contain ‘dead stuff’ and dead stuff does not create life!
If you continually feed yourself from ‘little coffins', you’re likely to end up in a big one sooner than you planned!