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Stress Busting

By on May 1, 2018

Measure It, Improve It

By: Siphiwe Baleka, Founder, Fitness Trucking

In the March-April issue, the StayFit® article focus was the use of the Cronometer app to monitor your nutrition and ensure that you’re benefitting from the full range of nutrients you need to function at peak efficiency. This time, I would like to introduce you to another tool that decreases or even eliminates stress, while helping you retain a calm demeanor, even during times when stress can become overwhelming, even debilitating.

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior in three important areas as follows. Specifically, following are symptoms in three categories that you need to be aware of, and more importantly, do something to diminish or eliminate stress.

Long-term, stress can weaken your immune system’s defenses, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Stress can also cause your liver to release extra sugar into your bloodstream, which puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many potentially serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity, in addition to diabetes. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them, but how can you do that?

Just Wear It

First, you’ll need to order a Spire Stone stress management and activity tracker that clips onto your pants. Just wearing it is almost all that you need to do. The $129 investment can help prevent stress from taking over your life and possibly costing thousands of dollars in lost time and medical expense.

The Spire Stone tracker automatically notifies you if your breathing pattern identifies tension and prompts you to take control of your breathing and relieve the stress. Other features can coach you to breathe deeper, meditate, and sleep better. But weekly reports have proven to be the primary benefit for me. They quantify how calm you were, how focused you were, and how stressed you were during the week.

tense-streakOnce you become aware of these things, you can start to take effective action. For example, when I first started using the Spire Stone in October 2017, I averaged 3.2 hours of calm, 5.7 hours of focus and 2.2 hours of tension each week. Just by being more aware and having a quantitative measurement of these factors, I had improved to 6.2 hours of calm, 9 hours of focus, and just 0.9 hours of tension by the first week of 2018. Comparing that to other men my age (47) who average 3.1 hours of calm, 4.4 hours of focus, and 1.4 hours of tension, I could see and feel that I was making progress. As the old saying goes, “If you can measure it, you can improve it.”

During a DOT physical or other medical checkup, you may have been encouraged by a medical professional to “reduce stress,” but quite often, no effective guidelines or instructions are provided to help patients actually achieve that goal. You can’t take the time to meditate when someone cuts you off while you’re driving. In moments of stress like these, awareness of the added stress that you experienced may not be felt until long afterwards. The Spire Stone is a simple way to intervene at the very moment you start to become stressed. Simply by becoming aware of this, you can breathe deeply and remind yourself to stay calm. As you can see from my own results in the accompanying charts, the Spire Stone stress management and activity tracker can be an easy and effective way to reduce stress.

Effects of stress on your body

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems

Effects of stress on your mood

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression

Effects of stress on behavior

  • Overeating or undereating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Tobacco use
  • Social withdrawal
  • Exercising less often

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