by Tony Gjokaj June 08, 2020 6 min read
The stress and stakes are usually higher for someone who is actively journeying to be greater.
While stress is needed for growth and transformation, too much of it could potentially be bad for your health - physical and mental.
In this article, I wanted to talk about practical ways of reducing excess stress.
Let's dive in!
To start this section, I wanted to define stress before diving into an anecdotal example of excess stress.
According to examine, stress is defined as an excessive stimulation of the body's resources. As a result, negative symptoms like fatigue and depression occur.
With that, I wanted to discuss the impact of high levels of stress by sharing a personal story.
I used to be a manager of four rental car branches that were simultaneously operated. We were down a manager, and our branch manager had to run business to business relations with the demanding body shops in the area.
Every 10-12 hour day was intense, stressful, and chaotic. Most of the time, I would start my day at 6:30 am, and not have lunch until 4 pm.
This occurred for about three months... but to be honest, I lost track of the days. Life just felt robotic - it felt like one long day.
This high-stress situation led to various issues that typically happen as a result of extreme stress.
The following were a result of my high levels of stress:
While we performed extremely well (compared last year's numbers), we ran the risk of losing a few business partnerships because of our inability to communicate with our business partners.
We were reacting to whatever was thrown at us, rather than being in control.
It was a sh** show. I might have aged a few years because of it.
Now although your story may be a bit different, you may have felt the same.
Too much stress is a slow killer. It also holds you back from performing your best or being better.
My situation had various forms of stress: sleep deprivation, constantly working out, environmental stress, and other stresses (relationship challenges I did not talk about).
I wanted to give you a few examples of stress that you can acquire as a result of your lifestyle choices.
Remember that some stressors (like exercise) are not necessarily bad if they're in small amounts. Overexertion and overtraining do have more impact on fatigue, which is a form of stress.
In reducing stress, there are probably hundreds of ways to do so.
Each one of us may have hobbies or habits that we do to reduce stress, whether it is reading, meditation, spending time with pets, and more.
In this section, we will give you a few ways to reduce stress, along with strategies for these ways.
Exercise has always been my stress relief. While there are plenty of other ways to relieve stress, it's one of my preferred forms. According to the ADAA, cardiovascular exercise has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep, improve mood, and more.
Start engaging in 30-45 minutes of exercise about 3-5 times a week. You're going to feel the stress-reducing benefits straight away.
As the late Greg Plitt used to say (in regards to the muscular "pump"): "...it's one of the better highs in life. You don't need to shoot up for it. You don't need to snort it. All you gotta do is sweat for it."
According to a survey done in 2013, stress increases have been reported as a result of decreased length and quality of sleep.
Sleeping 7-9 hours consistently will drastically reduce stress. Make sure you have a consistent sleep schedule, along with quality sleep practices.
If you sleep at a consistent time with ~8 hours of sleep daily, you should typically be in a good spot with sleep. If not, you can learn more about quality sleep practices by clicking below.
According to UCLA Health, proper nutrition can play a huge impact on stress reduction. Consuming a diet with nutritious foods, complex carbs, and omega-3's will help you progress in the right direction.
As we also mentioned, a low-calorie diet or a diet of poor nutrition choices can bring added stress to your lifestyle. When low-calorie dieting, you want to make sure that you are prepared to be more stressed, lethargic, and more.
While we associate physical exercise as "exercise", we like to look at personal development, learning, and spiritual readings as mental exercise.
Mental Exercise (and productive habits) consist of the following:
Lastly, I think it's important to understand that your environment can really impact your stress levels. If you're around positive people or a positive social media group, you're going to do better.
Too much negativity in your inner circle OR the content you consume can really impact your stress levels.
Adaptogens are plants that provide a reduction to our levels of stress.
Plants like ashwagandha have been used for hundreds of years for their benefits. According to one study, ashwagandha was able to significantly reduce levels of stress. This included fatigue, cognitive impairment, and more.
Ashwagandha is only one example of adaptogens that are used for stress reduction. Other adaptogens that have stress reduction properties are Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea, Gotu Kola, and more.
Our latest supplement, Spark, is a nootropic formula that includes ashwagandha and various other adaptogens. You can get yours by clicking on the banner below.
Stress is a part of growth and transformation - a part of reforging yourself. However, too much can impact you negatively. Like the story from my previous job, I couldn't perform my best or think straight as a result of overworking myself. I felt like I aged ten years in the process.
My solution to reduce the stress was to move to another division of the company, where I took a pay cut for a few months. As a result, I was able to advance to a position with higher rewards. This allowed me to be one of the best performers for consecutive months - because that intense stress was no longer there.
Remember: you want to experience stress because it makes you better. However, you do not want to overwhelm yourself where it impedes growth, creativity, and effort.
I hope this brought you more perspective on stress. If you have any questions or anything you would like me to cover in the future, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading Reforged Legion! Until next time!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj October 10, 2021 2 min read
When I first started working out, it was because I was depressed and overweight.
I wanted more out of my life, so I started with the intention to lose weight.
At first, it was very difficult for me to get into the gym because I would always think about the pain it would be, and hated that I didn't see immediate results.
I did, however, feel the results.
My mood got better, I was able to sleep better, and I made better eating choices.
I didn't follow a diet, I just focused on eating more fruits, vegetables, and leaner proteins like chicken.
It took me a few months, but the results became more visible.
Then I was hooked.
by Tony Gjokaj October 04, 2021 1 min read
Today I wanted to introduce you to the Reforge Yourself 30 Day Mental Health Habit Challenge (A mouthful)!
In this challenge, you will complete 5 small tasks per day which essentially help you build some habits that will improve your health.
Rise to a greater potential.
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