Stress Management: 40+ easy ways to deal with stress | Gregory Caremans | Skillshare

Stress Management: 40+ easy ways to deal with stress

Gregory Caremans, Making the Unconscious Conscious

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13 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Why do we experience stress

    • 3. How do you deal with stress?

    • 4. What happens in our body?

    • 5. What are cognitive relief strategies?

    • 6. 10 Cognitive Relief Strategies

    • 7. What are physical relief strategies?

    • 8. 10 physical relief strategies

    • 9. What are sensory relief strategies?

    • 10. 10 sensory relief strategies

    • 11. What are emotional relief strategies?

    • 12. 10 emotional relief strategies

    • 13. Conclusion


About This Class

As an expert in human behavior, I'm regularly asked to give lectures or workshops on stress. It's increasingly an issue. This course was born out of dozens of interactive workshops that I led, where real people just like you sat down and created a personal action plan to help them deal with pressure and stress. It is packed with very concrete things anyone can do to help manage their stress levels. there are so many of them in this course, actually more than 40, as the title kinda gives away, So that you can find what works for you.

In this course, everything is science based. For those of you familiar with my other courses, you will know that everything I bring forward is rooted in scientific studies. I won't suggest things just because I happen to like them, or think they are cool. As the former director of the institute of


Neurocognitivism, I kinda pledged an oath to facts and truth...

But don't worry, this course isn't about cold facts and figures either. I'm not a scientist myself. I'm a communicator. I'm into edutainment. I enjoy bringing complex and sometimes difficult material in a fun and engaging way. So you're supposed to enjoy this...

So what we're going to see in this course is the following

  • First we will analyze stress. where it comes from, what it does, the different types of stress, etc
  • After that, we will go over the 4 different types of dealing with stress. I call them 'relief strategies' For each of them I will give 10 concrete examples of what you can do to activate the benefits of that strategy.

So 10 examples for 4 strategies: that's 40 ways to deal with stress.

But it doesn't end here. you are highly encouraged to leave your own ideas and examples for each of the strategies, so that this course, just as the workshops I lead, become a co-creation where you help define the final outcome of the course. You will be responsible for the “+", in the “40+ easy ways to deal with stress".


1. Introduction: Hi, My name is Gregory and I will be your host for the time you decide to spend on this course . You're about to embark in the course 40 plus easy ways to deal with stress. As an expert in human behavior, I'm regularly asked to reflect tress or workshops on stress. It's increasingly an issue. This course was born out of dozens off interactive workshops that I lead where real people just like you said down and created a personal action plan to help them deal with pressures and stress. It is packed with very concrete things anyone can do to help manage their stress levels. There are so many of them in this course, actually more than 40 as the title kind of gives away so that you can find what works for you. Now, when you do a quick search on the Internet, you will find all kind of tips and tricks, suggestions and methods. Some of them are really good, actually. Unfortunately, most of the time, you can't really put them into action. For example, I remember this one article saying that to stress less, you should worry less the as if that's just a switch you can turn on and off. The other thing is that you don't know if what's out there is true. I mean, scientifically proven. So nothing off that here in this course, everything is science based. For those of you familiar with my older courses, you will know that everything I bring forward is rooted in scientific studies. Ah won't suggest things just because I happen to like them or think they're cool. No, I'm not into urban myths. As a former and director of the Institute of Neurocognitive is, um I kind of pledged an oath to facts and truth. But don't worry. This course isn't about cold facts and figures either. I'm not a scientist myself. I'm a communicator. I'm into entertainments. I enjoy bringing complex and sometimes difficult material in a fun and engaging way. So you're supposed to enjoy this. So what we're going to see in this course is the following. First, we will analyze stress where it comes from, what it does, the different types of stress, etcetera. After that, we will go over the four different types of dealing with stress. I called them relief strategies For each of them. I will give 10 concrete examples off what you can do to activate the benefits of that strategy. So 10 examples for four strategies. That's 40 ways to deal with stress. But it doesn't end here. You're highly encouraged to leave your own ideas and examples for each of the strategies, so that this course, just as the workshops I lied, become a co creation where you helped define the final outcome of the course. You will be responsible for the bless in the 40 plus easy ways to deal with stress. All this said, Now, let's start. 2. Why do we experience stress: So why do we experience stress? Our body is an amazing machine where everything happens for a reason. If it's there is because it serves some purpose. So what is it? Well, actually, what pain is to our body? Stress is, to our mind, it's an alarm signal, just like with pain. The message is simple. Warning danger from her brains. Perspective is the part of our brain that is responsible for our survival that gets activated. Our limbic and Mittler takes the lead role as it evaluates situations and orchestrates suitable reactions in a world where wolves, bears and other predators were freely walking the earth. This part of the brain makes the difference between life or death. When faced with a potential threat, the limbic and amygdala sends out signals to other parts of the brain to come up with the most appropriate survival strategy, triggering all kinds of physiological responses to maximize a positive outcome. When faced with a potential threat, the image census signal to the brain stem was in charge, with breeding heart rate, blood pressure and so on, saying, Look, I will need all the available resource is to get me out of this situation on life at the same time. The middle signals of prefrontal brain, right, irrational thinking, because basically telling him, Look, there's no need to over analyze the situation right now, so just go with whatever I will tell you and shut up. Imagine just for the sake of argument that this huge line identified you as its next meal and starts chasing you. Deem, Bigelow says, Run. Now your prefrontal brain goes. Hold on, wait a sense. Where do you want to go? If we go to the ride, we could make it to this waterhole. But then again, lions, even though they don't like water, are actually good swimmers, so they could follow us. On the other hand, if we go to the left, does this big tree that might offer an option? However, from here, I'm not quite sure we will be able to climb into it by ourselves. So maybe it could be interesting to look into 1/3 option. By this time, the line has already eaten out your liver as an appetizer, and it's texting his buddies to come over and join him for the main course. Also, the miraculous signals the hippocampus responsible to lay down memories so that next time you see a lion, the information is Pro says much quicker, and your survival chances go up. Last but not least, the middle as signals the hypothalamus who's in charge of regulating a whole bunch of hormones? Bert will dive into that in the next lecture. So if the branes them activates, the available resource is to react to the threat at hand in three different ways. What follows are three different survival strategies. The 1st 1 is to flee, run for your life. In order to do so, the brain stem will send out a message to pump more blood towards our legs So the muscles get more oxygen and we can run faster, hopefully outrunning danger. The second survival strategy is to fight. If the opponent is of a fair size compared to us, it might be an option toe, hold ground and face the enemy. Now, this doesn't mean that we will necessarily fight as we can win just by intimidating our enemy. Still, on a physiological level, blood will be rushed not towards the legs. This time, as with the fleeing strategy, but towards our arms and hands to be able to Bunge and claw as well as to our jaws as to bite and dear our opponent apart. Most people are already familiar with these fighter flight strategy. However, there is 1/3 1 that evolution gave us, and that is to freeze. Basically, we will try to make ourselves a smallest possible so that the predator might overlook us or even consider that we're not interesting enough as a prey to do so. The brain stem will not accelerate our heart rate, as with the two former strategies, but on the contrary will slow it down. Energy levels will drop and our whole body will slow down this way. Hopefully, the predator will overlook us, and we will have successfully lived through another day. So here they are, the tree survival strategies. We can flee, fight or freeze. Lucky for us, there are not that many packs of rules are hungry grizzly bears walking around in our modern cities. Yes, of course, our lives can still be threatened when crossing the street, or if we're unlucky enough to get mugged, Andean Magdala will respond accordingly, making us run faster, intimidate or aggressor, use a submissive strategy as not to get hurt or call up in group solidarity. The thing is, our amygdala also gets activated. When our live is not in danger, it gets triggered when faced with a perceived danger which could be actually anything. We're probably the only species on earth that is capable of worrying about something that might never happen. So whenever we face a perceived danger, which doesn't have to be alive threatening by the way, the Magdala will activate and will make us feel something that has become widespread in our modern lives. We will feel stress. And yes, the three original survival strategies live on in our modern day stress reactions. We will still flee, fight and freeze. Let me show you how instead of having a huge grizzly bear standing in front of us, it could be our boss or our partner. Or maybe we're just stuck in a traffic jam. So how do we flee? Fight and freeze when the Amidala goes for the first strategy. Our main objective is trying to escape. We want to get out of there, will feel anxiety overwhelming us. Our overall attitude is the desire to be somewhere else. So how does it show fleeing? It's all about movement, so our hands might start shaking. If we sit down, our feed will move off. Fingers will start playing with a pen or touching a ring will feel the need to go to the bathroom, even if we already went three times in the last five minutes. Stage Fried is a perfect example of Philly stress. We might feel tension in the legs. Our voice could become unstable. We could even have palpitations. I now our head, is probably a mess, incapable of thinking straight and confusion. All around that night, insomnia is common. All this is nothing else than our brains. Them telling us. Run, buddy, run for your life when the amygdala and goes for fighting option. Our objective is to intimidate. We're becoming aggressive, yes, but it's a defensive aggression. Overall, we get a feeling of superiority, were able to crush the threat at hand if need be. So how does it show? Try to remember an argument you might have had recently. Fighting is all about power, so attention will start to build up its an overall tension with a particular focus on the neck, arms and jaw our voice will be louder and more articulated. Movements will become stronger as well. In those moments, we have absolutely no patients whatsoever. Our eyes will not let go over the target. Squinting even slightly is common. It helps to focus on our target rear in fight mode. And if we need to land some punches, they better hit our opponent. The third way of expressing stress is true. The free strategy in freeze mode. Our objective is to search for protection. We're not feeling capable of dealing with the situation at hand by ourselves, so we feel demoralized. The overall attitude is one of helplessness. Broken dude is alone. We need help. So how does it show? Freezing is all about Filner ability. Our body is slowing down. We will have a lower voice. Talks lower, even use less words. Crying is common. Our overall energy level will hit. Rock bottom will feel tired. Extremely tired. We might even feel oppressed. Difficulties breathing. Yeah, at this point. Well, you shouldn't really worry. You're just stressed out. Your brain stone is in control now. Today they are our three stress reactions to a perceived danger depending on the situation . Our Magdala will pick one out. So everyone of us ends up showing the three stress reactions. Even though most of us have something like a preferred stress response. Which one is yours? Do you know? Well, why don't you find out? Next lecture is a small test which will help you determine what strategy. You're a middle of favors. Do you flee, Fight or freeze? 3. How do you deal with stress?: time to find out what stress reaction is most triggered with you. This table shows you a different emotional states. You could be in dispersal, restlessness, claustrophobia and so on. Go over each of them. Now choose for each state. How often you react like that if it's never right down. Zero it sometimes right? What often right to and so on. As you can see, the 1st 4 emotional states are difficult. Flee reactions the next four or fight reactions in the last four freeze reactions. So coffee, older zeros, ones, twos and threes to to write something up and ride. Result down in the lower right corner. Look at your accordance. Which one is highest? That's the one dominating your stress reactions. Is it flee, fight or freeze? 4. What happens in our body?: our body is an amazing machine. It runs an almost endless list of task without us ever being aware of it. It goes from how our organs function, over how we heal ourselves, do things like, Well, yes, you get that right to stress our brains and organs communicate with each other, sending out signals and releasing hormones. It seems we're hardly part of what's going on. Inside us are mood swings and behavior changes seem merely collateral damage of what's happening on the inside, because that's where the real show is going on. Basically, there are two systems in place to regulate our bodily functions. On the one hand, there's the parasympathetic nervous system, whose role it is to take care of things when it's business as usual. It's in charge of digestion, reproduction, hair growth, immunity and other daily activities. On the other hand, there's this sympathetic nervous system who takes over when we're faced with emergencies. For example, when the amygdala pushes that big red button and all hell breaks loose from their own words , it's an avalanche off hormones and sugar rushing through our veins, making its flee, fight or freeze. A small overview of the main hormones and how they affect us. You know that collateral damage I was talking about will help us understand the rial impact of stress and why it all happens. Sodium Magdala they make the lip receives a threat and, as we saw in the previous lecture, starts signalling different parts of the brain. One of them is the hippo. Thalamus. The hip with elements, controls the endocrine glands, which are the ones releasing all those hormones and regulate our metabolism. Fun fact. The word hormone means set in motion in Greek. The first hormone took again is adrenaline. Also called a benefit is the adrenaline that is responsible for our fight or flight response. Five can be seen in aggression. Flight can be seen in social with role and substance abuse. Yes, that guy, the adrenaline is responsible for faster breeding higher, but heart rate and blood pressure. This ensures oxygen rich blood reaches our brain, and muscles were ready to fight or flee. The adrenaline also stimulates a reputable ease of glucose and fatty acids into the bloodstream that leads to more energy. Keener sense is a sharper memory and less pain. Another related hormone that kicks in is norepinephrine, also called, nor adrenaline. Besides very similar functions to adrenaline, research has shown that norepinephrine is needed to create new memories. It also improves our mood by making problems look like challenges. By doing this, it encourages creative thinking, which leads to growing new connections. At this point, stress doesn't look that bad. We have more energy, keener senses, sharpened memory, the better mood. And we feel less pain. Sounds almost like Spiderman, when he first became aware of his new powers, where research has shown the deadlines and challenges help us triggered these beneficial effects of stress. So why distress has such a bad press? Well, adrenaline works like a turbo. It gives a boost, but as with any boost, it can only last for a short period of time. If you're boosting your system too long, you'll burn your engine. Adrenaline when it's active, too long starts injuring and killing cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus remember its central in learning and memory, so you don't want to burn your hippocampus. Besides that, all the hormones that we won't detail here also become active. As you're boosting our engine, we automatically divert attention and temporarily shut down all the functions as our stress was triggered by an external threat. We first need to deal with the emergency at hand and shut down low priority systems from the parasympathetic nervous system, such as growth, reproduction and immunity as soon as a threat is gone. These systems get restored, however, with Chronicle Stress Day gets severely disturbed, leading to sexual dysfunctions, mawr illnesses and skin problems and stuff like that. However, the worst part is yet to come. When we're facing longer period of stress, we start releasing cortisol. Now cortisol is the real enemy. You probably know cortisol is a painkiller. However, what it also does is damaging the hippocampus as it diverts glucose destined to this hippocampus towards the muscles was explained before, don't mess with your hippocampus. It leads directly to memory loss. Courts will almost literally eats away your brain, and no good can come from that. So to summarize short periods of stress. And we're talking less than half an hour here function as a turbo on our system. However, the moment our stress levels remain high for longer periods of time, it severely affects our entire body and damages our brain. Hence the importance of being able to manage our stress to get rid of the court is all in that adrenaline in our body as efficiently as possible and without medication. Is that even possible? You ask. Well, that's actually what this course is all about. In the next four sections of the course, we will go over the four different strategies you can choose from. And for each, I will be giving you 10 simple examples to put the strategy into practice and this accessible to anyone. 5. What are cognitive relief strategies?: The first relief strategy we will be looking at is the cognitive one. Cognitive or mental relief strategies are aimed at switching off the meddler and activating other parts of our brain. It's purely based on disrupting our flow of thoughts because, let's face it, when Mosses and worrying consciously or unconsciously about things that most of the time won't happen, it seems we all have our little Hitchcock's course easier crab Eric in our head, making up a whole story based on, well, nothing, really. And there was a reason for that. Evolution has learned us to recognize patterns in order to anticipate to danger. The hypothalamus made us to learn from prior experiences, and now we're prepared. There are no but singing's, so there might be a predator somewhere. I see others run, so it might be a good idea to do the same as they're probably running away from a potential danger. There's dark spots in the bushes over there. It could just be a hungry bear. And now, 10,000 years later, we still do the same, even though the types of danger have evolved. My boss just gave me a bad look. He might fire me. My husband smelled like women's posh Hume. He's probably cheating on me. My daughter is not returning my calls. Oh my God, She had an accident, and it's probably laying in a hospital somewhere. Better start calling holding hospitals in the neighborhood just to make sure that's just how our brain works. We're masters in making associations in filling in the blanks. If there's one part of information missing, will make it up. It's a very powerful, almost compulsive urge. We have test saved us from danger for hundreds of years, and it will continue to do so and drive as nuts every not getting hold of ourselves. So don't underestimate the amazing power of our thoughts. Justus thoughts can escalate our stress levels. They can also relief stress labs. In the next lecture, we will go over some helpful techniques for harnessing our mental capabilities. Switch off that Magdala and switch towards our prefrontal brain 6. 10 Cognitive Relief Strategies: Okay, let's start. Here are 10 examples of how to use cognitive relief strategies in order to relieve your stress. Let's start with the usual suspects. Meditation has been used for thousands of years by Buddhist monks in modern days. Business people who start their day with meditation report a higher level of focus and lower level of stress. Recently through M. R. I scans, we have observed how our brain doesn't go quiet when we meditate as common. Believe ghosts. On the contrary, we observe a very strong activity in the prefrontal cortex. Exactly the kind of brains which we need to silence The reptilian brain never done meditation before. Why not give it a try? Go to YouTube and search for meditation. You will find all kind of stuff in the added materials. You will find a link toe home. Harmonics do check it out. You can download meditation tracks for free that will just make you float in a matter of minutes. It's really mind blowing yoga tied. She and other related disciplines can be seen as meditation in movement. Ever tried it again? If you haven't, you can go on YouTube and find some videos to get you started. From complete beginner to acrobatic yoga. There's a whole world to discover. And if you don't like to do this type of activity alone, check out your local gym. They often organize classes. A great way to take away that perceived danger is to give in to our urge to flee. Take a break, just go out and walk around the block. Need a larger break. Take a city trip this weekend. Go on holiday or what the heck? Just take a sabbatical or you can just take a mental break. Escaped from whatever causes your stress by doing something else. Dive deep into a book or go to the movies. Get absorbed by something else and silence that amygdala. This is one of my personal favorite and I call it the Peter Pan. Principle, remember, be depend. That little boy who didn't want to grow up fault, Captain Hook, etcetera. He wasn't an ordinary boy for many reasons. One of them was that he could actually fly. Do you also remember how What was his trick? How did he do it? Let me refresh your memory. It was true. A happy thought. I love the symbolism of that happy memories. Happy thoughts give those wings. We feel lighter, as if we could almost fly. So what is your happy thought? I remember some years ago I was working for this big multinational company and had quite some pressure and stress. My happy thought back then was the laughter of my baby. Boy was only a couple of months old. You know how baby laughter sounds? It's irresistible. Onley thinking about it made me smile. It's possible you're smiling right now, thinking about it. That is the strength of a happy thought. It's irresistible. It's stronger than all the negativity. So what is your happy thoughts? Choose wisely and choose only one. Always think about the same one. The more you'll use it, the stronger it will become, and you will be able to fly away and escape from your worries, just like Peter Bandit. So what about hypnosis? Ever tried that studies have shown the effectiveness of hypnotherapy when it comes to relaxation and reduction of anxiety? One type of meditation or self hypnosis that works well and related to the Peter Pan principle is imagining oneself in our favorite place, a place where nothing can harm us a place where was safe, where we find peace and harmony. Linking those feelings off bees and harmony with that image is sufficient to feel serenity whenever we think about that place. You can find a variation on that in Fight Club, that famous film with Brad Bid and Edward Norton from the 1999 where they started an underground fight club organization. In one scene, we see Edward Norton going into its ice cape with a talking penguin. Hey, whatever works for you, I would say. Still, I It's a well known fact. The news on television Internet newspapers all news is heavily biased towards negativity. Good news is no news. It doesn't attract readers. Sensationalism does. Shocking images were bombarded by negativity, even though that is not a balanced representation of what's going on in the world. Every day everywhere, millions of people are doing amazing things that are never told about the unsung heroes. Anyway, before I go away to philosophical on that one, what I want to ask you is, have you ever considered doing a news shut down? That constant stream of negativity ends up impacting us, even though we're completely powerless to do anything about it. Think about it. Earthquake here. Corruption, scandal there bombings, Blaine and car accidents, and the list goes on and on and on. My advice. Even for a while. Stop listening. You'll feel lighter. Let's worried about things you can't do a thing about anyway. This one is highly effective to switch off the amygdala and activate the prefrontal brain. Take a fresh perspective at what worries you the cause of your stress. There are different ways to do that. I'm giving you three turn problems into opportunities. Let's say you just lost your job. Of course, it's something that might work for you. However, when you look at it from a different angle, this might be the opportunity to find a better job to get a better income, a nicer boss, or why not start your own business? And suddenly the whole situation becomes actually quite exciting. Second, look at your situation and think about what you're going to say about this in 10 years time . Yes, 10 years from now, imagine you have a conversation with your let's say, your best friends, and what will you be saying about that one thing that is stressing you out so much today. Well, most of the time, you'll realize that you won't even remember that it's really not that much of an issue, not worth the first 3rd 1 What would almost think of it? Famous people, important people pick out a handful of people you like or admire and try to put yourself in their shoes. What would they do? What would they say? For example, what would Napoleon think of this? Or Einstein or the Delai Lama? You get the Eddie. There are many versions of this story. I don't know which one is the ride one. And to be honest, it doesn't matter. As in the end, the message is the same. So here's my short version of the story. King Solomon, the wise King was looking for the ultimate wisdom. He wanted to find something that was applicable at all times. His wise men went in search off this, and after searching and debating for a long time, they found it. It was a short sentence off only four words that they engraved in a golden ring, the ultimate wisdom. But they told the king he was only to look at it in times of great despair or great fortune . So times goes by and King Solomon finds himself leading his army into battle against this, this neighboring tribe. His army is defeated, and he is on the run. He's a fugitive, tracked down by his enemies. Suddenly, he remembers, the ring takes it often looks at what's engraved reading the four words. He strengthens his resolve, finds new courage and managed to escape. He finds his way back to re Jerusalem, raises a new army and utterly crushes his foes. He comes back to Jerusalem as a victor. Everyone Acclaim's him. There's a military parade. He's the hero, and as he waves his hand to the crowds, he sees the ring shining at his finger. He takes it off again. Read the words again and knots humbly. By now, you probably remember the story in those four words. Think about them yourself whenever you feel overwhelmed whenever stress is getting the upper hand. And don't forget them either. In days of glory, what was written on the ring, you ask, This too shall pass. Remembering these four words whenever you feel your stress levels going up will help you keep your head cool at the same time. It can be any other words that work for you. It works like a mantra, and you know it phrase with a special meaning for you by repeating it over and over again. It will help to calm down and stay in control off your emotions. Another very simple way to shut down the amygdala is to force ourselves to think you see rationality is not part of the brain stem. India Magdala. That's also why we should never try to have a rational conversation with someone who's totally stressed out. So if we force ourselves to focus and think, the Magdala will shut down and hand to control over to the prefrontal brain, and we can do that by playing games, actually absolutely brain games like chess and crosswords, but also sudoku or even simple puzzle will have our attention focused on solving the challenge that hands with no room for stress. Now you might find it hard at first, as the Magdala will resist to hand over control. But once you pass that initial stage, you'll quickly find your stress levels diminishing. So that's it for the cognitive or mental relief strategies you might have thought of a couple of yourself on the way. If that's the case, that's great. The next lecture is already impatiently waiting for you. 7. What are physical relief strategies?: the second relief strategy. The physical one is based on our body on our muscles. Remember why we experience stress? Basically, it's a response to a possible threat, right? We're preparing ourselves to fight or flight. Ah, body just pushed the turbo button so we can run faster. Hits more accurately feel this pain and so on on the physiological level were totally boosted. Adrenaline and cortisol are rushing through your veins. Oxygen rich blood with tons of glucose are reaching our muscles All its set. We're ready to explode to go the extra mile. And then nothing, Nothing. Because instead of outrunning a pack of rules were sitting at our desk answering an email instead of fighting off a stable tooth tiger, we're having a phone conversation with an unhappy customer yelling at us. The whole physiological pep talk has led our body to the boiling point. We need to let off steam, and the best way to get rid of these or moans to defuse them is to do what our body was preparing us for. Move, the more the better. Don't be afraid to sweat. Sweat contains high levels of adrenaline, which is perfect to bring those hormones back to an acceptable level in our bodies and what's even better? Not only does physical relieve diffuser stress, it also better prepares us for future stress and helps find depression. It is, by old means one of the most effective strategies that can be used as it also builds up resilience towards future stress. In the next lecture, we will go over some ideas to blow off steam and have that body moving, as it was meant to do. 8. 10 physical relief strategies: physical relief strategies. That all comes down to one simple thing. I like the move it, move it. I like the move. It move it like that. I like the moment movement. I liked the movement moving. I like to move it, move it like that. I like the movement moving. Okay, now we got that clear. Let's go ahead and dive in 10 different ways. You can start to move it, move it. The 1st 1 is the most obvious one. Let's do some sport football, tennis, swimming, basketball, squash, soccer, rugby, hockey, baseball. Whatever you choose. Make sure you don't end up on the bench. All kidding aside, by all means do join a club. Being part of a group will motivate you, and suffering together will strengthen the ties between you. No budget to join a club. Don't worry. You've got two legs, and that's all you need. Find yourself a pair of running shoes and go out there. Start jogging once a week, a couple of times a week. Before you know it, you'll find yourself preparing for your local marathon. If jogging is still too much for you, just walking will do the trick as well, you won't have the benefit of sweating. Your court is away, but at least your body is moving, and that is way better than just doing nothing at all. Somewhere in between sports and running is your local gym. Go out there, take your iPod, listen to your favorite music and start lifting those weights. Do some running cycling or join the group's Jim's always organized classes with Pillot Zumba or a rob aches and all kind of other stuff. If you're doing it consistently, you might even end up with some six bags for the gents and a nice flat tummy for the ladies . Now, if you like music, you don't even need a gym. Go to your favorite glove and then is the night away. Don't be shy. Don't stay glued to the bar field rhythm and go crazy. Now, if you're really too shy or don't like big crowds, you can try to. We They have these dancing games where you have to imitate the movements on screen. You'll see it's fun, and if you do it well, you'll be out of breath in no time. You can use any environment really to put that body of yours to good use. Take stairs, for example. This is a golden Tim, by the way. Always use stairs. Okay, unless you've got more than five floors to go, it's a great short exercise in the middle of your daily routine. Now, if you want to take it more seriously, you can start going up and down door stairs and make it a sport out of it. And if you don't live in a house with stats, you can always buy yourself a stepper. Next time you feel that adrenaline kicking in and you feel the urge to yell or punch someone in the face, Well, why not? In style? A punching bag in your garage, Bunch All your anger and frustration away. You'll see. It feels great. Go ahead. Imagine it being your balls off partner and mother in law. Whomever and beat the heck out of them now. You don't always need equipment, of course. Just hit the floor and do some push ups or sit ups included into your routine. Every morning or evening, do a couple of Siri's 12 in a row starts with one and build it up over time. Too much action going on here for you. You're stuck at work behind your desk, and you urgently need to get rid of some tension. There is a simple in good exercise for that. It's similar to those exercises they show you. When you're on long distance flights, you tense and release your muscles in your arms, legs and neck and the added materials. You'll find a link where you can download an exercise for free if you're a parent and your kids are still, well, kids and easy and great way to get some exercise is to go outdoors and play with them. Get into their world, become a dragon they have to slay or something lighter. If your kids are anything like mine, you'll end up having the best exercise you can imagine using every muscle in your body, even some you might have forgotten you had. Well, you'll realize that the next day, when the pain kicks in, not seriously. This is a total win win. Your body will move. Your mind will be too busy to think about anything else, and seeing your kids laughing their heart out will wash away any worries you might have. And seriously, we don't get that many opportunities anymore. Toe act totally crazy without people wanting to look you up so kids are the perfect excuse . Well, if we're talking about a physical activity that makes you sweat and is great for relieving tension, last but not least is, of course, having sex for the more audacious. There are all kind of positions that can be tried out with a little bit of imagination and creativity. If you need some inspiration, there's always the Kama Sutra, of course. Make it worthwhile. Make it epic, make it and light to remember. So that concludes. The examples of physical relief strategies got inspired. Great. Go out there and try things out. Got some more ideas of your own? Fantastic. Go to the next Lecture without Photo Redux. 9. What are sensory relief strategies?: In today's modern world, our senses are constantly bombarded with noises and smell on the continuum between pleasure and pain. The same stimulus can be relieving stress or causing it depending on its intensity. Takes sound, for example, were highly intolerant to noise. It immediately raises our stress levels. Think about the sirens of an ambulance or five fighters drug that drive by and you'll see what I mean. However, studies have shown that even low level but constant noise is a major contributor to stress , which means we really need to be alert regarding where we decide to live and work as there is no off switch to our senses. What we perceive is sometimes invasive and unpleasant, sometimes so irresistible we melt. Often. It's all about finding the right balance, the right amount off sensory input in order to find that soothing impact. One characteristic of sensory input is that it is beyond our rational control. Our senses are linked to our limbic system, where our memories and emotions are located. The pleasure we experience when our senses are caressed when we hit a softball set in the right context can soften up the most tense muscle and let the mind wander off light years away from our daily occupations and causes of stress. We can try to ignore our senses, but the urge is very strong. So why fight them? Let's turn them into our best allies and use them to relieve our stress. In the next lecture will go over 10 examples of using our senses to relieve stress and recharge our batteries. 10. 10 sensory relief strategies: okay, I have to admit, now we're hitting one of my sweet spots Sensory relief strategies, all linked to our limbic system, the pleasure center of the brain and are therefore extremely well, pleasant. Sensory release strategies are all about me time and guilty pleasures. Not only is it okay to spoil yourself from time to time, it's a great way to release tensions and restore balance. So let's see those 10 examples of sensory reliefs. Energies. First, let's have a look at our breathing. Breathe in for three seconds, then hold for four seconds, then breathe out for seven seconds. Sequences. 347 Do that several times in a row. Whenever you're under heavy stress, do this exercise. You will have a lot of oxygen flowing to your brain, and it will help you calm down. Sauna is great for relaxing. The sequence of halt air and cold water is great for relieving tension in the muscles. And let's not forget all that sweating takes. The court is all the way. Our smell is very powerful. It's the only one of our senses that is directly linked to our limbic system, so there is no interference, no control possible. So have you tried aromatherapy? Used lavender? It has a calming, soothing effect. You can use the vendor as is, or as an essential oil off which a couple of drops on your wrists will help. Is there anything more Rive ig aerating than a warm both. After a long day, use aromatic souls for even more relaxation. And why not add some aromatic candles? The dim lied and smell will make you float away. Just make sure you don't fall asleep. Oh, and while at it you can put some relaxing music as well. It doesn't need to be meditation all, like just choose your favorite artists songs with slow rhythm and just enjoy. Did you know that the average sleep we get per night is an average two hours less than 50 years ago? Sure, that gives us more hours in a day. But sleep deprivation also makes us less resilient when it comes to stress. The study found that workers whose news for at least 45 minutes during the day had lower average blood pressure after suffering psychological stress compared to those who did not sleep. So they got a hammock and map your stress away. This one is kind of meditation exercise, but it's particularly aimed at our senses. It's a short treat of five minutes meditation, where you focus your attention on different sounds around you. Then become aware of how your feet touch the ground, How your back touches the chair. You continue by focusing on how your breeding, how the air enters and leaves your lungs. Do this during treat to five minutes and try to perceive all those things at the same time as in a symphony of sensory perceptions. When you open up your eyes, you should feel all calm and even little dizzy. Maybe if you don't feel like running around to get cortisol out of your body, maybe you can move for that moving. No, I'm not talking about out of body experiences, but simply stimulating your body's muscles. True, massage studies have shown the amazing impact of a massage. It increases serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters that helped reduce depression, but also and foremost based on a series of studies, including about 500 men, women and Children with depression or stress problems. Researchers measured court soul levels in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered it by up to 53%. Now, if your partner isn't very talented at giving massages and your wallet doesn't permit you to hire a professional, you could try to following Get yourself a golf ball. Yes, a global one used to play golf. How? Get rid off your shoe and, ideally, your sock to and let the golf ball role between the ground and sole of your foot. You just made a do it yourself foot massage. Oh, but you don't even need a golf ball. Actually, just take off your shoes and walk barefoot on grass are equally good. If you're close to water, walk in shallow water to see. Does a particularly great job with the waves toe. Wash away all tension. There is growing scientific evidence that chocolate will help you reduce stress. One of those studies proved that eating 1.5 ounce of dark chocolate today that's something like 42 grams, and this for two weeks helped reduce the level of stress hormones in our bodies. Apparently, it's thanks to the antioxidants and some other substances in there, but who cares? We just got the perfect excuse to eat chocolate. But don't stuff yourself as the weight gain might stress you out, and then you're in a crazy Catch 22. Now to do this right, eat small amounts and not just any chocolate. The products with the highest level off flavanols antioxidants were cocoa a powders, followed by unsweetened baking chocolates, dark chocolate and semisweet chips, then milk, chocolate and, finally, chocolate Cyrus. A fantastic way to recharge batteries is to just let yourself blend in with nature. It's a combination of several points we touched before. Go and lay down in your garden, in a park or on a beach. Look at the sky and observed the clouds. Or look at a tree and watch how its branches are gently waving with a breeze at same time. Listen, listen to the birds or the waves. If you're on the beach, feel the grass or stand beneath. You smell this salty air. Order flowers. If you're lucky there recently, cut the grass and you will be able to smell the chlorophyll from the grass. Now close your eyes and field son, feel how gently caresses your body, how it tickles your skin, how to warms up your whole being. Oh, man. That's it. I can't take it anymore. I'm out of here. I'm going to buy myself a plane ticket to an island somewhere. 11. What are emotional relief strategies?: So here we are re arrived at the last, but far from least off the four relief strategies, this one will blow you away, I promise. You have to know that, interestingly enough, women were mostly excluded from stress related studies until the mid nineties. It was believed that their hormonal cycle would influence the results too much and just make them unreliable. So stress was studied on men, and the results were extrapolated to men and women alike. How different could the results be right? The I D. That there could be a gender bias didn't even seem to occur to most Research is so. It was not until the year 2000 that Dr Shelley Taylor from the U. C. L. A. Published her article in The Psychological Review and gave to the world his new approach on stress that she called Tent and be friends. Besides the classical stress hormones, adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol, we also release oxytocin. Oxytocin is also known as the bonding hormone. It drives up social bonding, trust and support. Men and women alike produce oxytocin. However difficult male hormones such as testosterone diminishes its effect, whilst female hormones like estrogen will enhance it. So there seems to be a more masculine reaction to stress, with aggression and social withdrawal symptoms and a more feminine reaction of reaching out to others for helping and sharing. Let me put it this way. This is exactly the reason why, when a man and a woman are in a car searching for the right direction, the man will stubbornly insist on finding his way all by himself. While the woman will insist on asking the way to someone anyone sounds familiar. Great, it's getting better. A new study in 2013 showed that this softer reaction to stress where you care and share neutralizes the classical negative effects of stress on health. It turns out oxygen dosen also reduces cortisol levels and relieves blood pressure. It goes so far that people who showed the typical medical in responses dress have a 30% risk increased to die of a heart attack or related cardiovascular accident. After major stressful experience, compared to no increase at all for the feminine response these astounding results have, let's some to believe in the hypothesis that this difference in a more masculine and feminine way to deal with stress could be one of the main explanations why women live on average 6.5 years longer than men. Further research will tell. So here we are. The good news is that men also produced oxytocin. It does cost us more effort to pay attention to it. However, we are equally capable of using this alternate socializing way to dealing with stress this 10th and befriend approach. It's part of the fourth and last strategy, the emotional relief strategy. It is by far the most effective of the four as it completely neutralizes the negative effects of stress. In the next lecture, we'll go over the last set of examples on how to use this strategy in our lives. 12. 10 emotional relief strategies: Whoa. So now we know that this emotional relief is the most effective of the four different strategies. It completely neutralizes the negative effects of stress thanks to the release of oxytocin . So let's be concrete. What activities can we do to generate a famous oxytocin and get rid off the court soul in our bodies? Whatever we do, we shouldn't do it alone for emotional release strategies. We should get together, but not just with anyone with strangers. It doesn't do the trick. Oxytocin gets only produced with people we care about, so we never stressed. Call your best friends and hang out. You can talk about your problems or talk about other stuff. It doesn't matter. Being together is what counts. So take your partner and kids and spend some call it time together or invite some friends over to watch a game or have a nice dinner. The activity really doesn't matter. It's the company. So what can we do if we don't have family living nearby? And for some reason there are no friends around? Well, get yourself a pet. Research has shown that petting an animal like a dog or cat has us also produced oxytocin, a goldfish wont to do. You need to be able to actually pet the animal to create a real bones. You know how you can find those videos on YouTube of people giving free hugs to random strangers. I always loved those. Unfortunately, random strangers won't have you release oxytocin by all means do hug and hug a lot, especially with gets. But the precious oxytocin will only be part off the hugging if you do it with someone you care about. Pride and particularly male pride is probably the biggest obstacle to this one. Asking for help is not, as some may feel, a sign of weakness, especially if the task assigned is causing you stress, because if it stresses you, it means you need to do something differently. So fresh new perspective or an extra pair of hands is a great way to solve your issues and strengthen bonds between you. If you take the previous point and flip the rolls around this time you're doing giving the helping hands or fresh perspective, don't miss an opportunity to help someone out. Laughing is great. It releases pain killing endorphins, which makes you feel good. Not only that, But it is also truly social activity. It's extremely contagious. In a recent experiment, someone started all having into Metro, and everybody on it ended up laughing, even though no one had a clue why that person started laughing. In first place, you'll find a link in the added material. You know to saying, Count your blessings. Well, you should. Research has shown that people expressing their gratitude see a huge impact on happiness scores. During a famous study directed by Doctor Seligman, participants were asked to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness. But dispense immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores. This impact was greater than that from any order intervention with benefits lasting for a month. Another thing you could do is keep a journal and before going to sleep, write down things that happened during the day and that you're grateful for crying is not a one of nature. Stress relievers. Research has shown that not all tears are the same eye irritation won't really help you, but emotional tears do contain large amounts off adrenaline and cortisol. It's a perfect way to get it out of your system. When you think of babies and small Children, whenever Europe said, the first thing they do is crying well, some of them do so. Crying is really good for us. It helps us get rid of those excess stress hormones and reestablish balance in our body. Remember how I told you sex was a great stress reliever for physical strategies? Well, making love as opposed to the pure carnal acts is even better when we make love with someone we actually well, love. We get tons of oxytocin release in our body. It's the ultimate bonding activity where two bodies merge and become one in this beautiful act off. Okay, okay. Sorry. I was getting carried away again. Sorry. L stop now. Now, music is a great way to get off some steam. Listening is one way, but singing is great as well. Being it in your car, on a music festival, in the shower or even karaoke A. As you inhale quickly and exhale slowly. It's a perfect breeding exercise, increasing the oxygen in your blood and bring its a good workout for your upper body muscle . And let's not forget the endorphins and oxytocin that gets released in your blood. Perfect to bring down those levels of court soul, especially if you decide to join a choir. You. So that's it for the emotional relief strategies. The truth is, they can all be summarized in two words. Share and care. Actually, this is completely in line with all the groundbreaking findings in the field of positive psychology. These are the true keys to happiness. Sharing and caring not only really make us happy, it will also give us better health. Whatever way you look at it, you win. 13. Conclusion: So let's have a look at everything we've seen in this course. We first went over how our Magdala is responsible for the fight, flight or freeze response as a survival strategy in front of a perceived danger. From there onwards, we looked at over 40 different ways to deal with stress response, not just random things to do but split up and four distinctive strategies. We had the cognitive or mental relief where we focused on how to disrupt our train of thoughts, to switch from our amygdala to our prefrontal brain. With the physical relief, everything was focused around movement. The whole idea was to unload the pressure that has bean building up in our body with the adrenaline, cortisol and so on. The third relief strategy was the sensory one. Here it was about me time about spoiling ourselves about connecting to our pleasure center , the limit brain through our senses as a way to wash away our worries and last but very far from released with the emotional relief strategy where we saw how we could actually completely neutralize and negative effects of stress through sharing and caring with and four others. Four strategies 40 ways of dealing with stress, plus the ones you will have added. That's a lot. Of course, some of those won't speak to you. Others might have tickled your curiosity. Still others, you're probably already using rural different, of course, and depending on your personality, some of these will resonate more with you than others. And that's the whole idea of discourse, offering sufficient ideas and clues so everyone will find what fits him or her best. Still, there is one golden Rule, one secret toe. All this that I'm about to reveal to you. You see whatever works for you, whatever hits the spot. The secret to effective stress relief is to give yourself wholeheartedly. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart and all your soul. Lose yourself in it. Get yourself in a state of flow where you lose touch with reality and are completely absorbed by the activity at hands. I know this might make you smile and hey, what the heck, I'm not ashamed of it for me. Out of all those 40 examples, there is one that I haven't mentioned yet that do wonders. I can do it for hours and hours alone or with others. I initiated my wife and she likes it a lot as well. And even though it started with the kids, even when they eventually get bored and do something else, I just go on and on. My magical stress relief is building sand castles. I'm pretty sure on some unconscious level, it reconnects me with seven year old me who was already building sand castles. And doing that now makes me feel as worry free is back then the thing is, I really get into a state of flow. And it is that flow state which relieves stress. The sand castle building activity is only the vehicle through which I can access that flow state. Whatever we do when we're looking to reduce our stress level. Ideally, we should choose an activity that puts us in this flow state as it will work as a battery charger that leaves us up and running, feeling fresh, energised and rejuvenated. So what brings you in a flow state? Please do share in the comments section. Oh, yes. And by the way, in the added materials, you will find a pictograms within easy overview off the 40 examples discussed in discourse for your easy reference, I thought that could come in handy. Enjoy