With every client walking through our doors, we set three priorities to help keep the client and our team focused. Every executive has stress as one of those three priorities.
How is it affecting you? It’s impairing your judgment at work, your ability to focus, it’s making you age more quickly, and forcing fat storage onto your belly. It is also considered to be the foundation for many modern diseases including age-related problems like Alzheimer’s.
However, you’re not going to get rid of those stressors anytime soon. We can’t ask you to walk away from the responsibilities of your business or personal life, or take a couple of hours a day to unwind, get a massage or relax—it’s just not practical.
Resiliency is the answer. How can you absorb your stress and minimize the impact? Therein lies the practical solution. The first step is to understand your “stress style.”
We like to organize clients into three different “styles” of stress:
1) You can’t fall asleep and can’t stay asleep–stressed and wired
2) You need coffee, red bulls (anything with caffeine), but if you sit down and watch a movie you will fall asleep. You’re always tired and crave a lot of sugar or anything to help pick you up and keep you going—stressed and tired.
3) You need coffee in the morning to get going and then alcohol in the evenings to help calm down and fall asleep—a combination
For each of these “styles” there are different solutions:
1) Stressed and wired: because you are producing too much cortisol (your stress hormone—it’s why you are wired), you are on your way to stressed and tired. The first step is to avoid caffeine. Next, do whatever you have to at night to calm yourself down without alcohol or drugs. Create a dimmer environment at the end of the day and stop checking emails after 8 pm. Meditate. If you need to exercise, do yoga. You need sleep to recharge or you will crash. Carbohydrates with dinner to will help release serotonin and gabba in the brain further helping to calm you down. You can also take magnesium and melatonin to help calm you down and sleep more soundly, which are very effective, natural sleep aids with no side effects.
2) Stressed and tired: you need a lot of energy. Carbs early in the day is a disaster for you. The perfect breakfast consists of proteins (see my previous blog called Breakfast 2.0) and fats. Within a week you’ll have more energy and be more clear-headed. A little caffeine early in the day is fine as well as exercise to get you moving.
3) Combination: a little caffeine is fine to help wake the body up in the morning followed by a workout is ideal; don’t workout too late in the day because it will stimulate you too much. When you need alcohol or sugar in the evenings to help you calm down, it’s a typical sign of serotonin deficiency. You can use 5htp and carbs at dinner to help with that. They will help bring your energy down at night and sleep better.
These simple tips will help increase your resiliency to stress.
Remember, it’s your health–man up!