High stress is the leading cause of several conditions, preventable diseases, and many adverse effects on our bodies and minds. The truth is that getting rid of it or having it in check is quite simple, yet, it is not easy.
It gets trickier when we think that even positive events in our life can cause stress and elevate it to dangerous levels. So, it is not only about getting things right in our lives to avoid stress anymore; it is about building a lifestyle that contemplates stress release.
So, what is the best way to incorporate stress-release activities into our daily routines? Let’s find out!
In today’s episode, Ted reveals five simple yet powerful and effective ways to release stress, keep it in check and prevent it from ruining our progress in business, fat loss, and personal development.
He explains the most common reasons why most of us develop high-stress levels and how we can prepare ourselves to deal with them, so they don’t affect our performance at the gym, at work, or in our personal life.
You will learn about the benefits of breathing routines, low-intensity cardio, sleep tracking, scheduling weekly relaxing and fun things, and much more. Listen now!
- About the obvious and not-so-obvious things that trigger stress
- What are the adverse effects of stress on our bodies
- Why stress release is simple yet not easy to do
- The multiple benefits of practising deep breathing
- What type of training helps with stress release?
- What is the connection between sleep and stress?
- Effective ways to relax and release stress
- And much more…
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Podcast Transcription: 5 Simple (But Effective) Habits I Teach My Entrepreneur Clients To Lower Their Stress with Ted Ryce
Ted Ryce: As I’ve said many times before, I’ve been in this business for 23 years now. And if there’s one lesson that stands out more than all the others, it’s this: stress is the great sabotager of our health in general and fat loss, specifically—hope that sentence was clear. But it sabotages people. It’s the number one issue that I see with my clients who struggle in a plateau.
So, everyone loses weight with me, there’s never an issue, but whether they lose 10, or 40… And let’s say someone has a lot of weight to lose, let’s say they’re obese, and the difference between someone who loses 10 pounds in say, four months, or 30 pounds in four months, it’s stress.
So today, what I wanted to share with you is the five simple but effective habits. I teach my clients to lower their stress. What is up, my friend? Welcome back to the show. I hope you’re excited about today’s topic. I’m your host, Ted Ryce, coach to entrepreneurs, executives, and other high-performing professionals.
And like I said, this is the number one thing. It’s not only the number one lesson that I’ve learned for helping my clients, it’s the number one thing that I’ve learned for myself, I have to handle my stress. Life is stressful, period. And if you’re growing a business, it’s also stressful. It’s very rewarding, but it’s also stressful.
And I want to share with you before—I’m going to get into these habits, but what I love about this podcast is I can give you more nuance than I can in some of the social media posts that I do. The one thing that I’ve learned about stress is—and this was a game changer for me—when you think about stress, what do you think about?
I don’t know about you, but I think: oh, divorce, bankruptcy, can’t pay your bills, cancer, heart attack, arguing with your wife or husband, arguing with your partner, your kids getting in trouble. Those are obvious sources of stress. But what I’ve learned is that stress can also be from positive things.
For example, I remember a client who grew his business from 300,000 to 65 million in 10 years. I believe those numbers, I’d say they’re 65 or 70 million Damon, if you’re listening, forgive me if I’ve got the numbers a little bit wrong. But I remember him telling me: “Everything is going great with the business. Everything’s going great in my life, but I still feel stressed.”
Damon’s dad has a wonderful wife, wonderful family, wonderful children, has a great life, and his business is growing like crazy. And it was stressful. And he was almost—and I’ve told this story before, but I repeat it because it’s one of those stories that changes the game, or at least changed the game for me. It’s like, man, people can be super stressed, even though their life is going well.
One thing that happens is that stress can make you view your life in a negative light, even though your life is objectively awesome. And if you don’t manage your stress, it can lead to poor sleep, which will lead to even more stress, uncontrollable appetite, which will lead to more body fat, which will lead to more stress.
Because we know that having a lot of body fat on your body increases stress hormones. We know that increases your cravings for junk food, your urge to drink alcohol, the negative thoughts you have implicated in heart disease, and it will probably send you to an early grave. That’s the bad news, folks.
The good news is that lowering stress is simple. And again, I want to add some context here, because you might say no, it’s not simple. And yes, it is simple. It’s just not easy. Why isn’t it easy? It comes back to habits. Where did you get your stress reduction habits from? I don’t know about you, but I got them from my parents.
Now luckily, my dad did exercise when I was super young and I picked up on it. But he also started drinking heavily, along with my stepmom. And I also use that too. I also adopted that as a habit. And so it’s easy to see, like we learned from our parents and we learned from society. So, what do our parents do?
Now we love our parents and they’ve done our best their best, but most of them use—most people, period, use alcohol and food to deal with their stress. Men tend to drink more; women tend to eat more. So, what does society do? Well, it’s constantly kind of—you know, when I say society, I’m talking about the news, social media, what people talk about, which is usually what they saw on social media or the news, right?
So, what do people do? They are you online, they scroll mindlessly on Instagram or Facebook. And again, I’m not condescending here’ I’m guilty of a lot of this as well. And the point I’m trying to make here is that we don’t have people teaching us how to, hey, this is how you deal with your stress effectively because it’s super simple.
So with that said let’s dive into it. And their habit number one is this deep breathing for 3 to 20 minutes, and I say 3 to 20 minutes is because I want to number one, I’m sharing this because it’s something you can do right now with me, that you can get results from it from just three minutes.
It’s not going to change your world doing it for three minutes. But if you can just do it for three minutes, you can start to do it for four minutes or for five minutes, work your way up to maybe 20 minutes. And I say deep breathing as opposed to meditation. Meditation is a whole nother thing. It’s something that I do almost daily, but it’s a whole nother—gosh, it’s hard to get into the meditation thing.
So, the fastest way to lower your stress is through breathing techniques. And while there are hundreds of them out there, one simple technique is this. It’s called the Five Second Breath. Here’s how to do it, set a timer for at least three minutes and start it breathe in for five seconds, so [inhale] and then exhale for five seconds [exhale]
You can breathe out through your mouth or your nose. I actually breathe in and out through my nose, I’m just breathing out through my mouth for a little bit of a dramatic effect here. And you just repeat those steps, breathing in for five seconds and breathing out for five seconds until your timer goes off. And I want you to do this with me right now.
I want you just to take a few breaths, just [inhale] five seconds in. And then 2-3-4-5 [exhale] five seconds out. I don’t know about you. But just even a couple of breaths, I start to feel more relaxed. Maybe you can even hear it in my voice. I want you to try it. That’s how simple and fast it is. What’s hard about this is getting ourselves to do it.
And the reason this works so well, by the way, is it starts to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. Because when we’re stressed, we start to breathe more shallow. And when we start to [inhale] I’m going to do it again because it feels so good, right? And then the breathing out. [exhale] Gosh, I mean, I’ve already feel relaxed. I already feel more relaxed doing it. What about you?
So you can do this right now, you can do it for three minutes, even taking a few breaths. Gosh, it’s so simple. It’s just, you’ve got to train yourself to do this. And it’s something that I do with my clients. I train them to do this, because it is a game changer.
I also teach some how to meditate, or I’ll take them through meditations, if I really feel that’s the appropriate thing to do, and they’re wanting to try it. But you don’t need meditation, all you’ve got to do is focus on your breath. One thing I want to tell you though, don’t hold your breath. Some people will tell you, oh, do box breathing.
So I do box breathing, breathe in for five seconds, hold it for five seconds, breathe out for five seconds, hold my breath for five seconds and repeat that. Don’t hold your breath. We know that holding your breath increases stress, doesn’t reduce it. So you don’t want to hold your breath. And that makes sense, right? I mean, could we explain the physiology there? For sure. But don’t hold your breath. Breathe in for five seconds, breathe out for five seconds.
Habit number two, aerobic exercise for 20 to 60 minutes. And I want to say this: lifting weights is the best form of exercise to lose fat period. It’s the king, or queen, whatever you’re into. It is the undisputed champion of fat loss when it comes to exercise.
But aerobic exercise is better for reducing stress. And when I say aerobic, I mean low intensity aerobic exercise. I mean when you’re on the bike or walking or on the treadmill, taking a walk outside, whatever it is, and your heart rates, maybe in the 100 to 120 beats per minute range. And you feel like, yeah, I’m doing something, but I’m not exercising. But that is an exercise!
And what it does is it improves your sleep quality, it decreases blood pressure, it lowers your stress hormone, and it releases feel good chemicals in your brain. Aerobic exercise is powerful. And here’s something I want to tell you. Strength training or doing high intensity interval training, or even if you’re doing like kind of moderate cardio, but it’s hard and you’re little out of breath.
That actually raises stress hormones. I’m not saying it’s bad. But let me ask you this. Have you ever felt stressed and felt like, “Oh man, I can’t go lift weights right now.” Or maybe you go do a workout and you feel trashed afterward. Has that ever happened to you? I don’t know about you but it’s happened to me a lot when I was younger, especially.
And I was just like, “Oh, exercise is good for you, so let me go crush myself with a high intensity interval routine or doing jiu-jitsu or lifting some heavy weights,” and I would feel worse afterward. I mean, I would feel better in a way but I would feel more drained.
And now what I do is this: if I feel stressed—and I am going to talk about this and habit number three, but I use an Oura Ring. I track my resting heart rate and when I see it starting to go up, I know that I’m getting in worse aerobic next shape, and I need to do something to bring the resting heart rate back down.
So, when I see that happen, I start to focus on aerobic exercise. And what do I do? Really simple. I just choose a method, like walking, biking, elliptical. Today, I walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes. And then I did the bike for 30 minutes. So, I did 50 minutes of cardio.
And really simple, you don’t even have to pay attention to your heart rate, although you can and keep it in that 60 to 70% of your heart rate max. But you can just go at a speed where you can maintain a conversation with someone. And if you can’t, then you’re going too fast.
So, what I want you to do next time that you’re feeling like, “Oh, gosh, I’m stressed, I just can’t go to the gym and lift weights,” your body’s trying to tell you something so listen to it, go to the gym instead and do cardio and low intensity cardio, you will come out of it feeling better. And then the next day, you can go hit the weights.
Now I want to say this, if you find yourself constantly having to do that, you’ve got to check your life. Why do I feel the need to do so much aerobic exercise to handle my stress that I can’t even fit in weightlifting? I even went through this with a client recently, she was going through…She’s a partner in auditing firm, a public accounting firm.
And after she came out of tax season, we focused on aerobic exercise. And we’ve been doing it for a month—maybe even a month and a half. And now she’s starting to incorporate strength training again. But it took six to eight weeks of aerobic exercise for her to calm her nervous system down. And I mean, it was intense.
Also, her husband had a heart attack and they moved from one place to another. I mean, it’s insane what she went through. And I wasn’t like hey, well, you’ve got go do some squats until you hit muscular failure. I didn’t tell her that. I’m like, ‘We got to keep your exercising but we have to do things that are going to help lower stress, not increased stress.”
And you know what she’s feeling like a million bucks now. And her husband’s in better shape too, he’s doing well, even post heart attack. So aerobic exercise, it’s a game changer. Habit number three, track sleep with an Oura Ring. If someone comes to me, and they say anything about having issues with sleep, boom, get an Oura Ring.
Sleep and stress are connected, and stress raises stress hormone levels, and sleep reduces them. So improving your sleep is a powerful way to lower stress and build resilience. But it can be hard to pinpoint how to improve your sleep unless you’re tracking it.
And before I got the Oura in 2019, I’d read blog posts and talk to experts. And they would tell you all the same things you’ve heard again and again and again: avoid blue light at night, dim your screens at night, get natural light in the morning and go to bed and wake up at the same time, etc. etc. But the Oura Ring takes it to the next level.
And by the way, I don’t have any affiliation with them. No promo code for you. I just use the product and I love it. And why do I love it because it’s allowed me to make actionable…I’ve changed my sleep situation just based on using the Oura.
Now, habit number four is schedule weekly relaxation. And this is something I teach all my clients to do, and we hold them to it because it’s amazing what happens when they start to do this.
Here are a few examples of what my clients do weekly for stress: they get a massage, they do float take sessions, they get acupuncture, meditation classes, yoga, breathwork classes, spending time in nature, going to the beach, for example. walking in a park, for example, learning a musical instrument, going to therapy, planning a vacation
You’ve got to schedule these things weekly. Now, except for the vacation, if you can schedule weekly vacation, kudos to you. Teach me how you created that lifestyle, please let us all know. But the other things you can do weekly. It’s hard for my busy clients to commit to a relaxing activity because the feeling that it will take time away from their work.
And here’s the truth: it does take time away from your work or maybe even your family. But what every client finds is that if it’s their work, they’re concerned about, their productivity increases after coming back refreshed. And if it’s their family they’re worried about, when they show up to their family feeling relaxed, they’re more present and your family’s getting more quality time with you.
So schedule something weekly for relaxation. And the other thing is scheduled something weekly that’s exciting. And while scheduling something exciting seems the opposite of relaxation, the after effects can cause a big drop in stress. And this happens due to the flow state that occurs when we’re doing something that brings our attention into the moment.
And flow states, it’s just a term to describe the experience of like, right now I’m in a little bit of a flow state. I’m here with you, I’m engaged, I’m not thinking about other things. I’m thinking about my delivery. I’m thinking about, are people listening to this? Are they relating them?
I’m engaged in this. I’m not thinking about the things that I normally think about. I’m not checking my phone while I’m doing this. That’s a really good way to know that you’re in a flow state. It’s like, are you checking your phone? Are you being distracted easily? Flow states, when you’re in a flow state, you’re not distracted.
I don’t even feel the need to check my phone because I’m so into what I’m doing right now. So that’s an example. And time flies by without us knowing it. Because we’re so engaged with what we’re doing, which is kind of happening to me now. I’ve got a wrap up. I’ve got a call in just a few minutes. And time has been slipping away from me, which is amazing. I love it.
And here are a few activities that my clients do to experience excitement: golf, tennis, pickleball, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, scuba diving, rock climbing, trail hiking, paddleboarding, kite surfing, and those are just a few ideas, feel free to come up with your own. But bonus points if it involves something that’s a bit challenging for you, a bit scary for you.
And double bonus points, if it involves being in a group of people who are all experiencing that flow state together. So you’re experiencing group flow. So, look, managing stress isn’t simple—or that’s actually the exact opposite of what I’ve been saying here, it is simple.
It’s just not easy to get ourselves to do the things that lower our stress. Why? Because we were never taught healthy ways to manage the pressure we feel. And as a result, we go to what’s easy: alcohol, food, porn, shopping. What else? Scrolling on social media.
So, I teach my clients to implement these strategies, not just to feel better. But what you’ll notice is that you perform better. It’s easier to get into the zone when you’re doing this stuff. So that is it for today. I’ve got to hit my course— my writing course, actually. But I hope you learned a lot and you’re inspired to do something.
I would even ask you, which one of these are you going to take action on after listening to this? What’s something you can do right away? Is it to set your timer and to do a few deep breaths? Is it to go do some aerobic exercise, to experiment with that, because you have a tendency to go do weight training? Is it to go order an Oura Ring to start to dial in your sleep?
Is it to schedule something right now, schedule a massage right now? “Oh, I don’t want to spend the money on massage, it’s so much money.” Listen, get the massage once and then check the ROI on it. Don’t think; do and experience. And if you notice a big change, which most of my clients do, and me personally, I get a massage every week, if not, two. Keep doing it. And if it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it again and try something else.
And then Habit number five, schedule weekly excitement. These are the things that when you implement these, not only will you feel less stress, but it’s going to be easier to lose fat, it’s going to be easier to make money it’s going to be easier to have amazing relationships, because you’re there, you’re present, you’re not distracted by whatever was going on, whatever issue might be going on at work or maybe personally, whatever it is. So again, which one of these can you take action on right away? That’s what I want you to go do. Hope you enjoy this, and speak to you soon.
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