Many years ago, I found myself going from one doctor to another because I had developed some strange food allergies. They couldn’t find what was wrong, and I ended up seeing a therapist. We came to the conclusion it was not food that was making me sick, but the life I was living: I hated my job, I was in a lousy relationship, I was not eating healthy, and I was running around trying to please everyone else except me.
Stress translated as sickness caused by a badly managed life. That was the game changer for me – if I wanted to be healthy again, I had to learn how to live a stress-free life. Here’s what I did, and you can too.
Eliminate Toxic Situations and People
If there is anything in your life that is making you miserable, you have to get rid of it as soon as possible, no questions asked. If it’s a job you hate, a bad relationship, an unhealthy social environment – get out and get out fast. If it drains you, you have to put an end to it. You can’t afford to waste your precious time and energy. Once you’ve stopped all unnecessary energy leakage, you will get better quickly.
Maybe you’ve never heard of it, but it does exist. I had to learn how to micro-manage myself. I learned how to eat regular meals, at approximately the same times of the day – it gets the metabolism in order. I learned how to manage my sleeping habits – go to bed before midnight, get up early. I had to learn to go out at least once a day and get some fresh air.
Then I learned time-management, scheduling my activities just like in school, for the entire day, every day of the week. No more running around in confusion – I get it all done and still have more time than before.
Your body can only take so much before it starts to show signs of burnout. The sooner we realize this is the only body we will ever have, the better off we will be. Take care of yourself, and then take even better care of yourself. Eat a healthy balanced diet, cut out junk food, fast food, sugar, fat and artificial food.
Quit smoking and drinking alcohol, and any other self-destructive habits you might have. Take up exercise, it is vital to staying healthy. At least go for a walk every day and go out into nature as much as you can.
Be Mindful and Breathe
Among other things, I had to learn how to breathe. Most people don’t breathe properly. You should take long, deep breaths, all the way down to your belly. This calms the nervous system down naturally. Focus on your breath and stay in the present moment. Don’t think about the past or the future, you are here now, breathing, and all is well, in this very moment.
We often think we are worse off than others, but if we really take a good look around, we will notice at least a few people who are having a much tougher experience of life than us. Take the elderly for example: even the simplest daily chores are hard for them to do. I took a wonderful aged care course which helped me feel worthy by helping others, and opened up my eyes and my heart to the problems of other less fortunate people.
— Zigverve.com (@zigverve) April 5, 2016
In the end, stress was a great teacher. It taught me how not to live, and how to live. It humbled me and taught me gratitude.