There are two types of stress. Good stress and bad stress. Without a little stress we wouldn’t get up and go in the morning knowing we have somewhere we need to be…like school or a job. but bad stress can be seen out in the water when the 10th guy has dropped in on you , you only have half an hour to surf and you haven’t caught a single wave yet been ridden over four times and have lost a fin in the process.
While we view stress as toxic in our minds we don’t even realize what it is doing to our body! In times of stress our nervous system triggers the release of hormones adrenalin and cortisol stimulating almost every system in our bodies. Our blood pressure rises and hearts beat faster, respiration increases and oxygen supplies go to all muscles. Our body reacts this way to prepare for physical threat. But unfortunately not all stress is physical. But the effect on the body is just the same. Once you identify the stress in your life you can follow this six step action plan.
1. IDENTIFY YOUR BOILING POINT
Why do some of us get so peeved off when we are having crap surf while others laugh it off and enjoy the scenery? Two things make the difference: the amount of control you feel you have on your life and your basic personality. When your life is filled with things to do 24/7 and you have no time for even a bathroom break, it is difficult to feel you are in control of your life. especially if you are a typical type A personality that gets irritable over such small things like not having wax at the beach or forgetting your fcs key at home.
2. RECOGNISE THE TRIGGERS
sometimes the source of your stress is obvious… your boyfriend takes so long doing his hair that you miss the bus to the beach and that extra hour so sick surf! But other times it is not so obvious it might be peer pressure, the stress from parents to perform in school, work related stress from your horrid boss etc. you can’t begin to control the stress if you are unsure of where it is coming from. At the first sign of something wrong, get to the bottom of it. Write a journal. This way you will start problem solving. And make a list of possible solutions. Once you have done this you will find a sense of control you never had before.
3. PRACTICE THE CALM RESPONSE
Earlier we spoke on physical changes related to stress; these can make us uncomfortable, irritable and moody. Here are some control methods to combat these changes! Distract yourself – fill yourself with activities that you absolutely love to keep your mind off the stress. If the waves are bad, play another sport, plan a surf trip, and spray a crazy design on your board.
Breathe deeply – Try to make a fist while taking a deep breath; you probably can’t maintain the tension for very long because breathing naturally eases tension. It is common for people to breathe shallowly when under stress which makes the discomfort even worse. When you are in that situation where that dorks dropped in on you for the 5th time today. Focus on your breathing and remember shame the poor guy doesn’t know what he is doing and probably needs all the practice waves he can get. Keep breathing those deep breaths and the fresh ocean air will sort you out, while another hostile and aggressive local will probably sort that dork out anyways!
Go on holiday – in 30 seconds. Think tropical, warm water, uncrowned surf, and bronzed tan, hot babes with hot bods… rnt you relaxed already… I know I am. Your body tenses at the perception of stress, so calm it down by thinking of something serene.
4. ACCEPT WHAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE
Stress is never going away, we have to accept that. But remember stress is not the issue- how we deal with it is. So … Accept the circumstance- stay in touch with the circumstance of the situation, and do your best to heighten the quality of the days you have. Be imperfect and calmer- when you try to achieve the unachievable you will just be left feeling frustrated, anxious and depressed. So concentrate on your strengths instead of focusing on our flaws. As a negative thought enters your head replace it with the words ‘I am doing the best I possibly can.’ Acknowledge the mistakes and move on- know you cannot always make the right decisions all the time. Mistakes happen
5 GET SOCIALLY ENGAGED
We are social creatures; we are healthiest and happiest when part of a supportive group. Talking to friends about what is bothering you might help you see things in a different light. Verbalizing you problems help in a way that sometimes by getting the words out there , you tend to sort out the problems yourself just by hearing it out loud. It also helps having the reassurance from friends that you are loved and supported regardless of the current issues.
6. PRACTICE A LOWER STRESS LIFE.
If you establish healthy habits everyday, even when you are not under stress you will find that you will be naturally calmer if things go wrong. So here are a few things that will help you stress less!
Exercise regularly. The awesome thing is through having fun in the surf we are automatically getting our daily exercise in! But if the waves are flat you don’t have to just bum around. Go for a run, hit the gym, play tennis with friends… Having a plan B A back up plan is always a good idea. That way you will feel in control of your life and know that you have everything covered TWICE!
Put pleasure in your diary. The stressors of everyday school or work will get to you eventually.
Take some time out and write up some ME time in your diary. It doesn’t matter if it is a 20min bath, a lunch surf session or a much needed massage. Make sure you write it down. Keep healthy finances – Be real about your spending is seen that debit/credit card bills can cause high blood pressure insomnia and other problems.
Keep your finances in order and you will be able to enjoy better health. Cherish life A warm summer breeze, an evening sunset, playing in the sun, chilling with your friend, the rush you feel riding that wave …it’s all around us, the beauty of nature If you believe you deserve pleasure from life, you will be more likely to achieve all the things you need to be happy.