Stress isn’t the great nemesis people imagine. Your attitude and method of managing stress can actually lead you to a path of fun!
Stress is not an inevitable, unchangeable experience. As they say, you may not be able to control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you respond. You have the power to change your mind, and this alters your body’s reaction.
Make it your practice to handle stressful situations differently by responding with a conscious intention to maintain a positive state of being. As you practice this positive response, your body will learn how to effectively decrease your stress, your cortisol levels will stabilize, your blood pressure will drop, and your health will dramatically improve in a multitude of ways.
It’s also important to adopt a consistent practice. Stress management isn’t something you just take care of on the weekends. You need to handle it on a daily basis because that’s how often debilitating stress rears its monstrous head. There are many different stress-reduction techniques, and what works best for you may not have the same results for someone else. You might really enjoy meditating, but someone else may feel calmer just by cleaning house. Stress management is a highly selective and individual thing. The last thing you want to do is to nullify any potential benefit by getting stressed-out with your chosen stress-busting activity. You’ll have to find what kind of daily activity works best for you.
(NOTE: Can you believe stress can degrade your cortisol function and health. Find out how to break that connection and live a healthier life right here.)
As you’ll guess, making smart food choices will support your overall health and increase your body’s resiliency. Be sure to get adequate sleep, too, as sleep deprivation dramatically impairs your body’s ability to handle stress. And make your chosen stress-relief activities an adventure—experiment with different things and see what bring you joy. Some popular stress relievers include:
- Exercise (e.g., yoga, weight training, hiking)
- Meditation or breathing practices
- Having fun with family and friends
- Enjoying time alone in nature (or wherever your “happy place” is)
- Music (both listening to it and making it)
- Sex (duh!)
Be sure to deal with stress in healthy ways. When people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try to deal with their stress, sadly, instead of providing the body with relief, they tend to keep it in a stressed state and cause even more problems, including addiction.