Credit to Gage Skidmore: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/ A recent DM on Twitter: "I just saw another post…
Stress is ultimately a ‘tax’ imposed on your body, by life itself. If left unchecked, it will quite literally kill you. That’s not an exaggeration, and that’s why stress relief is so important.
When stress levels are high, your immune system suffers.
You’re more likely to get sick, and your risk of cancer, heart disease and ultimately death, all go significantly up.
Now, a lot of psychologists argue that stress is an involuntary response to external stimuli, and at a root level I’m sure that’s true.
But the reality is that some people just don’t handle the external very well, and after this initial involuntary response, they focus on it which amplifies the stress.
Another big problem with stress (outside of the major long-term health complications), is the fact that it makes ‘the big three’ of fitness more difficult – sleep, diet and training.
If you’re stressed, you won’t sleep as deeply, your diet adherence will go down (think: sugar cravings), and your training will suck.
But there’s good news. I have two MAJOR solutions for you, and I’m pretty damn good at them both.
How To Relieve Stress
Now you’re probably thinking: “but I’m already stressed, and stress is what is causing my lack of sleep, and it’s a negative cycle”. That’s probably true, and it’s one of those ‘chicken or egg’ scenarios. But there’s many things you’re doing RIGHT NOW, that are murdering your ability to sleep and reduce stress.
I’m not going to give you them all (you can find my entire sleep strategy in the Ultimate IF Course), but here’s two big ones:
“But don’t you recommend drinking coffee as part of your Intermittent Fasting strategy?”
But I NEVER recommend drinking it in the afternoon (I know a lot of you fuckers still are). If you’re currently suffering from stress, I would reduce the total quantity of caffeine you’re drinking AND I would cut it off by 10am. No more after that.
Instantly this will decrease the time it takes for you to get to sleep, and it will increase the depth of the sleep you do have.
In terms of alcohol; it will make you drowsier sooner, sure, but it will murder your sleep cycle and the actual recovery benefits you should be getting from sleep.
Alcohol may be very alluring, but always remember; it increases stress, rather than reduces it. Get rid, if you’re learning how to relieve stress.
Most people spend over 2.6 hours per day answering emails. Stupid! That time should be spent on critical work, not maintenance (menial) work.
And email is one of those examples of something that only serves as a distraction, especially if you leave your tab open all the time. Email, whatsapp notifications, Twitter, Instagram etc., all of these notifications must be turned off while you’re doing important work.
Your mission cannot be interfered with, otherwise you suffer the long-term consequences. Wasting time is not a path to low stress.
The better you get at focusing your energy without distraction, the more time and energy you end up having for other things. Family, the gym, meal prep etc.
In today’s world of a constant distraction and attention cycle, it becomes more critical than ever. So my two main pieces of advice:
- Turn off ALL notifications on your phone when you’re doing important work
- Only look at emails ONCE per day, deal with them all in one go, and then close that fucker. Don’t look at them again especially while you’re in the midst of important work
I could have a potential nightmare with notifications on my phone – hundreds per day come in from Twitter, and dozens from multiple Whatsapp groups. Instagram is going to be a big project for me next year too. But I mute the irritating Whatsapp groups, and have notifications off when I need to focus.
This is critical if you want to learn how to relieve stress.
If you’re over 40 and you’re looking to optimise your training, get the Bond program. It’s designed to optimise your physique without compromising your recovery. I also offer tailored Intermittent Fasting meal plans to suit your needs.
Finally, if you’re ready to completely transform your health, undo your Dad Bod, and look better than 95%+ of men in your age group, then check out my coaching options.
You get coaching calls, meal plans, training programs and complete accountability via Whatsapp. It’s almost your guaranteed path towards a lean 15% body fat (or leaner, if you wish to go further with it).