9

votes

What's the best way to combat stress?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 26, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Certain things cannot be avoided (early mornings, long commutes, sitting at a desk) but my question is this:

Have you found any way (supplemental, exercising at certain times, ect) that really made the difference for you?

I am facing a lot of daily stress and trying to find the best paleo solution. Suggestions please!

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on June 15, 2012
at 08:18 PM

I find your username to be a bit disturbing. Is it Paleo? :)

Medium avatar

(2338)

on June 15, 2012
at 01:39 PM

+1 for teaching me a new word... perseverate... nice

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on June 15, 2012
at 12:50 PM

Kabat-Zinn for the win.

A942dbc90fe12f7f90744a68f9f223e2

(249)

on December 28, 2011
at 10:39 AM

I am envious. I wished I lived in mtn country :-) I don't have to worry about anything bigger than a coyote or dog. I do commute at night with a good lighting system. I know bike commuters who do ride in bear country with no problem. There is no greater danger than a human driving an automobile. Wilderness trails in the dark...yeah it probably is not wise to be out alone. I love being out under the stars whether it be cycling, x-country skiing, walking, or jogging. so I would find it irresistible.

E9808a9cfe806a22c0bdaff7c010c659

(405)

on December 28, 2011
at 01:31 AM

Great point about it being a reaction.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 27, 2011
at 10:31 PM

don't forget kittens

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 27, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Awesome idea. I walk about 30-40mins each way between Penn Station and work as well, yes, even when it's raining or snowing. Well worth it.

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on December 27, 2011
at 06:22 AM

I am up for work at 6am, which is plenty early for me, and I find that unless I go to bed at 10pm (which is tough because I am home at 630 and still need to exercise and deal with food) that 11 is doable.I know it sucks and I need that hour, but...sigh...I guess I am looking for a new job.

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on December 27, 2011
at 06:20 AM

How do you deal with the great outdoors? I leave when it is dark in the morning, and return to even more darkness. I live in mtn country where there are bears etc, so it's not smart for me to go outside at night on the trails. I walk in the afternoon at work (on my lunchbreak) which helps.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on December 27, 2011
at 05:01 AM

Sounds like Byron Katie's The Work. Took me reading the whole book to stop wanting to throw it across the room. I think the fact that she had a good point annoyed me.

A942dbc90fe12f7f90744a68f9f223e2

(249)

on December 27, 2011
at 02:47 AM

I recommend reading "The Mindful Brain" by Daniel J. Siegel who is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he also serves as a co-investigator at the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on December 26, 2011
at 11:08 PM

totally agree. i worked in midtown in the 50's and would get off the train in the 30's and walk up. hit the cuban section for a good cup of coffee and head up or into columbus circle and hit bouchon then walk down. the city early is always nice.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 26, 2011
at 11:06 PM

+1, I have about a 1.5 mile walk to take the bus to work in the mornings, and it has significantly improved the overall quality of my days. Spending some time outside as the sun is rising is quite magical.

  • 60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

    asked by

    (1186)
  • Views
    1.8K
  • Last Activity
    1427D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

20 Answers

8
Medium avatar

on December 27, 2011
at 04:05 AM

Whatever stress "is," I would imagine than seeking to "combat" it would create more of it.

Seriously. The world is filled with stressors but experiencing "stress" as problematic is optional. It's a choice. Couple of things worth noticing and worth keeping separate:

1) That which happens (traffic, relationship tension, parent-kid issues, challenging work) versus 2) that which we make it mean, and how we relate to it.

One person thrives on "stressors." His or her identical twin collapses from "stressors." Both are "dealing with" externals called circumstances. Dealing very differently.

Find out what the thriving person is doing. Imitate that. Find yourself flourishing. Teach others how.

Notice: complaining isn't part of the cycle. Unless you want it to be. See previous reference to "choice."

Bottom line: when life presents factors that exceed your skill set, look for ways to expand your "rise to the challenge" skills. Of course, clearing out energy-drainers (people, places, things) has its place as well, where possible.

One good set of skills to have: the whole range of practices associated with stress management: various meditative strategies. Taking deep breaths and settling into the moment, is always a good place to start.

It's also good to get beyond linguistic errors like "I've got so much stress in my life," stated in a way that makes the stress sound like weather, something that just happens to me. The experience of stress is something we create, or co-create with our environment.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on December 27, 2011
at 05:01 AM

Sounds like Byron Katie's The Work. Took me reading the whole book to stop wanting to throw it across the room. I think the fact that she had a good point annoyed me.

8
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on December 26, 2011
at 11:05 PM

This is what helps me:

I get 8 hours of sleep a night in essentially a blacked out room. Railroad apartment cave-like bedroom FTW. I also take two ZMA when I climb in.

No electronics 1-2 hours before bed.

Morning workouts 4 x's a week, CrossFit + lifting, and 1 x's a week of "active recovery" which is a combination of yoga, soft tissue work, flexibility techniques and traditional calisthenics.

I don't own a tv so I'll stream movies or a show on my laptop but not much, I prefer reading, podcasts, listening to NPR. Ohh the soothing dulcet tones of Brian Lehrer :) I don't ever get sucked into le tube.

Walking my dog

Cooking all my meals - it's really relaxing for me to do all the prep and such. Good music, a glass of wine, a sharp knife. Good times for reals.

My life right now is much simpler but definitely there are moments of severe stress, the WTF moments. So a deep breath and I go outside and will walk around the block. Remove myself from whatever is going on, process, go back inside refreshed. This worked for me the past several years at a very high pressure job when I had an hour commute on the train, would wear earplugs so the noise was softer, and if shit went down at the office then it was grab the coat and take 15 minutes outside. Just those minutes of calm and being removed from the stress was amazing and I could go back in with a clear head. Translated easily into my latest work adventure :) Good luck!

6
21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on December 26, 2011
at 11:00 PM

This might not work for you, but I live in New York and I added a two mile walk to my commute by going to a much further subway station instead of the nearest one. Those two miles in the morning made me happy, more in touch with my neighborhood and got me extra sunshine.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 26, 2011
at 11:06 PM

+1, I have about a 1.5 mile walk to take the bus to work in the mornings, and it has significantly improved the overall quality of my days. Spending some time outside as the sun is rising is quite magical.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 27, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Awesome idea. I walk about 30-40mins each way between Penn Station and work as well, yes, even when it's raining or snowing. Well worth it.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on December 26, 2011
at 11:08 PM

totally agree. i worked in midtown in the 50's and would get off the train in the 30's and walk up. hit the cuban section for a good cup of coffee and head up or into columbus circle and hit bouchon then walk down. the city early is always nice.

5
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on December 27, 2011
at 11:35 PM

Stress isn't something to combat, it's just something to avoid. Nora Gedgaudas had a great line in either a podcast I listened to or in her AHS talk that I think is a great view on mental health regarding stress: "Stress isn't what happens to you, stress is how you react to what happens to you."

Sometimes you just have to let things go and not perseverate on them.

E9808a9cfe806a22c0bdaff7c010c659

(405)

on December 28, 2011
at 01:31 AM

Great point about it being a reaction.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on June 15, 2012
at 01:39 PM

+1 for teaching me a new word... perseverate... nice

4
A942dbc90fe12f7f90744a68f9f223e2

(249)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:06 AM

Any outdoor physical activity should help. I personally commute by bicycle 30+ miles a day and love it. Being outdoors is essential.

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on December 27, 2011
at 06:20 AM

How do you deal with the great outdoors? I leave when it is dark in the morning, and return to even more darkness. I live in mtn country where there are bears etc, so it's not smart for me to go outside at night on the trails. I walk in the afternoon at work (on my lunchbreak) which helps.

A942dbc90fe12f7f90744a68f9f223e2

(249)

on December 28, 2011
at 10:39 AM

I am envious. I wished I lived in mtn country :-) I don't have to worry about anything bigger than a coyote or dog. I do commute at night with a good lighting system. I know bike commuters who do ride in bear country with no problem. There is no greater danger than a human driving an automobile. Wilderness trails in the dark...yeah it probably is not wise to be out alone. I love being out under the stars whether it be cycling, x-country skiing, walking, or jogging. so I would find it irresistible.

4
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on December 27, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Proper meditation really makes me a calmer and less stressed person. I notice a huge difference when I am not consistently meditating! I enjoy mindfulness meditation....if you google it tons will come up, but John Kabat-Zinn is My personal go to meditation guru I follow.

A942dbc90fe12f7f90744a68f9f223e2

(249)

on December 27, 2011
at 02:47 AM

I recommend reading "The Mindful Brain" by Daniel J. Siegel who is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he also serves as a co-investigator at the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on June 15, 2012
at 12:50 PM

Kabat-Zinn for the win.

3
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on December 27, 2011
at 09:57 PM

for a great night of sleep for me sex session works every time. stress kills. sex creates life. i will choose life over death anytime.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on June 15, 2012
at 08:18 PM

I find your username to be a bit disturbing. Is it Paleo? :)

3
7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on December 27, 2011
at 09:49 PM

Sleep, sunshine, walking, human connection, and puppies will help. Especially the puppies.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 27, 2011
at 10:31 PM

don't forget kittens

3
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on December 27, 2011
at 04:39 AM

Mental: First, realize that the only control you have, is over your own actions. and that is all.

God(or the devine being of your choice) grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change (other people) The courage to change the things I can (my own actions) And the wisdom to know the difference. (the wisdom is in () above)

Second, do not mind what happens. Getting overly upset or overly happy about the outcome of something or something happening does no good for you or anyone / anything else. You have no control over outcomes no matter how much you THINK you do. Things that happen are just data points and results of actions taken (or not taken) and often have to do with other peoples actions (which you have 0 control over).

Set goals. But do it right. Goals need to be actions, not results. Instead of 'I want to lose 20 lbs of body fat' 'I will work out X times per week and eat paleo meals X% of the time' Your bodyfat weight is just a data point from then on because there is nothing you can do about your bodyfat weight, but there ARE things you can do to manipulate it.

Physical:

Work out. Get a massage. Orgasm.

Preferably in that order.

3
46bee6b93ee79082ea1094f26c2da5a4

(837)

on December 27, 2011
at 04:16 AM

..........yoga!

2
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 26, 2011
at 10:59 PM

I find that walking really helps me reduce my stress. It gives me time to either think or just quiet my mind. And it gives me some gentle movement and fresh air. Bonus if you have a dog with you!

1
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on June 15, 2012
at 12:55 PM

I agree with a lot of people's points, but nevertheless I'll chime in.

  1. I eat fish a LOT. On days I don't eat it, I take fish oil.
  2. Vitamin D. Sometimes I get it through a supplement, sometimes through St. John's wort (making the skin more sensitive), or spending lots of time outside
  3. Sleep. I take valerian root if I can't sleep well.

While I'm not a big fan of supplements, I've used them when I need to make ends meet. For me there is a crucial difference in conceptually knowing I need 8-9 hours of sleep in a dark room, and actually making it happen. Same goes for a lot of other little things I do.

I think what matters is finding the things which work for you, but then additionally making the conscious effort to work it into your day. As an example from my own life, things like doing dishes have become zen meditations for me. As a grad student, I love meditation, but I have a tight schedule. So I find ways of having both.

1
A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

on June 15, 2012
at 07:16 AM

I shoot.

There's a Zen-like calmness I experience at the range while going through the routine of attempting to hit the ten-ring over and over and over... The satisfying "POP! POP! POP!" doesn't hurt either.

1
6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

on December 27, 2011
at 03:33 AM

exercise, hanging out with my dogs, cognitive-behavioral therapy. :D

1
2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on December 26, 2011
at 11:39 PM

Channel the stress energy into something productive, however inconsequential it may seem

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 26, 2011
at 11:18 PM

I assume you're already eating healthy, so the next thing is sleep.

When you're stressed, part of you doesn't want to get out of bed and face the day. But if you can drag yourself out early, you'll have some quiet time to gather your energies--and ideally you'll read/watch/listen to something that makes you laugh.

Again, if you can get yourself up and ready in time, finding a time/place to walk for a bit is a great way to settle your body and mind.

When all is said and done, it's about what works for you. In my case, that tends to be pets because they don't ask for much, they're great company and they give lots of love and laughter.

1
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 26, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Getting rid of commute altogether (home-office), having a boss who doesn't mind me starting late and working late, delegating, sleeping. You might be surprised how flexible (enlightened) managers are these days.

If you face resistance, there is plenty of research showing financial and soft upsides for employers from home-office and flexible hours.

0
Ecf1ce05742a45f58865fdfa2fafd877

on June 15, 2012
at 02:01 PM

probably everyday-sex :)

0
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on June 15, 2012
at 06:32 AM

Cuddling with my cat in a dark warm room... but looking at her sweet chubby face makes me feel the calmest for some reason.

Listening to gentle wind chimes, low pitched ones.

Sleeping on the couch or an unfamiliar place feels great too, I get great sleep when stressed. The cough is great, it feels like it's cuddling me the whole night.

Going for a walk at 10 pm or 4 am when it's quiet, cool, and soothing. I like being outdoors but it's just too noisy during the day.

Gardening, if it weren't so damn noisy outside. Sound pollution needs to become illegal outside the hours 2 to 5 pm ... it's so awful, can't enjoy the outside...

The sound of crickets make me sleep like a baby.

Reading light hearted books, like those intended for young girls. I like Malory Towers by Enid Blyton, it's just so charming seeing those girls making such a big fuss because another girl didn't return her eraser, or because the teacher made her go swimming. Reminds me of simpler life when I was younger... and behaved just as silly :-)

0
164ed7cd8d84c926bc66f366619bf853

(495)

on December 26, 2011
at 11:45 PM

I just have to make sure I exercise - especially on days I'm super stressed. Eating right definitely helps, sometimes I'll take chewable Vit C when I'm feeling stressed. Something about crunching down on those tabs helps relieve a little stress while hopefully benefiting me, too!
If i'm at work/school & feeling really stressed/angry, I leave (if possible) & start jogging up/down flights of stairs. Doesn't take long before I'm physically tired & feeling better... then it's re-hydration time! Also, as it goes w/o saying, getting enough sleep is crucial. That's what I do though... HTH

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on December 27, 2011
at 06:22 AM

I am up for work at 6am, which is plenty early for me, and I find that unless I go to bed at 10pm (which is tough because I am home at 630 and still need to exercise and deal with food) that 11 is doable.I know it sucks and I need that hour, but...sigh...I guess I am looking for a new job.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!