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The Worlds Greatest Stress Buster. Exposure.

Often, the main tools recommended to combat stress revolve around relaxation. These tools aim to lower the heart rate and encourage reflection on one's emotions. Breathwork, meditation, journaling, and even sleep are commonly prescribed as effective forms of stress relief. These tools are undoubtedly valuable to have at your disposal. However, I view them as reactive measures, a defensive approach to stress relief.

Sometimes, the best defense is a relentless offense. In my opinion, the most effective way to combat stress is to expose oneself to it.

Whether we like it or not, stress is an inevitable part of life. It doesn't matter where you are in life—I have worked with clients who are unimaginably wealthy, living a lifestyle beyond my comprehension. Yet, they still experience the bite of stress, unless they are prepared for it.

Now, what does it mean to expose yourself to stress? Does it imply going outside and arguing with everyone you encounter while spilling coffee on your work? Of course not.

One thing we know is that our bodies react the same way to both mental and physical stress. Armed with this knowledge, we can engage in practices that expose our bodies to stressful situations, challenging us mentally, but ultimately allowing us to emerge feeling accomplished and self-sufficient.

Consider why special forces and marines subject their recruits to incredibly difficult and brutal training before sending them into war zones. They expose their operatives to extreme levels of stress and then teach them how to maintain composure and control in those situations. When faced with the chaos of a war-like environment, these individuals can think clearly even when bullets rain down around them.

Now, I understand that we are not preparing for a war zone, but purposefully subjecting our bodies to stressful situations and overcoming them holds tremendous power. Here are three practices I recommend anyone to try:

Cold Water Exposure:

Immersing yourself in near-freezing water is not enjoyable—let's be honest, it sucks. However, the feeling afterward is remarkable. I spent a winter swimming in the sea here in Cornwall wearing nothing but shorts, and it genuinely made me feel like I could tackle any scenario. I felt invigorated for most of the day, almost euphoric. What's great about this practice is that it's easily accessible. If you don't have access to the sea, take a cold bath or shower (cold showers are the worst!).

Train in Combat Sports:

Learning to fight is not only empowering but also enlightening. Many people perceive it as barbaric and violent, but the truth is quite the opposite. Those who are most aggressive often fare poorly in fights. Properly learning striking and grappling techniques not only improves fitness and body awareness but also teaches you to remain composed in situations where you may be under threat. The ability to relax and assess a situation while under pressure is invaluable.

Regular Exercise:

It's as simple as that. Engage in a challenging workout that pushes your limits. Sweat, push yourself to the brink of exhaustion. Fail, recover, succeed, almost fail again. Keep moving forward. Incorporate this into your weekly routine, and even the most minor setbacks won't faze you.

That's all there is to it. Stress is inevitable, so be prepared. Step out of your comfort zone and equip yourself with the skills to conquer it.

Josh P

Co-Founder The RDA Strength Systems

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