Lisa Hannam
Lisa Hannam
@lisahannam

Three Ways I’m Going To Stop Stressing

This election has me all kinds of tense. I’m not hugely political, but the whole Trump/Clinton thing is doing my head in. It’s not because I’m swayed one way or the other (although I am), it’s because I have a hard time listening calmly to racism, sexism and other isms being defended. And it’s not just on my social feeds, but also on the news! Here is my strategy to not get riled up today.

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B-complex vitamins
These have been shown to help with depression and anxiety. How? B vitamins work with the happy hormone, serotonin. One Australian study found that this group of vitamins can help with occupational stress—something we’re all dealing with, right? A group of 200 healthy but stressed full-time employees were randomized and given B vitamins or a placebo for 12 weeks and asked to fill out five questionnaires. Not only did the B vitamin group report less stress and anxiety, but they also felt less tired and had better concentration. You can also get B vitamins by eating bananas, meats and beans.

Get moving
Exercise is a no-brainer stress buster. But I’m going to skip my typical rep-busting circuit, especially after this McMaster study suggested I take a more zen route. The researchers found that working out when you’re angry could raise your risk for heart attacks. I’m signing up for Pilates, barre or yoga. Stat.

Breathing
While I have learned many things from working out with Eva Redpath, Canada’s only Nike Master Trainer, one of her tips will be in good use today. As she ran me through the foam roller routine, she’d also lead me through a breathing technique. This is what you call a game changer. It calms my body and my heart. I’ve found whenever I have a difficult situation, I’m now doing this: Inhale for four counts, hold for two counts and exhale for six counts. I do this as many times as I need to. I also put my hand on my heart as I do it.

Bonus! I can’t believe I almost forgot this one. While I do appreciate a good debate, I’ve learned that I have to figure out if it’s worth engaging with. It’s like Bill Murray once said: “It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.” With that as my MO today, I’ll read, like, love and comment on posts that are interesting and that I can learn from. But I’m going to hide those posts that make me want to scream. Out of sight, out of mind.

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