Thinking and Diet Overhaul

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.

7 thoughts on “Thinking and Diet Overhaul

  1. Lil says:

    I like the feet up the wall – will try this! I was going to say you should relax by treating yourself out to an icecream and letting go of demanding every day studies every now and then…guess not haha..sugar really does irritate moods though I've also realized, whenever I eat a larger dose I really feel the pain and inflammation!

    7 day a week studying in any subject is difficult much less kanjis! keep up the good work! A certain level of stress is apparently good for us humans, it's like instinct for us to go up and down , if we didn't feel stress we'd be ambitionless. So maybe what you're feeling isn't stress but…ambition LOL, also every time you manage it you get used to higher levels so in no time you'll be taking this course by the balls!

    maybe you should write a blog in japanese (ok j/k and putting more stress on hehe)

  2. Haha, funny you thought of suggesting I eat ice-cream when that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid.
    Yes, I agree a certain level of stress is healthy for us, but not if its affecting moods and every day functioning. If the stress of a certain thing is too high then it affects other areas in life. That's when its not good.

    I don't recommend you do the legs up the wall. I thought laying flat on the back for a pregnant women isn't recommend for the spine. Of course, you know your body the best, but don't put a big bolster under your back like the photo shows.
    Here's a pose you might like. I think it'll be better for you since your body is slightly elevated so it'll ease the pressure on your spine. You can adjust the height of things with pillows and blankets. Plus, this pose stretches the groin which might help in childbirth.

  3. Lil says:

    oh cool, I like that pose, I do on the sofa every day as I watch tv, just a lazy pose lol, for feet up, I usually don't lay on back (a b**** when you're used to sleeping that way!), but I think for a little time it could be fine. I won't use the cushion under though, that looks abit harsh hah

  4. Mia says:

    Wow, brain storming 7 days a week… I'd be stressed too. Don't give up… keep picturing the day when other foreigners will gawk as they hear and see how fluent you are. ;D
    I think stress is measured by how much one can take so it's ok to complain about how stressed you feel even though your situation may not seem so bad.
    Isn't chocolate an aphrodisiac (and therefore a stress reliever)?

  5. Chacha says:

    been a while since we've been on here!! ops!!
    nice to see you're updating though, and will make sure to keep checking it regularly!:)
    good luck with cutting out sugar! hee hee. I've gone through so many different sugar diets, but the ones I find best (since I am not a strong willed person when it comes to keeping away from sweets FOREVER!! i get my fair share during my nine month pregnancy anyways right!) is the cheat day every week. but to limit it to only so much
    then I feel better and I don't get those cravings!
    but that's just me, you're a tough chick!

    and ooh I used to do that leg up on the wall pose every night when I was pg. it's good to stay away from it during the first trimester but after that, it's a good way to help with the circulation after being on your feet with extra pounds!
    so don't be afraid to lie on your back if you need it. it's recommended.
    but def loose the pillow under the back and put it under your head and shoulders. made me feel greaaaaaaaaaat!!

  6. Yeah, I don't think once a week will work for me. I just need to keep the portions in check ha.
    Mia, I think chocolate is ok, but darker the better. The creamy milk ones….bad bad bad! I love chocolate covered almonds!

  7. Joanna says:

    がんばってね めぐーちゃん!
    Don't given in to stress. It's super bad for your body and your mind, not to mention your health too. It's good that you sat down and thought about how you could change your mindset and attitude towards it. 🙂 I like your 123 steps. I wish you good luck on following through!

    Just keep telling yourself that you are doing your best, which I know you are. If you are doing the best that you can with your studies, then that's all you can do! Don't stress out about it or worry about failing tests. Don't fear failure! Learn from it! 🙂

    I love you Meg! Next time I see you I'm sure you'll put me to shame with your perfectly spoken Japanese! ha!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: