We often talk about stress as a bad thing, but in small doses, stress can motivate us to finish tasks more efficiently, reach goals and find creative solutions to problems.
While it’s true that chronic stress can harm our well-being, there are strategies and resources to help us handle stress in healthy and even beneficial ways.
Stress can trigger a fight or flight response in our body, an evolutionary function where muscles tense up and our heart rate increases in response to a perceived threat to our survival. When this happens, deep breaths can help you find a calmer state.
Stress can be overwhelming in the moment, but writing in a journal can help us reflect on what happens to us during stressful situations in our lives.
This article from VeryWellMind walks through the benefits of journaling and suggests ways to get started.
Over the last few decades, we’ve learned a lot about stress—what causes it, how we can prevent its negative impact, and ways it can have value in our lives.
By simply planning ahead, being realistic about our workloads, and saying “no” when we need to, we can avoid a lot of stress.
Reflecting during stressful moments can help us better understand what causes our stress, so we can alter our behaviors or surroundings to improve the situation.
Sometimes we can’t avoid or alter a stressful situation and in those cases, it’s best to talk about it and find effective ways to cope with it.
A lot of stress is the product of our inner dialogue and perspective on the situation. By reframing the issue and adjusting our viewpoint, we can stop that stress right where it started…in our own minds.
Talking about your stress and getting advice on how to manage it can help a lot. Start the conversation with a friend or family member, reach out to a local mental health professional, access one of the resources below or browse the full directory here.
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If your stress is interfering with your everyday quality of life, it’s important to reach out for support from a mental health professional.