Stress is a natural response to a challenge or demand so it can be positive – acute stress is a short-term response to a stressful event but then it’s over and we recover, hopefully becoming better in the process. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles mean we are almost always surrounded by stressors and living in a state of long-term, chronic stress.
Some strategies that can help us deal with stress are:
Mindfulness of our reactions to triggers and negative self-talk
Relaxation techniques and breathing exercises can be used to help us spend more time in a state that allows us to rest & digest.
Meditation. Over time, a meditation practice improves our ability to handle future stressful situations.
Exercising regularly – in ways that don’t create more chronic stress. Exercise releases mood-boosting endorphins and it can help drain the stress of the day but it doesn’t have the effect of calming the nervous system in the way meditation does.
Eating foods that support our bodies in staying healthy – not foods that are another stressor to the body
Setting boundaries and realistic goals.
Stress is a normal part of life but it is important to manage it in a healthy way. If we’re feeling stressed, there are many things we can do to cope. By making some lifestyle changes and seeking professional help if needed, we can learn to manage stress and live a healthy and happy life.