Smarter than Stress
Doctors keep telling us to get rid of the stress in our lives, and we would love it do so but, for most of us, this is an unrealistic option. Stress is an inevitable part of daily life. That’s why the key skill is to manage it and to make the most of it.
Dr. Samantha Boardman wrote, ‘the funny thing about stress is how it takes us away from the very things that would help us combat it. We retreat into bad habits like staying up all night, binge watching TV, gorging on junk food and skipping workouts. We withdraw from friends, we are reluctant to try new things and we don’t make time for our favourite hobbies. The result is a double dose of stress.’
The good news is, with a little patience you can create a resilience and
good habit of handling this daily stress does
- Hold the door open for a stranger
Studies show that when we help others we help ourselves. Small gestures like opening a door for a stranger, holding the elevator, bringing a co-worker coffee and asking someone if they need help mitigate daily stress.
- Keep walking
Exercise plays a key role in decreasing the effects of stress. Do your very best to build more movement into every day.
- Write this thank-you note
Expressing gratitude makes you feel mentally stronger (even though it’s challenging at first). It also reduces frustration and irritability.
- Nature calls
A walk in the park is an excellent antidote for stress. It also reduces rumination and has a calming effect on the body and mind. Plus, you get to interact with something so unpredictable and beautiful as nature creations – birds, bugs and butterflies 😉
- Be your own voice of reason
Studies show when you talk to yourself positively in the third person – for example ‘hey Beata you know you can do it!’ – you increase sense of confidence and reduce the effects of stress.
- Befriend your stress
As Dr. Boardman says ‘The way you think about stress matters. A positive mindset about stress is linked with better health and greater life-satisfaction. Think about stress as positive energy you can use. Next time you have to give a speech, remind yourself that “the jitters” are your body telling you that you’re energised and ready to meet the challenge.’