By: Garrett McCoy
7 High Performance Habits to improve your relationship with stress and proactively approach rest.
Our fast paced, screen based, always on society has left many Americans with an unhealthy balance between stress and rest. When we feel stressed or anxious our fight or flight hormones have taken over and it’s easy to feel like we are losing control. To regain “steering” we need to perform activities to activate our parasympathetic nervous system. These activities may include a break, exercise, meditation, even laughter. Essentially, we need to recover from mental stress just like we would from a physical workout. Stress + Rest= growth. Building your habits and routine around the 7 tips below will return you back to your ideal performance state.
Challenge the way you view stress and develop a growth mindset.
Look at any challenge as an opportunity to get stronger. Trust that the experience will improve your skill set. That the obstacle is the way to the most creative and effective solution. Believe that stress is a good thing. When you feel stressed, you simply need to identify what you can do to restore your adaptive energy and get back into ideal performance state.
Think of adaptive energy as a bank account. How much sleep, your current health, and your current mind set add up to equal your daily balance. Each time a stressful event happens it’s a withdrawal. Every time you perform a value driven tasks that helps you rest, smile, connect to others, connect to the outdoors, improve your health, or learn something new you make a deposit. It’s hard to make time to invest in your own happiness. However, the interest will compound and your ability to handle more stress increase.
Identify you Ideal Performance State (IPS)
How often do you feel like statements below?
• relaxed and confident
• Ready for fun and enjoyment
• Focused and alert
• Automatic/ instinctive
• Relaxed/ calm
• Personally challenged
What activities awaken your mind, body, soul, and drive you into IPS?
Are you alone, in a group, active, or still? What active or learning based activities help you get into the mindset below. Can a break or a few mindful minutes return you to IPS?
Purposeful Morning Routine
Start your day with intent. Make this the extra time that you don’t think you have. How can you get into IPS before the world “gets at you? There are many ways into “IPS”, a tough workout, a long run, meditation, reading, writing, or even learning something new. How can you better start your day with momentum, build a reserve of adaptive energy, and get into ideal performance state?
Sharpen the Saw
When stress begins to knock you out of your IPS. It’s important to look at what tools you have available to recharge and destress. As Steven Kovey made famous in the 7 habits of highly effective people, “you can’t cut down a tree with a dull blade.” What can you do now to restore adaptive energy and sharpen your mental blade? Remember that rest is part of the growth equation.
Love, Laughter, and Gratitude
Has a good hug ever been exactly what the doctor ordered? It’s science! Oxytocin, often referred to as “the cuddle hormone” has an uncanny knack for lowering cortisol levels and blood pressure. In other words, it can quickly stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and combat the negative side effects of stress. If you truly want to be proactive about stress think of these 3 words, the people you care for, and spread the cuddle hormone, it’s a win/win.
It is extremely challenging to have a positive balance of adaptive energy at the end of a long workday.
Your nighttime routine should be the cherry on the top of your daily masterpiece. Your intention should be to prepare for your day tomorrow so you can turn off your “thinking mind, restore adaptive energy, prepare for a great night’s sleep, and hopefully get some Oxytocin.
Suggested nighttime routine
– Create a to do list for tomorrow, organize your schedule, and give yourself a work cut off time
– Adapt a light evening stretching or movementroutine
– Read, write, draw, play music. Do something creative and that you love
– Reduce screen time, use nighttime settings, and preferably no screens an hour before bed
– Meditate – The research is out there. Want to prevent aging, perform your best, and be happier?
We are asking you just to breathe.
Pure Strength and Movement’s philosophy on fitness and their dedication to whole-body-wellness is the key to their client’s satisfaction.
Pure Strength and Movement
3311 West Gandy Blvd., Tamp, FL 33611