004: Sleep and Stress Management: Practical Tips to Manage Stress and Anxiety

004: Sleep and Stress Management: Practical Tips to Manage Stress and Anxiety

Are you struggling with stress and poor sleep quality? Discover effective tips and techniques to reduce stress and improve your sleep in this podcast episode 4.
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Podcast Description

Welcome to the Work Hard Sleep Well Podcast with Kris Nowak, where we explore the million dollar question - how can we optimize our sleep for maximum performance, productivity, and success in our busy lives as entrepreneurs and working professionals? Join me as I document my journey of discovery in real time and share practical tips and tricks from successful entrepreneurs, working professionals and sleep doctors to help you achieve the best sleep possible.

As we explore different sleeping schedules, proven tricks, and changing relationships with sleep over time, this podcast is tailored for entrepreneurs and working professionals who want to improve their sleep quality, increase productivity, and perform at their best. We understand that you have a lot on your plate, and our aim is to help you manage stress and achieve a better work-life balance.

Through interviews with successful entrepreneurs and sleep experts, we provide unique insights and perspectives on sleep and rest, with a focus on productivity and performance. You can look forward to hearing from a diverse range of guests and answering intriguing questions that you won't find elsewhere. Join us on this journey to discover the secrets to unlocking your true potential through restful sleep.

Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Work Hard Sleep Well Podcast with Kris Nowak, where we explore the million dollar question - how can we optimize our sleep for maximum performance, productivity, and success in our busy lives as entrepreneurs and working professionals? Join me as I document my journey of discovery in real time and share practical tips and tricks from successful entrepreneurs, working professionals and sleep doctors to help you achieve the best sleep possible.

Welcome to episode four, sleep and stress management, practical tips to manage stress and anxiety. I'm your host, Kris Nowak. And today I'm going to talk about, I'll give a definition of stress, why it's important to deal with stress, and I'll share practical tips on how to manage stress. And rather than getting into

discussion about all the different factors that could cause stress, which there are like like very many different factors that could actually cause stress for you. So I won't be getting into that. Instead, I will focus on why it's important to manage stress and I'll share practical tips on how to actually do that. Okay. Okay. So let's get right into this. So stress can be defined as the body's response to demands or pressures, both

physical and emotional, that it perceives as challenging or overwhelming. Okay. And the key here is that the body perceives these stressors, these pressures as overwhelming or challenging. Right. So the perception is reality here. Basically, you know, the way I really like to talk about this is that the same situation, the very same situation.

can be extremely stressful for somebody, meanwhile for another person, it's not stressful at all. And so what's the difference? How can the same situation be very stressful for somebody, meanwhile for the other person, it's not stressful? It's actually their perception. It's the way they internalize the situation. So being aware of that actually can give you an advantage and can give you an edge in managing stress.

Okay, so ultimately, you know, dealing with stress as entrepreneur is inevitable as entrepreneurs and working professionals. It's just something that we're gonna have to deal with. And basically, the higher your aspiration and the bigger the goals that you set for yourself, the more stress you're going to have to deal with.

And I don't think we should be trying to avoid stress at all. Because, you know, if we're pursuing greatness, if we're going, if we're going after something worthwhile, we're going to have to deal with all of the actions that come by just pursuing that thing. So I don't think trying to avoid stress is the solution here. I think the solution is to find different ways to manage it and to have an understanding.

of why it's happening and what we can do to actually manage it. And why it's important to manage stress. It's important to manage stress because what you suppress will manifest itself in terms of everything in life. It works this way. So, so as it is with stress, right? If you suppress it, it's going to manifest itself in negative ways. It will have a negative effect on your wellbeing, on your physical and mental health.

as well as your relationships with others. Right, and so one example of that sort of manifestation that I can come up with right away is when you actually have like a very stressful situation and you don't deal with it properly, and then you try to fall asleep at night and you have tons of racing thoughts, you know, you're all over the place, you can't wind down. That's one example of how stress can manifest itself, right? And the reason being why is

because you haven't taken steps to manage it properly. You haven't released that. So if you can do that, if you can manage stress, you wouldn't have to deal with that sort of situation where you have racing thoughts at night.

The relationship between stress and sleep is very interesting because if you unmanage your stress, if you just let it be without managing it, it can definitely cause your sleep quality to deteriorate. Right? And the problem is that inadequate sleep quality and inadequate sleep in general, it can cause increased stress levels, increased anxiety, which in turn creates negative loop.

and actually causes you to sleep poor. So you need to sleep well to manage your stress basically, right? And if you don't, it's going to create more stress. So sleep is important for managing stress and anxiety because it helps the body and mind to recover and restore. When we get enough sleep, our stress hormone levels are regulated, our emotions are more stable, our cognitive function is improved. You know, overall quality sleep...

also gives us a clearer perspective, resilience and improves our wellbeing. It makes it easier to handle stress effectively. So that's from the perspective of sleeping, right? So practical tips, what can you do to actually manage stress? So like I mentioned already, obviously sleeping well, prioritizing your sleep, adapting healthy sleeping habits that can help manage your stress and anxiety so much.

And I think a lot of people are actually really starting to understand the connection between mental health and managing stress and anxiety and sleeping well consistently. And people are actually starting to prioritize and starting to see this more and more, especially for entrepreneurs and working professionals that are focused on going after whatever achievement and goals that you set for yourself.

It's very important. Like this is this isn't something you know, like not so long ago. It was all about like the hustle mentality and you know, sacrificing your sleep and like, you know, not taking care of yourself. But now people are starting to realize that is actually not the solution. Because men like you can have all the money in the world you could have, you know, you can have millions of dollars and just raking in millions and making a killing.

But if you don't have your health, if you don't have your lifestyle, if you're not sleeping well consistently, you're not gonna feel good. You're actually gonna feel like crap. So how good is that? Right. So, you know, depending on where you are, you may need to sacrifice sleep initially, but overall, you want to get to the point where you prioritize your sleep and your health, because that will actually make you feel better. It will make you feel more happy and more healthy and will actually help you move the needle to where you need to be to enjoy.

even like being an entrepreneur, like a highly successful entrepreneur. But back to my point, so practical tips for managing stress, sleeping well, prioritizing sleep and adopting healthy sleep habits. They can help you sleep. They can help you manage stress and anxiety better. And then another thing, this is something interesting for the lack of a better word, managing the amount of fucks that you give because, you know,

They're actually limited every day. It's not like you wake up every day and you have unlimited amount of fucks to give. No, it's actually the contrary. When you wake up in the morning, your battery is at a certain level and you have certain amount of fucks to give for the day. So if you waste them on stuff that's like petty stuff, irrelevant and whatnot, you're actually wasting your fucks. So, you know, I, for the longest time, I actually didn't do this, but it would help me really.

understand things and look at it from a different perspective in the big picture of things. If we zoom out far enough from the planet earth and we look at what's happening, most of the stuff that's happening in our lives, if not all of it that's causing stress actually doesn't matter or matters very little. If you zoom out you know super far and you see this planet earth and it's

Most of this stuff doesn't matter. So why are we stressing about it? And why are we, you know, putting ourselves through all of this, over these situations, they probably don't even matter in the longterm. So managing your fox, that's how I look at it at this point. Another thing that really helps me manage my stress, when I have a stressful situation, especially in relations to other people, just addressing my side of things.

Addressing my concerns even if I don't get resolution right away, so I don't hold it in me and internalize it I think that actually helps me and it works for me better and it took me a while to get to this point Some people they do this naturally, you know when something happens They just let it out or people they have to work toward that point but when you have a situation happening and Just like not not like addressing it right away

I don't think that's good for you. I don't think that's a solution. And just being aware of this and trying to move towards the point where like, even if something's happening to you, just take an action, just try to resolve it and don't hold it in another thing that can help you manage your stress, cultivating meaningful relationships with others and sharing your concerns with them so you can get like another perspective from another person.

Because oftentimes the way we are, the way we perceive things, the way we see it, it's actually based on, you know, how we grew up and so many different factors or character and so many different things like that about how we perceive things. Right. But if you can talk to somebody else that actually, you know, grew up differently, maybe your best friend, maybe somebody else, they definitely have a different perspective looking at it. So you can ask them about their opinion about it. And that can actually just like.

listening, hearing somebody else tell you how they see the situation can help you relieve the stress about it.

Okay, and so now like some more like, like sort of like practical things that you can actually do. So spending time in nature, you know, going for hikes, going for walks, for runs, stuff like this, it seems like we're being more and more connected with technology and internet nowadays, which can be great, definitely, but can also cause stress, right? So just grounding yourself and going back in the nature, enjoying the nature.

without technology, that can definitely relieve some stress.

Another thing meditation. Meditation is amazing. There are different ways you could start meditating if you haven't really been meditating yet. There are different apps like

calm and there's another one I forgot I used to use it. There are different apps that can actually help you like meditate depending on like whether you meditated before or not you could start like you know from two minutes to five minutes to ten minutes. I think meditation is absolutely crucial in managing stress these days because we use all these apps and we get bombarded with information on a daily basis on levels that we were never used to before.

So just finding like a calm spot for yourself every day, in the morning or in the evening or whenever you need to and just grounding yourself in silence, I think that works wonders for managing your stress. Another thing is like prayer slash visualization, depending on whether you're religious or not. You know, I personally, well, visualization in general can definitely relieve stress.

If you can actually visualize like a different outcome for a situation, like a positive outcome, or just visualize yourself being in a certain position already that you're working towards that can definitely release stress. Another one. And this is a huge one. This is probably a very overlooked one, but it's so crucial, especially for like high performance and productivity is exercise consistently exercising.

whether you feel it or not, whether you feel like it or not, it does wonders for managing stress and you sleep in general. And it's so easy to get caught up in, oh, I don't want to exercise because, you know, I'd rather just like work an hour or two longer for the day or whatever. And meanwhile, you know, on some days in emergency situations, that may actually make sense. But overall, no, I don't think it makes sense at all.

you need to exercise to let go of the stress, to relieve it, to have an outlet for the stress, so you can actually regenerate and you can feel better, so you can work better. So without exercise, I honestly don't know how you could really manage stress. Like some people, they may not be able to exercise or they may, they haven't been exercising yet, but it's such a great way to relieve stress. I can't emphasize it enough. If you're not

exercising consistently and by being consistently I mean like at least three to four days a week. Some people exercise every single day. Every single day they exercise. It does great things for you not only in managing stress but building willpower and delaying gratification and just improving your well-being overall. I'm a big proponent. I'm a big fan of exercise in general. So there's that. Another thing you could do

is obviously like have sex. You know, I don't think this should be your only outlet that you have, but it can definitely help you relax and get grounded, make a connection with your partner and can definitely help you manage stress and anxiety. Another thing you could do is organize yourself and your living space and your workspace, right? Personally, to me, if I live and I have like mess everywhere,

clutter, I can't think clearly, it's causing me stress, it's causing me anxiety, and it's just another thing I have to worry about. So if I can actually have organized space and workspace, it just makes wonderful relieving stress.

Another thing is organizing your workload. You know, memory isn't perfect, and we tend to forget things. But if you write them down, we can actually make some head space, and we can focus on things that actually matter. So using things like calendars for all of your appointments and for the things that you have to do, and different project management applications. Or you could just go conventional pen and paper and just write the things you need to work on.

prioritize them in the order they need to be prioritized. And that itself can do great things for managing your stress. Another thing is disconnecting. Lastly, disconnecting from technology daily and on recurring tall technology detox basis, because we're so connected to technology nowadays and we have access to all of these applications, notifications, and it's honestly causing stress.

I personally know this, you know, and even though it's great to have access to all of these apps, we need to find a balance that will allow us to actually manage, just like have like a balance, working with these applications because, you know, like for instance, like if you're checking them like too early after you wake up, it's just causing stress, causing cortisol, now you're just reacting instead of, you know, just actually be in control of your day. And same goes like towards the evening.

when you're supposed to be winding down and relaxing, and you're not supposed to be really doing very intensive thinking things in the evening already. So it's just better to be aware of that and just disconnecting from this technology as great as it is and has advantages and disadvantages. We need to disconnect from it. And even on some every quarter maybe or

like whatever frequency you think is suitable for you, just doing like a total technology detox, like literally going, you know, going the mountains for a week, basically not using your phone at all, not using your laptop and just grounding yourself and then coming back fresh and, you know, just starting work again. So these are all the different ways that I actually like wrote down that I use or combination of them or all of them for managing.

stress. I wanted to make a list of practical tips for managing stress. And so case study, I used to be extremely stressed about running a business and I tried to remember everything I need to do. And there are a lot of different things to running a successful business, like a lot, especially when you're starting and you don't really have that much help. Right. And so I started, I implemented meditation and visualization and I've been doing that for over three years consistently every single day now.

Just a great way to start your day in the morning. It's absolutely amazing way to set your day in a certain way, rather than just like waking up and just like going to your computer and just starting reacting and just starting to be stressed already, right?

Um, yeah, so I literally just started using my calendar and just like adding like everything I need to like all the events to my calendar and I started using a project management app. There's so many different ones that you could explore here. And that itself did a lot of great things for me, just created like headspace for me. So I can focus on things that actually have more, more impact rather than just trying to remember all the things. And

The more stuff you have happening, the bigger you get, like there's gonna just be more stuff to remember. So at some point, like it basically gets like impossible for like a regular person to like remember all of it. So may as well just like write it all down. But what made like an absolutely massive difference to my wellbeing, to the way I feel, to the happiness level I experienced, to just like the way I perform also, and my productivity was starting to prioritize exercise.

And so I've been training mixed martial arts at the current gym I'm at right now for, uh, for almost a year now. And recently, like in recent months, I scaled it up to four or five times a week, tried to get in five times a week at this point. So I really prioritize it and like, yeah, I could probably, you know, work for an hour and a half longer each day. Right. But I would rather actually go and exercise and sweat a lot and really, you know, get really tired.

And I think that allows me to actually manage my stress. It's an outlet for everything that's happening in my business. And it allows me to sleep better, wake up refreshed and tackle the day, you know? And doing hard things physically actually has a correlation. It will actually correlate to your performance in business, to your mental health, physical health. So there's absolutely no downsides to prioritizing your exercise.

And I'm really happy about the changes that I made. And I'm going to continue on doing it. And I encourage everybody, if you feel that you're stressed and you're dealing with a lot of anxiety, you got to start exercising consistently. I cannot emphasize this enough. Okay. So there you have it. You know, I hope that I was able to under help you understand what stress is and how to handle it. And if you haven't done so yet.

Consider making lifestyle changes to prioritize your sleep, prioritize your wellbeing, exercise, which will pay dividends in all areas of your life, increase performance, productivity, improve relationships with others. The list goes on and on. Okay, I'll see you in the next episode. Bye now.

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