Arnie Kander, an innovator in the strength and conditioning field, has been with the Detroit Pistons for 20 years. A graduate in physical therapy from Wayne State University, Kander began his career as a professional dancer and worked at a fitness center before joining the Pistons in 1992. DBusiness asked him for advice on how to reduce stress.
Breathing: Whenever there is stress, individuals have a tendency to shorten, or restrict, their breath. As a result, they fail to fully breathe. Work on calming your breath — take slow, easy inhalations and slow, easy exhalations. Physiologically, you can lower your blood pressure and literally breathe stress out of your body.
Consistent Movement: A good way of dealing with stress is to keep your body active. It can mean going for a walk, engaging in some form of a weight-lifting routine, or practicing yoga. It’s finding some form of physical discipline that allows you to take care of yourself.
Eat Well: Stress can create bad eating habits that affect blood sugar levels, which can lead to more stress. Eat healthy and be mindful about how you are nourishing your body.
Grounding the Body: If you are feeling stress, sometimes just standing up and bending your knees can calm the body from within. When we are stressed, we are ungrounded. Grounding is the process of feeling the earth, taking energy out of the brain and passing it through your entire body, and then displacing it through your feet. These techniques are learned in yoga and martial arts, where you learn to feel your earth connection.
Perspective: Realize that stress is temporary, and stay true to what your real life purpose entails. Sometimes looking at things in a different way and getting a better perspective on your priorities can eliminate stressful feelings.
Journal: Journaling is something that most people do not do, but writing out what is going on in your life can help you process stress and work through it. Most of us try to avoid stress, but avoidance is the worst thing you can do. Avoidance can become the “elephant” in your own room. Having a way of working through whatever is causing the stress, anxiety, anger, or frustration can alleviate stress from the body.