Hey ya! I'm Jo!

I help people experience authentic
happiness in their relationships

Stress Management Tips!

Six stress management tips - Not a quick fix

1. Raise your stress threshold

Your stress threshold is your limit of what you can handle from life.

A low stress threshold can be the reason you don't know how to be happy - no matter how hard you try. No wonder you're skeptical when people like me tell you you can find authentic happiness. You don't even know what happiness is. 

 A low stress threshold means it doesn't take much to feel like you can't cope. In other words, your resilience is low.  

Your break point is known as a stress edge! It can feel like you're on a tight rope. Your happiness chemicals are low. Your stress hormones are too high.  The stress edge is where you act out.

 Bill Harris, in Thresholds of the Mind, calls this

'The unholy trinity of resistance.'

  • You withdraw,
  • You explode,
  • You escape to your addictions.

It's default behaviours.

You don't think twice.

The HOW you act out varies from person to person. You learned in childhood what works to protect yourself. Now, as you 'adult' your life, you may find your reactions make the situation worse. 

You can increase your stress threshold so that it'll take longer for you to reach your edge. 

In other words, you can increase your capacity to handle more

Big dreams, big projects! The greater the responsibility, the greater the challenge. You can raise your own bar. 

Watch how this Karate teacher deals with a student who hit his stress edge.

When I watched this, it resonated so much for me. Even as a child, my capacity to handle stress was low. It worsened in adulthood. I had post-traumatic stress syndrome. I did not cope well with life's turns. That left my dreams shattered. It added pain on top of my pain.

I studied what happiness is. I trained myself in the very authentic happiness habits. Because I wanted to do so much more with my life. 

Activities such as meditation, karate, yoga, mental training, self inquiry, detaching from our story, learning to see things differently can all contribute to the increase on our tolerance of stress. Did you know, the right diet plays a HUGE role? (see Step 4)

You can teach yourself how to respond when stress edge does hit. 

2. Train your response

For warriors in particular, if you calm your own mind and discern the inner minds of others, that may be called the foremost art of war – Shiba Yoshimasa

You must train yourself to RESPOND not react. THIS IS POWER. Your capacity to CHOOSE!

Response-Able gives you an unbelievable tenacity to craft your destiny. Without this power, you'll blame the outside world for your problems. You'll think your actions are because of what others do.

Reactions create more pain, drama and crisis. You'll explain why, you'll justify. Responses draw on wisdom. They seek solutions. 

I learned in karate that my reactions are conditioned.  Do I duck, stand still or fight back?

It is said the way you show up on the dojo floor is how you are in the rest of your life. Well, I quickly hit my stress edge in kumite (fighting). Like the young man in the video above, I'd burst into tears in practise. 

In karate, we train in basics over and over. An entire class dedicated to the repetition of sequences - long before we spar. It teaches the brain how to react.

Sparring, is the opportunity for exposure to outside elements we can not control. Sparring shows us our progress. A place to test. A place to stretch. It can be fun.  

The repetition is where the mind is conditioned. The spar class tells us where we need more practise.

Until automation takes over. This is how we master ourselves.

It's the same for you. It requires you show up for coaching class (or whatever you've chosen to do). Show up for practise. See outside events as the opportunity to see how far you've come. Make it an adventure. 

Go back to class. Repeat. Repeat.

It is the make or break of your transformation and healing. Without this step, none of the other steps are possible. For it is here that choice and discipline are born. 

Practise these stress management tips so you balance your stress hormones and allow your happiness hormones to breathe.

Watch Karate teacher Sharath Jason Williams, help his student navigate and overcome his emotions so he can make the right decisions in life. 

3. Clear out what you don't need. Focus only on what matters most.

  1. Cut out other people's business.
  2. Cut any tasks that are not important to what you want most.
  3. Focus only on what matters.
  4. Stick with it. Say NO!
  5. Say 'give me 24-hours to think on it'. Say NO!
  6. Quit the hours on social media. Don't watch the news.
  7. Quit bad TV and bad foods. Give up the booze and weed. 
  8. Quit the pain killers and anything else that makes your insides bleed.
  9. Switch off your phone and computer - two hours before you sleep.
  10. Spend less time in a fight. Spend time writing love notes and think loving thoughts. 
  11. Don't dwell on negative events. Put your pain to rest. Take up a course, see a therapist. 
  12. Unload some stuff at work. Delegate delegate delegate.
  13. It's time for simplicity. At least for a while. 
  14. Did I mention you must practise these stress management tips? REPEAT!

4. Eat right.

You are what you eat.

Did you know :

  • An unhealthy gut and colon is a distressed, conflicted mind. Eat a high-fibre alkaline diet for a calm and peaceful mind. 
  • A high protein diet (that comes with eating a low-carb diet) blocks serotonin (your relaxation and confidence happy chemical) from being produced? You need healthy whole carbs (EG. banana & sweet potato) to feel good. 
  • Processed foods, meat, diary products cause stress chemicals to elevate. You'll feel more fear and anger. You'll worry more. Your mind will be foggy and your body heavy.
  • Dehydration can make you irritable at best, and neurotic and violent at worst? Never mind depressed.
  • The lack of direct sunlight will stop you from a good night's sleep.
  • Coffee, like over exercise and work, can cause anxiety, from too much dopamine (and adrenal fatigue)?
  • Booze and over counter drugs... same same. Throws your system into pain. 

5. Relieve your stress

Anxious without cause? Depressed for no apparent reason?  

Louise Hayes says that depression is unexpressed rage. 

Negative energy unexpressed, accumulates in the body. It builds a momentum. 

Left unattended the body turns on itself. Or you'll explode when it's least expected. What do you think venting is?

Yoga, meditation, karate, exercise and breathing techniques all help to release unspent energy. As is releasing a good poop. Rather PUNCH a pillow, scream at a tree. 

Start a journal of your thoughts. Write letters to yourself. Write a poem, sing a song.

Let it out, let it out

 One of my students during the FreshStart Bootcamp, let all her rage out at the park. Her depression lifted.

Find safe ways and spaces to release. It helps you RESPOND not react. It reduces anxiety and anger. It helps keep you calm. It sets your body free. 

6. Shift your lens

The way you see events in your life, shape how you feel. Change the story of what happened. It brings great relief. 

The story we see is simply a part. There's another angle. Always. 

Look at the elephant. Blind folded, it depends where you touch, you'll think it's a tree, a trunk or wings.

To know how to shift your story is an art. Did I mention how much you must practise?

Take up a coaching course. See someone who can challenge you. Deepen the way you see the world. Look for the angles. It gives you greater control.

It changes the way you feel. 

"The sea's only gifts are harsh blows,and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong.

"Now, I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is here.

"And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong,

"to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once

in the most ancient of human conditions, facing the blind, deaf stone alone

"with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head. "

There's a big wave coming!

- Chris Mccandless, Into The Wild

To sum up, you can teach yourself happiness. And to handle more stress.

Don't give up. Practise, practise, practise.

There is no short cut. The body and mind take time to balance. It can be done if you implement these stress management tips. You don't have to do them ALL at once. Start small. Build it up. 

It may not come all at once. Your efforts WILL reap rewards.


PS. If you believe you're falling apart, the best way to manage your stress is to let go of the self hate

 2017 Copyright. Jo Hazelhurst-Ntsebeza

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How Can I Help You ?

Any happiness or stress management tips, advice or recommendations on my website, is not to be taken as medical advice. If you're struggling with anxiety, feeling low or an illness, visit a doctor or professional medical practitioner, especially before making changes to your current treatment. I urge you research anything and everything on your own before you make any changes. I'm a life coach and teacher. I'm not a doctor, therapist, nutritionist or personal trainer. I share freely share my experiences, my story, my opinions and research findings. It is my legal obligation to tell you I am not God but simply another human being like you, walking a path of trial and error. Kalavati Cafe, and anyone associated to this website or courses, can not be held responsible or liable for any choices you take. 

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