High Performance Vegan Letters

3 Ways To Reverse The Damage of Stress

Published about 2 months ago • 4 min read

3 Ways To Reverse The Damage of Stress

January 9th, 2024

Stress rules the world.

And as someone who has lived with stress for long periods, I understand.

For most of my life, I've dealt with stress poorly.

My approach to stress was twofold:

#1 Accumulate as much stress as possible (unconsciously)

#2 Project my stress onto everyone and everything around me (or numb myself from my stress by watching mindless TV, eating, or overworking).

I didn't deal well with stress.

What I've learned about stress over the past 8 years is that stress IS a part of our lives as humans.

However, it doesn't mean we need to be chronically stressed out.

It just means we need to learn the right tools to help us convert negative stress into relaxation.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Qi Gong - ancient teachers would frequently remind their students of one clear fact of reality:

'Stress and anxiety is who we THINK we should be. Relaxation and ease is who we TRULY are'

Just because 98% of people live overstressed lives and burn out daily around the world doesn't mean we need to follow in their footsteps.

Whatever is mainstream and the main herd is going isn't always the best thing for our health.

So, if you've been living with stress and want to reverse the damage, here are three ways you can start today:

#1 Create a meditation practice

Meditation has become a trendy topic over the years.

Yet, the heart of meditation remains the same.

It's a vehicle for self-examination and self-discovery.

It's also a powerful way to convert your stress into ease.

Meditation - at its foundation, is a simple way to learn who you are and, over time, even allows you to change your brain structure.

It's also a phenomenal way to study your unconscious mind and shadow self - provided you're willing to do the deep work to study yourself.

After practicing daily meditation for the past 8 years, I've learned more about myself from this seated practice than from ANYTHING else I've practiced or done in my life.

My hidden motives.

My inspirations.

My past.

My future self and sense of striving.

And how I can create suffering and peace within myself.

Meditation also allows you to study your psyche.

This topic is one of the deepest subjects, but it's also the cause of most of our frustration and struggles as a society.

As Carl Jung would remind us - we learn who we are by studying our darker aspects and shadow self more than anything else.

What's hidden must be examined if you want to mature as an adult.

#2 Practice Qi Gong

Qi Gong pairs nicely with meditation.

And in many ways, Qi Gong is a form of moving meditation.

(for further context, the ultimate goal of meditation is to bring it to life in everything you do).

Qi Gong means 'working with energy'.

Or, to be more specific - working with your energy.

Physics proves that our body is comprised of 99% energy (not matter).

Our abilities and faculties remain untapped and untouched for most humans because of our lack of education on energy.

As beings of energy - learning to harness and direct our energies can be a powerful way to live.

Stress in itself is a form of energy.

From an Eastern perspective, stress could be seen as an energy stagnation (Chi blockage).

Qi Gong is a highly effective way to convert negative stress into positive relaxation.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed (according to the Laws of Thermodynamics).

It can only be transferred.

Qi Gong gives you the tools to convert the negative into the positive.

This is incredible since it means that we don't try to destroy our negative emotions or stress... but rather use them as the seeds for positive growth and inner peace.

Rather than suppress, numb, or destroy ourselves -> convert the negative into positive using healthy movement practices like Qi Gong.

*As a side note: I've consistently practiced Qi Gong every morning for the past 8+ months.

The benefits for my life have been tenfold, with more relaxation even during my busiest work seasons, traveling a ridiculous amount, and moving 2x to new locations.

I couldn't imagine living my life without Qi Gong now.

#3 Breathe deeply and go for grounding walks

The last way is to breathe deeply.

Nearly every human is breathing incorrectly.

Whether it's due to trauma early on or holding onto stress for long periods, deep breathing, especially from your belly, allows you to reconnect with your life force.

Breathing correctly is also how you generate chi (energy).

While most people miss out on this valuable practice, breathing correctly can help you generate more energy and destress faster than nearly anything else.

Pair deep breathing with going for long walks barefoot (which will raise your dopamine from walking and reduce chronic inflammation from grounding), and you have a trident of tools you can use to tackle negative stress and converge it.

The goal of these three ways isn't to overwhelm you.

I suggest choosing one of the ways from the three choices above and focusing on it for the next 21 days.

Commit to ONE practice and stay focused on it.

Committed practice each day is how you create meaningful change.

Once you master one, you can layer in the following practice.

Let me know how it goes.

- Gabriel

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High Performance Vegan Letters

by Gabriel Zhanay

Join the top 1% of plant-based founders, leaders, and creators. Every week, you'll receive practical advice on how to build muscle, get lean, and build a high-performance body that fuels your busy plant-based lifestyle.

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