My #1 Tip for Stress Management
Updated: Jun 12, 2019
In this day and age, stress is a part of our everyday lives. We all have stress. And not all stress is a bad thing. Sometimes it can be the push you need to become motivated or focused. Or, it can be the thing that keeps you from getting hit by oncoming traffic. All good things, right? But what about when you begin to feel so stressed you have a hard time functioning? What happens when stress seems to be taking over your life?
In a perfect world, stress would happen, our bodies would react, our bodies would calm back down, and we would go on with our happy, regularly scheduled lives. But we don’t live in a perfect world. And that means sometimes our acute stress can turn into chronic stress. And chronic stress is not good. Sure, you may be fairly resilient after a one time traffic jam, but what happens when you are stuck in traffic on your commute to and from work every day? Or you work at a job you hate? Or you're constantly on an unrealistic deadline? Or you’re having serious relationship problems with your significant other? Well, you may find it more and more difficult to bounce back from those acute stress “attacks”. Over time, chronic stress gradually increases your resting heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and levels of muscle tension so the body now has to work even harder when it's at rest to keep you functioning normally. In other words, chronic stress creates a new normal inside your body. And this new normal can eventually lead to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic pain and depression (Porter, 2017).
But how to we combat chronic stress and build resiliency? And what the heck is meant by resiliency anyway? Well, resiliency is our body and mind’s ability to bounce back to our resting state after experiencing stress. And if we want to fight stress and gain resilience, there is one very important thing we all should do: practice self-care.
Self-care is just what it sounds like. Taking time to take care of yourself. My official definition of self-care is the necessary process by which we as individuals recharge in order to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Sitting in those traffic jams day in and day out begin to take their toll on you because you may not be doing enough to recharge your batteries at the end of the day or work week. Take it from me, even something as simple as a relaxing bath can boost you back to 100%. Show that stress who’s boss and take some time for yourself!
So, how do you practice self-care? Let me know!
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