3 Ways To Beat Stress

Jul 30, 2020 | Written by Leki | 0 comments

Stress is at an all time high.

Being one of the most debilitating and widespread conditions that people across all ages, shapes and sizes suffer and yet most people act that it’s completely normal and a part of everyday life.

But what does stress that mean to you? And how does it affect you?

Dave O’Brien from 5th Element Wellness at the Fitness Expo 2019

Here are some key things that stress can do to your body:

  • Weakens your immune system
  • Makes your overweight
  • Shortens your lifespan

I have spent a large amount of time troubleshooting my automatic response to stress.

In the last 5 years I have trialed different forms of meditation using apps, mindfulness practices and breathing techniques, focused on breathing patterns that usher in a state of calm, yoga, journaling, cold blasts and cryotherapy.

So as a busy Father with 3 x young kids, helping run a growing health company and being involved with lots of projects why is stress management important to me?

Because stress held me back for so long.

For the first half of my life I was shy, non confrontational and passive because I let stress take hold of me for too long.

I carried so much around in my subconscious that when I was trying to improve mind and body conquering stress was near the very top of my wishlist.

At some level the brain is like a computer software.

Negative thoughts, angry feelings and irrational thoughts can seep into your subconscious and corrupt our consciousness… the way you think and respond to things.

Next thing you know without actually realising it, you’ve unwittingly programmed your body to be hardwired with tension.

Stress holds you back in all aspects of your life.

It hurts your relationships, costs precious time, weakens your immune system1, affects your ability to make good decisions and your performance at work.

Stress is the silent killer!

Once upon a time I didn’t have a clue how to manage stress. Most people don’t even know that it’s possible.

People go through life thinking they’ll ‘push through’ until the work day finishes or want until a holiday or retirement before it’s even possible.

Even worse still they convince themselves that they aren’t stressed and have no reason to bear it any mind. Then they go through daily mini-breakdowns mistreating themselves and people around them.

So here’s the secret.

Stress is not a rational thing – it’s an irrational feeling designed to protect you from your environment.

It will only get worse unless you learn to manage it.

The good news is that you can learn to use stress as a tool to make you stronger rather than sap your energy.

Below is a simple table detailing what you may be feeling when stressed

Depending on how you identify your stress signals from the table above I would suggest these Top 3 tips below in how you can manage it today!

1. Re-sync your heart and brain with Heart Math

In terms of retraining your heart and brain to work together nothing comes close to Heart Math.

I underwent this training with Dave O’Brien from 5th Element Wellness and it is a practice I continue to use to this day!

A normal healthy person will have a high heart rate variability (HRV) which means the time in between each heart beat is different with each beat.

Low heart rate variability is a sign of stress

When your nervous system is under stress your body will release stress hormones and over time your heart develops an inflexible unchanging beat.

This state of inflexible heart beat is linked to a host of diseases and even death over time as the heart is under constant stress.

2. Meditation or Mindfulness
The primary goal of meditation is to become more mindful and channeling your attention and response (not being reactive) to your thoughts.

Instead of blindly reacting to outside forces, optimize your thought process (linking your brain and heart using Heart Math) and react as you see fit.

Meditation can mean different things to people which include counting, reciting mantras, breathing, practicing mindfulness through keeping a journal and positive self talk.

I emphasize breathing, keeping a daily journal and positive self talk and my personal mindfulness practices.

I also subscribe to a lot of Ancient Greek philosophy like Seneca the Younger and Marcus Aurelius. Check out @dailystoic for some inspiration!

3. Breathing & Yoga

We all need to learn how to breathe.

The right way to breathe is with your diaphragm also known as ‘belly breathing’.

This kind of breathing helps you relax and control your heart rate.

If you can incorporate this with an exercise practice it can enhance your results quickly!

Personally I like meditative effects of breathwork plus yoga.

Pranayama is the art of Yoga breathing.

Here are a couple of breathing techniques I recommend:

4-4-6-2 breath

Breath in to the diaphragm through the back of your throat for 4 seconds

Hold for 4 seconds

Breathe out slowly through the back of the throat for 6 seconds

Hold empty breath for 2 seconds or more

4-7-8 breath

Breath in slowly through your nose for 4 seconds

Hold for 7 seconds

Breathe out slowly for 8 seconds

There you have it.

Stress is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated aspects of your health in this modern world.

Diet, sleep and exercise are all important but mental and physiological stress will undermine your best attempts to be healthy unless you manage it.

By rewiring your brain and nervous system to handle stress better and more efficiently you will become more effective and the stress you experience will be the kind that makes you stronger!

Stay happy & healthy out there!





(1) Khansari DN, Murgo AJ and Faith RE. (1990). Effects of Stress on the Immune System. Immunology Today, 11(5), 170-5. doi: 10.1016/0167-5699(90)90069-1

(2)Daubenmier J, Lin J, Blackburn E, Hecht FM, Kristellar J, Maninger N, Kuwata M, Bacchetti P, Havel PJ and Epel E.. (2012). Changes in stress, eating and metabolic factors are related to changes in telomerase activity in a randomized mindfulness intervention pilot study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37(7), 917-28. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.10.008