How stress is controlled with martial arts

Hey guys! I’ve got a really interesting guest post today about martial arts. It’s not something that I’ve ever really tried before (aside form a few token Judo lessons as a child). It sounds fascinating though, I hope you enjoy Smile

Stress is only something natural in us and it quite frankly comes down to how we deal with situations when we are overwhelmed with stress. I know a lot of my friends told me that martial arts actually helps them with stress and they’ve also learned how to control it. With this information I wanted to find out more about it.


I’ve been to a few kickboxing classes but never really understood the deeper knowledge of the art. Sure, a good healthy workout routine can help take your mind off things, but Martial arts has been a proven exercise that does all that and more. There are many types of Martial arts but I discovered that Tai chi is more based on spiritual ideas that promotes a need for balance in the body, mind, and spirit. It is a graceful form that uses slow hands and slow movements in the body which does wonders for the health and body too.

To give you a better understanding how, every Tai Chi movement consist of some sort of stretch, rotation and twisting of the muscles which helps to release tension in the body. Through these movements it pays attention to the connection between the mind and the body which can relieve stress, fight diseases, and enhance physical well-being. There are other Martial art forms out there like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Judo and more which you can learn more about at Martial Tribes. However, if you’re thinking that you need to become seriously healthy and put some zen into your life, then give Tai Chi a try, as it consists of components which can help improve quality of life and has plenty of health benefits.

chinese do taichi outside

You will find that when practicing Tai Chi, it works on all of the major muscle groups and joints and these are needed for the slow, gentle movements. After a few sessions of this low-impact, weight-bearing exercise, it will improve balance, agility, strength, flexibility, stamina, muscle tone, and coordination. A lot of seniors practice this art because it’s easy to get into and it’s effective and does the health wonders. It just shows that we should start earlier.

There are some people who don’t realise how important breathing is when you’re working out and it’s often ignored. When you perform deep breathing, it enhances blood circulation to the brain, which boosts mental alertness, and this simple practice supplies the entire body with fresh oxygen and nutrients. When you exhale stale air from the lungs and then inhale a lot of fresh air, this will increase your lung capacity and releases tension. This kind of breathing technique successfully helps you to balance and control your body and your mind by connecting the two.

During inhalation and exhalation, a form of energy is being allowed to complete a path of circulation through your whole body, and this makes your body connect to your mind.
Other exercises like yoga as well as martial arts shows that meditation soothes the mind and enhances concentration. To be able to concentrate and focus will give your mind clear thoughts and reduces anxiety, you will even find yourself being more productive and getting things done. Staying calm and being able to control the stress you’re dealing with will give you a peaceful mind which then lowers blood pressure and heart rate meaning a happier you.

Have you ever done martial arts before?

Do you believe spirituality should come into play when exercising?

Do you find it hard to de-stress

Stress, friends and dessert

Firstly, thanks for the lovely comments for my last post. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so stressed as I do right now. Usually I’m quite a calm person and let things wash over me but when everything is in my hands and my responsibility for big ‘Adult Things’ I get panicked.

But the weekend was a nice escape from it all. My university friends popped down for the day on Saturday and it was so lovely to see them and have a rant, a moan and a good old chat. I managed to squeeze in parkrun quickly before they arrived too, which is always good 😉

I had a terrible run though. I thought I’d try and use it as a tempo run but my legs felt heavy and drained straight from the start and my pace just slipped slower and slower. What annoyed me at the start as well was that when the whistle blew these four lads – and I say “lads” because they were very much laddy teenagers – pushed past me and several other people yelling “urgh this is ridiculous, we needed to be at the front” as they bolted off. It was just not very parkrun-y, you know?

Anyway as my pace dropped, I consoled myself with just doing a ‘t-shirt run’ (just getting the parkrun point rather than aiming for a time). My friend, Mark, who was running a long-run and doing parkrun in the middle ran up next to me and I moaned to him a bit about how rubbish I was feeling and he chatted away to me and kept my mind off it, which I was grateful for. On the second lap we over-took the lads who were run-walking by this point which was somewhat of a silver-lining… 😉

Netley Abbey parkrun pace




I sort of pulled it back on the final lap (with Mark’s help) but it still felt awful. I’m putting it down to having run 20 miles the week before and a tough week mentally!

My friends arrived shortly after I was showered and breakfasted and, as normal, it was lovely to catch up. We try and see each other for everyone’s birthdays ad events and sometime around Christmas. So five or six times a year? They all live in different parts of the UK which always makes it a bit tricky

We went to an old favourite pub right on the seafront for lunch, The Osborne View.

Osborne View lunch


We shared two mezze boards between the four of us which is always a winner in my eyes (and I’m glad we got two as I’m such a greedy eater!). I had feta and Mediterranean salad (with added chicken) for main and chocolate brownie and ice cream for pudding. Perfection!

Osborne View Hill Head

The sign on the right is very apt to me right now!

The pub is lovely and I’ve never had a bad experience there yet. And it’s so handy being close to the beach that we could come out and do a long walk next to the sea in the sunshine. It’s near to where I do my long runs if I stay with my parents so it feels very homey with good memories surrounding it.

I had an early night that evening because I just felt shattered. Though annoyingly my mind started to catalogue all the packing I still needed to do and I struggled to get to sleep. My alarm was set for the delightful time of 5.50am as I was going to Bath the next day for a race with some running club friends so this was stressing me out more. Grrr.

I’ll recap the race proper in another post but the race has made me really think about how I need to approach the Bournemouth marathon. I’m someone who needs a game plan. I can’t just rock up and do whatever on the day. I need a structured plan, with some sort of back-up as well just in case. But I’ve not really made a plan as I don’t have any real goals.

The Bath Two Tunnels half marathon was meant to be a training run as I was running with my friend, Mike, who was aiming for a PB, which handily was around my marathon/long run pace. But the race didn’t go to plan really for either of us as we both felt exhausted and the supposedly “fast and flat” course was anything but that (I suppose the give-away is that it was in Bath…). I know I’m not in the same shape as I was before Liverpool marathon so to aim for anything close to that time would be unwise. Yes I could risk it and power through but mentally that sounds awful to me and I don’t want to push the pace. So after thinking about it…My goal is to aim for sub-4 definitely, but around 3:45-40 would be nice and if I fancy anything better towards the end I can give it a go but I don’t want to ruin myself over it. Liverpool was a perfect race with perfect (for me) training, it would be foolish to recreate that! I just want another tick in the box enjoyable marathon.

Plus, I see the marathon as the end point to my major stresses. Whether I go to Iceland or not will have already happened and I’ll have moved house. Finishing Bournemouth will just be like one massive sigh of relief. I might just go into hibernation after that! 😉

Do you always like to have a game-plan for a race? I mess up when I don’t have a plan! Plus for every marathon I’ve always had a plan and it’s always worked well for me.

Do you meet up with old friends often?

How does stress affect you?

Just keep breathing

I am so glad it’s Friday. This week has been rather stressful to say the least. I’ll admit I’ve struggled quite a bit. I’m sorry to sound so moany and pathetic, I just need to rant.

Mostly it is my own fault really. Planning a holiday around a time I knew I’d potentially be leaving and near my marathon date was probably not my best idea. At the time though, when it was all going to plan and my friend was coming with me, it seemed like a great escape.

Having finally found out the moving date (a few days before my marathon), this week has been spent sorting out all those things you can’t do much about until you have said date…Internet, gas, electric, water. Not to mention the solicitors only informing us now (despite hassling for weeks) that the man buying our house didn’t want our furniture. I’m taking barely any furniture with me so I’ve then had to try and sell, donate or just give away stuff as quickly as possible.

Ben has been helping as well, obviously, but he’s leaving to work and live in Switzerland very soon and so his time is limited. My emotions are everywhere. I’m happy for him and want him to do well and find what he’s been looking for, but I can’t say I’m not sad. Everything is changing so quickly and I can’t catch my breath.

To add to this was finding my passport in the washing machine after a full cycle. That’s a small complication that I wasn’t prepared for. I took a risk and decided to apply via the postal reapplication system, being reassured by several people that passports were getting processed quickly as it was outside the holiday season and I had a solid 2.5 weeks.

*Sighs* In true Anna form I decided to use photos that weren’t the specified month-old and risked it with using photos I already had (saving cost and time, I believed). They were only a few months old so I didn’t think it would be an issue. Apparently it is. I received a letter to say I needed to send new photos from this month.

So yesterday I scrambled about getting new photos and sending them off ASAP. I’d hoped I could go to London to sort this in person (something I initially wanted to avoid) but since I’ve started the postal process there’s nothing I can do now apparently. Just sit and wait and hope that by Thursday next week I get my passport back. Otherwise, I can’t go to Iceland. I’ll lose a chunk of money but my biggest grievance is losing a holiday and the escape.

My parents, who have always been such a rock to me, are away on holiday at the moment. I know it’s pathetic but it’s been such a struggle with all this and not having them here for advice or just a hug. I know I’m 27 but I’m not embarrassed that my parents are an important part of my life. I won’t lie, there might have been a FaceTime conversation with them where I was just in tears, up to my limit.

But I’ve got great friends around me. When I thought I’d have to go to London on Saturday my university friends, who were supposed to be coming down to see me on that day, were so lovely. Instead of being annoyed, they were there for me, suggesting meeting in London instead or trying to help me in any way. Thankfully they can still come and I cannot wait to see them tomorrow.

Through all this (I appreciate that “all this” isn’t that big a deal compared to other people’s problems) I still have a marathon to run. But running has been my saviour. After an awful day yesterday, an eight mile run just cleared my head and calmed my nerves. If I was injured I’m not sure how I’d be coping. I have the Bath Two Tunnels half marathon on Sunday which I’m using as a training run and pacing a friend which I’m really looking forward to. I’ve just got to focus on the good and fun stuff, stop whining and just GET ON WITH IT.

Sorry for my lengthy rant…

How has your week been?

How do you deal with stress?

Who’s your “rock” when times are tough? I couldn’t be more grateful for my friends and family right now.

Embarrassing Bananas

**SlimKicker have finally got back to me on who won the giveaway. They chose:


 So Angela, please email me and we can arrange your winnings! 🙂 **

I’m not going to lie. This week has been tough. I feel like I’ve been chasing my tail and never quite catching it. Don’t get me wrong, I love being busy and I love having goals to hit and chunky bits of work to get my teeth into but I feel like everything has slipped.

Yesterday (Thursday) was a really tough day in terms of work. I felt frazzled by the end. And the annoying thing was that I really wanted to get to running club in the evening but because work went on longing than I thought it would it meant I had to miss it as I just couldn’t have made it there on time.

I know that this is completely ridiculous but it really stressed me out. I had my whole evening planned, I had geared myself up all day to go and then suddenly the realisation hit when I was supposed to be leaving by 5pm I was still sat there at 6pm that it wasn’t going to happen. I am a rigid person, I know that. I’m not that flexible in that when I have something planned it’s a big deal for me to just miss it. Don’t get me wrong, in this circumstance I know that work was far more important and I don’t regret staying. But it really got to me. I felt stressed inside all the way home. It wasn’t just the disappointment of not going to running club or missing a run, it was just the whole messing up of my plan. I really need to work on this. This can’t be healthy. In the past I have found myself getting really annoyed or upset when my routine is shifted. Even if it’s outside my control. Please tell me someone else gets this way too?

Anyway it’s Friday!

Because I missed my run last night, I ran this morning. Unfortunately this meant getting up at 5.50am so I wouldn’t be late for work. But when my alarm went off I actually wasn’t that tired and felt raring to go.


It was a nice clear morning so it was good to be outside. But I would have preferred to have run last night with the guys from the club!

Food-wise, like I said, this week things have slipped. I had planned a few meals but with time just running out it just wasn’t going to happen. However, I’m pleased to say that didn’t mean turning to microwave meals. Not that there’s anything wrong with eating them once in a while don’t get me wrong. But I’m not a big fan and I never think the portions are that big! And any vegetables are just horribly soggy and pathetic.

So a couple of evenings this week we’ve had ‘wing-it’ meals. For example, the other night we had chicken with a salsa and cream cheese sauce. Such a simple meal!


Chicken with Salsa & Cream Cheese Sauce (Serves 2)

  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • half a zucchini, small chunks
  • 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
  • Half jar of salsa (I used just a supermarket chunky mild version)
  • Large tbs. cream cheese
  • Spices (I used paprika, garlic powder, salt & pepper)

Literally took next to no time. The most onerous thing was chopping the veg! Very tasty. We had this twice. The second time we had it I threw in some torn mozzarella as well and it became even more cheesy and rich. Really tasty, this is definitely one for our rotation!

On a food related note… Ages ago I bought a banana holder so I could carry my banana around in my handbag with ease. I have such a hate for bruising my bananas and getting all battered. I have been known in the past to carry a banana in my handbag covered in a thick clean sock to protect it. I did this once when I was going on holiday with some friends and when I went through security the security guys searched my bag and found my sock covered banana. Literally the most embarrassing experience of my life. That obviously all my friends saw. I’ll never forget the security guard’s bewildered face. Anyway, so along came the banana holder…


A large yellow, er, strangely shaped object I think you’ll agree… This lives in my desk drawer at work because, well, I just don’t use it. I tend to buy my bananas at work to avoid the transportation issue from home. One of my colleagues saw this object in my drawer and there commenced a lot of awkward explaining that this was purely a BANANA HOLDER and nothing else.

*Sighs* Seriously, bananas, you have caused my life no end of embarrassment.

And because I haven’t shared my outfits with you in a while (not that they’ve been that interesting I must admit)…here’s my outfit du jour!


Cardigan and leggings from New Look, shirt-dress from Dorothy Perkins

No thick woollen jumper, no huge scarf curled around my neck a million times – a more spring-like ensemble finally! I can’t wait to finally stop wearing cardigans and allow my arms to see the sun. Yes, Britain, I said SUN. Make it happen.

Fingers crossed the weather is spring-like where you are! Have a great weekend people!

Do you get stressed when your routine is messed up? How do you cope?

Bananas: are fanatical about bruising them like me? Or are you not too bothered?

Any embarrassing fruit-related stories? No judgement here Winking smile