I'm just getting out of a stressful period, and even though i pretty much stayed on with paleo, i did increase my cheese, caffeine, and occasional chocolate intake. I noticed that i gained weight on my lower abdomen, which is where the hormone released during stress -cortisol- deposits fat.
so for people who have been through very stressful times in their lives, what are your favorite ways to reduce stress?
Whatever that entails for you. for some of us its Sports, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, Tennis, etc. for others its Video Games. for some its running thru the woods barefoot. for some its Grok Tag or Mountain Biking
Read a book. A Fiction Book. Let your mind wander to a place where YOUR issues arent a concern. An exciting story told by a good author will relax you and let you forget your stresses.
Build something. A Backyard Garden. Dig a Koi Pond. Make a Birdhouse. Paint. Decorate. Design. Start a Blog! (mines @ http://www.thorsays.blogspot.com)
Honestly, one of the best ways to relax. Take a short nap during the day. Then get plenty of sleep at night.
Spend some time with positive upbeat people. Social entertainment with optimistic individuals is energizing.
Yoga, Sprinting, A long walk. Get your body moving, work up a sweat and get some wonderful Endorphins pumping. Endorphins are our bodies reward for keeping it healthy!
I just got an hour long massage, followed by incredible sleep, so worth it
Practice some active meditation. Either sit or go for a mindful walk. Clear your mind of everything but the task at hand - which is clearing your mind. Easiest way for me to do this is to focus on my breathing. If you are on a walk just notice all of the things you are too busy to when your mind is wandering (trees, grass, etc.).
Above all else abdominal breathing works wonders for me. Google it.
A real barefoot walk, if possible in a natural environment. Real barefooting helps you to only focus on 'the now': where do I put my feet without hurting them.
If possible try to look out for some game or birds. This even more helps you to focus on 'the now'.
This works for me.
PS sex in not bad too...
(edit: and all the ones Thor Says mentiones)
One of my favorite ways to reduce stress is through neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). NLP was developed by Richard Bandler ( http://www.richardbandler.com/ ) and John Grinder ( http://www.johngrinder.com/ ) in the 1970s. NLP techniques are based on the premise that you can change your feelings (such as fears, phobias, anger and other stresses) and behaviors (including dieting and exercise) by changing the way you think. NLP techniques have helped me get through several stressful periods in my life. There are many NLP resources on the web, many of which are free. There's even NLP "for dummies"-- http://www.amazon.com/Neuro-Linguistic-Programming-Dummies-Romilla-Ready/dp/0764570285#noop .
i would have to say that Bikram Yoga does it for me, totally. Some call it "hot yoga." Whatever. The point is, you get into a seriously hot room and do a bunch of yoga. Amazingly detoxifying, quieting for the mind i find, and just a great thing to do. Also, i think youll find a much greater awareness of how to use/control the breath after practicing bikram yoga a couple times. Thats bout it for me anyhow.
Option 2) hit your local and get drunk?
I find half an hour playing with my kids, both of whom are toddlers, to be very stress relieving. Young children live completely for the moment, and society hasn't regimented them yet. In that sense they are sort of paleo! If you don't have children of your own, you probably have family or friends who do.
Spend time in the company of a dog, anyone's dog. There is something definitely primal about the relationship -- they probably shaped us, way back in the day, and we have obviously shaped them -- it's a long and ancient association. And if you need science to back it up, read any of the studies done on how having a pet lowers blood pressure and all that other good stuff.
I've found a great stress reducer is music. While listening to music helps a little, banging on my drum set gives me a great feeling and a decent workout all at once. Having a friend or two to jam out with helps even more.
In addition, nothing seems to turn on my GF more than when I rock out, which leads to my other favorite stress reducer, sex.
Cortisol and low-carbs 7 Answers