Welcome to my podcast “How can I quickly reduce stress? The best tips for optimized stress management.” I have returned from my travels including a visit to LA for my grandson’s first birthday party and hope you all had a few great, healthful, and productive weeks. As always, you can check out my Living Well Community page on Facebook to look for ideas and tips on how to live a healthy, rewarding and above all, happy life. If you’re a new listener don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast, so you’ll be notified about my upcoming episodes. You can also join my blog that precedes each podcast by clicking on the link in my show notes. Check out the scripts for my podcasts. Now available on my website beyondyourscale.com in the blog section. If you’re a subscriber to my blog, you will automatically receive an email with the link to the script. Enjoy!
Today’s podcast follows up on my blog “What is Stress and Causes Stress?” Everyone knows the feeling of stress. In many cases we also know the reason for this: too much work, then a meeting with friends, too little sleep, the mother-in-law is coming to visit, the children have to be taken from A to B on time, etc. But there are also phases in our lives, in which we feel stressed for no apparent reason. What is behind it and how can we change that?Go to my blog section at beyondyourscale.com and check out my blog to learn more about the causes of stress. Papers are piling up on the desk, your boss is putting pressure on you, and your family is getting on your nerves again: when everyday things become too much for us, we react with stress. In today’s podcast, I will tell you which anti-stress techniques are available for coping with stress. But before I go on, I want to give you my google buster question for the day. Nearly 3 in 5 people report this about their work. What is it? As always, I will give you my answer at the end of the podcast or you will find it on my Facebook group “The Living Well Community.” Many people are stressed every day without realizing it. They rush from one appointment to the next, can't say no, and take on work they can't handle. Stress is a phenomenon that affects almost everyone these days. The fatal thing is that stress makes us ill in the long term. Constant stress not only causes insomnia and headaches - it also leads to burnout. If we are constantly under pressure, stress will eventually have a negative effect on our body. But it can also be positive. But what is stress and what does it mean for our body? What is stress? Stress is our body's response to a specific situation. Even though we associate the term "stress" with something negative, stress can also be positive. Here I am talking about the so-called eustress, which literally gives us an energy boost From a purely scientific point of view, stress is a physiological reaction of our body to appropriately counteract a danger or a certain reaction. As soon as we are stressed, the body goes on high alert. The pulse increases - our brain works at full speed. We are more productive, more efficient and more powerful. In the past, when humans still existed as hunters and gatherers, stress was even essential for survival. Stress triggers reactions that make us fight or flee. Stress is therefore definitely positive and should be seen as a completely normal reaction of our body. Eustress: Positive stress as an energy booster Positive stress is also known as eustress. It boosts our cardiovascular system and our energy reserves. Not only does this increase our productivity, but we are also more efficient and concentrated, which is why we can work and act quickly and efficiently. During an exam or in sports, positive stress can work wonders. We can judge for ourselves whether the stress is positive or negative for us. However, as soon as we are stressed over a longer period of time, it has a negative effect on our body and our psyche. Overwhelmed by tasks Distress: When positive stress becomes negative Stress is not only positive. It can also be negative if the stress symptoms take over. Then there is no more eustress, one speaks of so-called distress, which throws our body out of balance. Then we have the feeling that we can no longer cope with everyday life because certain things or situations simply overwhelm us. We are annoyed, irritable, and in a bad mood. In addition, we tend to make mistakes because we have trouble concentrating. Stress is caused by physiological or psychological factors, also known as stressors. Causes and symptoms of stress Everyone experiences stress differently. Stressors are thought to be the cause. A distinction is made between social stressors, mental stressors, performance stressors, and physical stressors. Stressors as a cause of stress: - interpersonal conflicts - increased workload and pressure - diseases and injuries - Cold and excessive heat - noise - lack of sleep - hunger and thirst Symptoms of stress are varied, such as: - headache - stomach problems - heartburn - dizziness - tachycardia - cardiovascular problems - sleep problems - skin problems - allergies - difficulty concentrating - mental blocks - joint, neck, and back pain - weakened immune system Our autonomic nervous system and immune system can also be affected by stress, leaving us with gastrointestinal disorders and symptoms that worsen over time. Stress can even lead to burnout if we continue to be in the fast lane. Stress and burnout Heart palpitations, insomnia, headaches: if you ignore your body's warning signals, you run the risk of suffering burnout. Chronic stress can actually make you ill, so stop and listen to your body's symptoms. The signs of fatigue syndrome are extremely diverse. Those affected usually have problems overcoming their listlessness and often feel tired, exhausted and overwhelmed. Anxiety and depression, which are typical of classic burnout, often occur. Those who suffer from burnout prefer to withdraw, which is why friendships and relationships are often put on hold or suffer. Reduce stress: tips for successful stress management Anyone who is constantly under pressure should definitely shift down a gear. It's not easy, but successful stress management can help to cope with stress. The first step to success is realizing that you are actually stressed. After that, you should find the trigger by asking yourself what factors are responsible for the stress. Work is often a stressor. The family or partner can also be responsible for the stress symptoms. Some situations are easily remedied, while others can be overcome with successful stress management. Stress reduction through task sharing Stress often comes from wanting to do more than we can handle. Instead of doing everything at once and dancing at multiple "weddings" at the same time, learn to decline or delegate tasks. Even at the risk of being criticized by others. But for many people, it is not that easy. They are often afraid of losing control or the overview. The fact is, you can't do everything - and certainly not all at once. You should therefore divide your tasks into important, unimportant, urgent, or not urgent in order to filter out the essentials. You can confidently hand over tasks that are not a priority at the moment to colleagues, employees or family members. Those who hand over their tasks can also concentrate better on the essentials so that stress does not arise in the first place. Learning methods - This is how you learn correctly and quickly Stay cool and in control with better daily planning Stress often arises when we don't plan ahead. However, you should already know today what you have to do tomorrow in order to be able to live with less stress in your life. A well-thought-out daily plan is essential for successful stress management. If you plan the following day, you no longer have to worry about the work that still needs to be done in the office the night before. To-do lists are ideal for detailed daily planning to get an overview of upcoming appointments, phone calls, and emails. This way, you can sensibly organize not only your working hours but also your free time. However, multitasking should be an absolute no-go. It's better to tick each and every point step by step. The best antidote to stress: sleep Restful sleep is extremely important for the regeneration of our body. It's not just our body that needs a break - you should also give your brain some rest. As soon as we sleep too little, we release more cortisol. Cortisol levels are particularly high between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Cortisol is an endogenous hormone that is mainly released during stress. The hormone, produced by the adrenal glands, puts your body on alert. The result is: Your circulation is running at full speed, which is why you sleep poorly at night. Even if you feel like you slept well, you feel tired and drained in the morning. If you want to sleep better, you should go to bed at the same time every night to ensure a regular sleep-wake cycle. Once you stick to your bedtime, your body adjusts by releasing more melatonin at the same time each day. Melatonin is the sleep hormone that is primarily produced at night and in the dark. For this to work, you should ban all light sources from your bedroom. Light (especially blue light) stimulates the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which keeps you from sleeping. Give yourself a break: take time for yourself Stress arises when we don't take enough time for the beautiful things in life. Your to-do list should therefore not only consist of work - after all, leisure activities are also part of it. That's why you should take time out to pursue your favorite pastime. Read a good book, go to the gym or sauna, or watch a great movie with your partner. Anything that you enjoy and have fun doing can reduce your stress level many times over. Music: The best stress killer ever Everyone probably knows from their own experience that their favorite song puts them in a better mood. This may sound too simple at first, but music can help even in the most serious crisis. It really doesn't depend on the song either. Much more important is why and that you love the music or can identify with it. This was also found in a recent study by psychologists from the Universities of Brandeis, Zurich and Marburg. They were able to determine that the subjects reported less stress when they listened to music to relax. In addition, lower cortisol values could be detected in their saliva. You can find a link to the study in the show notes. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070156 Anti-Stress-Formula: Exercise Couch or exercise? Most would probably opt for the couch and let themselves be sprawled in front of the TV, but exercise is considered a real lightning rod in stressful everyday work. As soon as we exercise regularly, our body releases endorphins and serotonin. These are happiness hormones that have a positive effect on our minds. Running, weight training and dancing is ideal for this to happen. Meditation & relaxation exercises as a retreat from everyday life If you're constantly stressed out, you should just switch off. Meditation and relaxation techniques have long been proven in this regard. Retreat to a quiet room, sit or lie down comfortably, close your eyes and try not to think about anything. You will see that after just a few seconds your thoughts will start doing somersaults. Progressive muscle relaxation according to the Jacobson Relaxation Technique has also proven its worth. With this relaxation technique, you tense each part of your body for a few seconds before you consciously relax your body again. The mindfulness practice We are often preoccupied with other things while we are working, preparing food, or driving home in the car. Being mindful means focusing on the moment. Of the things, we're doing right now. That's why you shouldn't think about work when you're preparing the meal, eating, or driving home. I know this is easier said than done. By putting your focus on the things you are doing, you can block out the stressors. Vitamin C against stress Many diseases are due to chronic vitamin deficiency. Most of the time, the body lacks vitamin C – a water-soluble vitamin that is also often referred to as the anti-stress vitamin. Stressed people’s bodies consume a lot of vitamin C. As soon as the vitamin C level is low, our body releases more cortisol. The stress hormone causes our blood pressure to rise. Vitamin C can lower cortisol levels, which is why you should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day, especially rose hips, goji and sea buckthorn berries, acerola, oranges, lemons, kale, and peppers. Roseroot, known as Rhodiola Rosea, prevents stress There are plants that can protect against stress. These are active plant substances, so-called adaptogens, which are considered real stress killers. These include roseroot (Rhodiola Rosea) – a plant native to the far north. The plant seems to make us more resistant to stressors, so we react more calmly in stressful situations. Rhodiola also increases dopamine and serotonin levels. Dopamine and serotonin are the happy hormones that counteract stress. Rhodiola root is best taken in supplement form. When buying, however, you should make sure that the product really does contain the active ingredient rosavin. Other types of roseroot that do not have a stress-reducing effect are also often used. Vitality mushroom Reishi against stress So-called medicinal mushrooms can be an effective help with stress. First and foremost is the Reishi – the so-called “mushroom of eternal life”, which is also known as the shiny lacquered polypore. The medicinal mushroom supports the oxygen uptake of the blood since the body needs more oxygen than usual when it is stressed. Medicinal mushrooms, especially Reishi, have been used for many years to treat stress, insomnia, and inner turmoil. Sleep disorders and stress are closely related. Medicinal mushrooms can have a positive effect not only on our body but also on our psyche. Unlike drug treatment, medicinal mushrooms do not have any side effects. Since its discovery 4,000 years ago, Reishi has been one of the oldest medicinal mushrooms known to mankind and prefers to grow on deciduous trees (oak). Reishi not only has an effect on stress but also on high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and joint inflammation. Doctors suspect that Reishi improves the absorption of the neurotransmitter GABA, which slows down the activity of nerve cells in the brain. Overactivity of the nerve cells can be the cause of stress, inner restlessness, and sleep disorders. The medicinal effect of the mushroom is due to special polysaccharides (multiple sugars) and so-called triterpenes, which belong to the family of secondary plant substances. These ingredients have a calming, anti-inflammatory, and strong antibacterial effect on the body. Of course, as always, talk to your doctor before taking any vitamins or medicinal substances as they may interfere with medication and to avoid any allergic reaction. So what can you do about stress? Everyone experiences and reacts to stress differently. If you feel like you're having a hard time switching off and things are starting to get over your head, don't worry. There are various methods that can help you to reduce stress. Helpful anti-stress techniques are, for example, exercise and other physical activities like walking, listening to music to relax or otherwise taking time for yourself - with a clear conscience! It is also important to look at your inner attitude. What are your stressors? What can you change? My tips will help you for now in the short term - but it is more important to deal with yourself so that stress does not get the upper hand and you can efficiently cope with your everyday life. I can’t stress this enough, pun intended. Stress is bad for your physical and mental health. Deal with it before it’s too late! What are your strategies against stress? What tips help you, especially in times when you wish the day had more than 24 hours? If you don't want to miss any more podcasts and would like to receive information about new blog posts, recipes, and lifestyle ideas, then subscribe to our blogs and podcasts and stay up to date. And here is today’s answer to my google buster question “Nearly 3 in 5 people report this about their work. What is it?” As in 2020, American workers across the board saw heightened rates of burnout in 2021, and according to APA’s 2021 Work and Well-being Survey of 1,501 U.S. adult workers, 79% of employees had experienced work-related stress in the month before the survey. Nearly 3 in 5 employees reported negative impacts of work-related stress, including lack of interest, motivation, or energy (26%) and lack of effort at work (19%). Meanwhile, 36% reported cognitive weariness, 32% reported emotional exhaustion, and an astounding 44% reported physical fatigue—a 38% increase since 2019. So here you have it. Re-listen to this podcast and start implementing stress techniques to reduce the effects of stress in your life. Picture yourself a year from now. You won’t regret it! I also want to remind you to leave me your email if you wish to receive a link to my blogs and podcasts. If you still feel overwhelmed keeping your health and weight in check, I want to remind everybody that I’d love to Skype or Zoom with you for more ideas of how I can help you start the new year right and create a Living Well, healthy, and happy lifestyle for you and your family. Check out my great packages & as always, our first get together is free! You can find the link to all my personalized coaching services in the Show Notes. Take a look and let me know how I can help. And, of course, I am continuing to work hard so you can join me for my upcoming digital course: “28 Days To A Healthier You”. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the journey how to live a better, healthier, and happier life. Don’t forget to check out my show notes and my website BeyondYourScale.com for tips, recipes and so much more information. Take care for now and thank you so much for staying tuned. I love having you & look forward to getting to know you better soon! Have a safe & happy rest of the week. Check out the links below which support this podcast. Study: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070156 Jacobsen Relaxation Technique https://juniperpublishers.com/jojnhc/pdf/JOJNHC.MS.ID.555726.pdf My blog What is Stress and Causes Stress?