Stress is EVERYWHERE, and if truth be told, most of us would rate high on the scale. (My dog Molly just jumped on the coffee table, took a drink out of my water glass almost as to if to prove my point.)
My solution isn’t the only solution, but it’s a good one and provides immediate results.
I have become “endorphin motivated. ” Endorphins are those really cool things your body produces naturally that calm you, boost positive feelings, and make you much less stressed about your dog sleeping next to your water glass on the coffee table!
How do you get them? Well, there’s the prescription form and for some people, it is a beginning. But if you want to feel better, really better naturally, wean yourself from the pharmaceutical version, and ramp up the natural ones. It’s not as hard as you think.
My niece Melissa and my friend Karen created the perfect storm that got me going. Melissa called to say, “Aunt Becca, I just ran two miles!!!” She’d worked for weeks to get there. She started by running only until her body and brain screamed “Stop!” And then she gave herself permission to stop. For a week she ran only that far, and only every other day. On her alternate days, she picked something else that got her body moving and her “endorphin factory” working. On the 7th day, she took a rest.
In week two, she ran twice as far, gave herself permission to stop, alternated days with another type of workout, and on the seventh day, she took her rest. It sounded like a plan I could do.
At about the same time, my friend Karen told me about a book called Food & Mood. It’s a great book, with lots of interesting information, including lots of important info on my new favorite topic—endorphins.
So, I got running clothes out, and made it to the corner of our block. “STOP!” And I did. Next step—what to do on alternate days? I tried jumping rope, but decided the rope was weighted incorrectly. I’m sure it wasn’t that I just couldn’t get my body over the rope. 🙂
I thought about swimming—very bad for the hair. Thoughts of me playing racquet ball made a brief (very brief) appearance in my head.
And then it struck me—I love to dance. So I headed to the library to look for a dance video, and to my shock came home with a Boot Camp DVD. I was ready! It’s a great, all-body workout, that cranks out the endorphins. I finish a bit sore, but refreshed, and most importantly calm.
I’m now in week 5, and ready to announce to the world, that like my dear niece, I am running two mile stretches and look forward to boot camp. With each step, I quietly say, “Making endorphins, making endorphins” and I visualize them all around me.
My reading has taught me that exercise creates lots of endorphins but also toxins that need to be washed out with lots and lots of water. I believe that, and reach for my glass. It’s empty. Molly has had a good drink, and I’m not the least bit upset.
How do you reduce stress?