Let’s face it, we are all too stressed out most of the time. In fact, as I write this, I am a little stressed out by how slow my computer is and how the mouse cursor jumps around on the page while I am typing; and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to fix it! Stress is such a common theme in our lives that we often do not even realized when we are experiencing it. There is this constant pressure in our society to achieve, and continually do more, that it is no wonder we become so stressed out all the time.
Stress does us no favors. It is harmful to both our physical and mental health, relationships, and really inhibits our ability to get our horses to perform well.
I don’t know about you, but my horse hates it when I am stressed out. He cannot associate the nervous energy he feels from me with me having a hard day at work. He thinks that perhaps he is doing something wrong, or that maybe there is a monster in the ring with us. He becomes very confused, mistrustful, and stressed out himself.
I have learned that managing my stress levels is not only important for my own health and sanity, but for Chance as well! Here are some of the things I have found really help me to manage my stress.
- Exercise – Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress and combat anxious energy! And I mean exercise besides riding ;). Have you ever been in a really bad mood, then went for a run and felt so much better? Maybe you even forgot what you were so mad about? Working out brings us into the present moment, enabling us to forget about everything we are worrying about! We also get that lovely rush of endorphins that really lifts our spirits.
- Healthy Eating – Unhealthy food can affect our moods. Greasy, sugary, processed foods weigh us down and make us more suceptible to stress. Eating poorly throws our bodies out of balance, and when our bodies are imbalanced our minds often follow. A healthy, primarily whole food diet can work wonders on our stress levels!
- Meditation – I think this one goes without saying! Obviously learning to calm the mind helps us to feel less stress, and equips us to better handle stress when it arrives.
- Yoga – Yoga calms the mind, much like meditation, with movement added. Moving with my breath, and learning how to control my body through balancing postures, has probably been the thing that has helped me the most when it comes to dealing with stress! Stretching and releasing tension in the body is great for the mind as well.
- The Great Outdoors – Spending time outside is incredibly calming. Humans were not meant to be indoors all day every day! Getting out in the sunshine, and breathing in fresh air, can instantly calm us!
- Rest – This is probably the toughest to do, since we live in such a fast-paced society. But getting adequate rest is so important. When we are exhausted everything seems worse. The littlest things can stress us out! Getting plenty of sleep at night, and getting enough down-time, is crucial to controlling stress.
Wishing you all a stress-free rest of your week 🙂