I’ve been feeling stressed lately. This is probably the least stressful I’ve been in my life but stress is stress, right? In my day to day life, I don’t have such stimulating situations that most people would consider to be stressful so I feel rather ridiculous to actually say I’m stressed. Maybe I just like to say I’m stressed so I have an emotion. But no, I don’t think that’s it, because when I’m happy and satisfied I know that feeling and I show my contentment.
My stress comes from school. I’m so terrified of failing horribly on every tests, in particular grammar tests. I find myself getting so irritated in class when I make a mistake and every Friday now I can expect to get decent amount of homework that I have to do over the weekend. I find myself so angry that I have to write an essay (which turns into a speech in front of the class)every weekend on a topic that seems to get more and more less interesting (ie. really stupid). And every Monday now we’ve had a Kanji tests which means I also need to study for kanji over the weekend. I treat Japanese class as a job, I study hard over the week days and my weekends I hope to relax and not study…..well, that’s close to impossible I’ve come to realize. Japanese has become a 7 day job and my resentment is starting to build. I keep thinking…”I can relax after this Grammar test.” Ironically, Grammar tests always fall on a Friday, so immediately after I finish the test, I think I can relax a little until I’m shown the mountain of homework that I have to do over the weekend. And the cycle continues.
Ok, I’m rambling.
I’ve decided I need to change something in my life that is making me so stressed out. I can’t really change the school system so….
#1 I will/have to change my attitude to Japanese school; It shouldn’t be a job, it should be life. I live in Japan, I can’t just switch Japanese off, in fact if anything should be switched off it should be ENGLISH. So I’m going to try to embrace Japanese more and accept it as a healthy challenge. Besides, I am making excellent grades which shows my hard work is paying off.
#2 I will/have to learn to not be so terrified of making mistakes. As perfect as I’d like to be, its impossible. I’m not a native Japanese speaker, so I’m expected to make mistakes so I can learn from them. My Japanese teachers frequently point out that native Japanese speakers often make mistakes as well. Besides….who likes a perfect person anyway, yeah?
#3 Eliminate things I can from my life that stimulate stress. Such as sugar! Oh, how I love sugar! Chocolate, cake, cookies give it to me!
This book I’ve been reading recently “Thrive” is a nutrition guide for vegans. This guy, Brendan Brazier, a professional vegan triathlete, explains how situations and food cause people stress. Sugar, caffeine, processed foods, dairy and meat are foods that stimulate stress.
He calls it Nutritional Stressed. It’s not hard to see the connection between eating foods that the body doesn’t really need and the body reacting negatively to it. I consider myself a conscious eater. I diffidently eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and minimize processed and unrefined foods. But, as I mentioned before I have weakness to sweets and its easy to excuse myself to have sweets because I do workout 5-7 days week and eat an abundance of organic fruits and veggies. And while I think its fine to have a sweet perhaps once a week….daily is not necessary and rather unhealthy. No wonder I’ve been feeling a little down lately, because I’m not feeding my body the best I could so its in turn affecting my thoughts. So I am going to cut my amount of sweets I consume. Now I realize that I said caffeine is also a stress stimulator, but I can’t give up my coffee yet. Thus my coffee being in the above picture with the health books haha.
Another book I got is YogaNap. It’s a book explaining different poses for Restorative Yoga. What is Restorative Yoga…..exactly what the name is. The book shows various poses and guides to get into a yoga pose which is relaxing and also soothing for the body. I’ve been incorporating a few poses in my yoga classes on Sat so I’m going to start using some for myself to help with relaxation.
My pose of the week is legs up the wall. This is especially good for tired legs, lower back pain, hamstring stretch and general relaxation. With or without a bolster/blanket under you is fine. For tight hamstrings, your hips will be farther away from the wall. For those with the flexibility, try getting your bum as close as possible to the wall. This is an inversion pose. Inversions are especially good because it gets the blood flowing in the opposite direction. If you get puffy feet from a long day on your feet. Try this for 5-10mins.