Sunday, February 15, 2015

Martial Artists have an advantage when it comes to controlling stress.. in my opinion.

On those days where you feel that all is turning negative for you, it's time to stop, take a couple of deep breaths, and turn the day around in your mind.

The more stress that you put into your body the more you make it difficult for you to become healthy, lose weight, and feel good.

Our brains send out a cocktail of hormones when we are stressed to help us survive that encounter. Since we used to need to react to stress with fight, or flight. ( either kill it, and maybe eat it, or run away, and not get eaten) our systems see all stress in the same way. 

Our bodies haven't adjusted to the new stress of getting cut off by another driver, or having to stand in a line up at Tim Horton's waiting to buy your coffee as the person ahead of you is having troubles finding their change.

75 to 90% of all doctor visits are based on stress related problems. Think of all of the good that you can do for yourself by lowering the stress level of your day!

First, you have to recognize that you are feeling stressed out.. Most of us are so accustomed to it that it may feel natural. Check to see if your muscles are tightening.. hands, stomach, neck, shoulders. Check your breath.. are you breathing more shallow, and quickly than usual?  We Martial Artists should be quite familiar with this feeling.. it can happen when you are pushing your body to do that one more kick in class, or facing the challenge of testing in front of your Instructor.

If so.. you may need to de-stress quickly. You can do so by deep breathing using your diaphragm. The fact that you are focusing on something OTHER than what is stressing you, that you are flooding your system with oxygen, and removing carbon dioxide, can help give you the best chance to change your stress level.

Again, Martial Artists have an advantage in this area as we are taught often about the value of proper breathing in order to maintain our stamina during a fight.  We train to Kiai with each strong effort thereby activating the diaphragm, and tightening our core.  Deep focused breathing should be easy for us to achieve in any circumstance... except if you are under water.. then I wouldn't suggest it.

Other quick suggestions can be found here:…/…/stress-relief-in-the-moment.htm

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