I’m Stressed! Now What Can I Do About It?
Following my last article, Is Stress Affecting You? 10 signs that stress is negatively affecting you. I looked at the signs and symptoms of stress. What can you do about it?
There are 3 levels to tackle building your stress resilience:
- In-the-Moment Stress Resets
There are physiological changes that happen in your body when you are feeling stress. The great thing about this, is that an understanding of the physiological changes means that you can use “hacks” to trick your body back into a less stressed state.
One such hack is what you may know as belly breathing. This is where you sit in a quiet place and take deep slow breathes. It’s called belly breathing because if it’s done right, your belly goes out as you breathe. The breathing pattern is an individual choice. I find breathing in for a slow count of 4 and out for a slow count of 6 works best for many people. Repeat the slow belly breathing for at least 6 times.
In-the-Moment stress hacks are great and are a very hand tool, but it’s important to note that they don’t address the underlying cause or give sustainable relief.
- Lifestyle, Daily Practices & Mindset
This level of building stress resilience is about instilling sustainable practices into your daily life.
There are a large number of lifestyle practices that aid in building stress resilience. Making these practices habits and just part of your life can greatly aid stress resilience.
Basic healthy lifestyle practices such as diet, exercise and sleep have repeatedly been shown to have a large influence on stress resilience, along with general wellbeing. I’m sure that this is not news to anyone, but instilling positive daily practices that add to your wellbeing is a key to sustainable stress resilience.
For many people, mindfulness and meditation are enormously powerful tools. However, I have heard many people say they have tried meditation and it didn’t work for them. It’s worth knowing that there are many types of meditation and that it is worth trying different types until you find one that works for you.
An area of stress resilience that is overlooked by many, is the need for rest and relaxation and time to do things that you love. Our busy lives often result in little time to rest and recuperate. Taking time for yourself is a vital element of stress resilience.
Finding outlets to voice your concerns and thoughts can be fantastic for building stress resilience. This can take different forms from chatting with a friend through to daily journaling.
Mindset makes an enormous difference to how you deal with the stressors in your life. Some of the common mindset tools include reframing, gratitude, and forgiveness, being comfortable with being uncomfortable, always having the purpose or bigger vision in mind, being aware of and addressing your inner critic, and seeing failure and setbacks as learning steps towards success.
This is far from a comprehensive list of the lifestyle, daily practices, and mindset shifts, but it is a great start towards building your personal stress resilience.
- Subconscious Triggers & Automatic Stress Response
Many people have subconscious triggers and automatic responses that they are not aware of. Overcoming these are about addressing your personal personal blocks, traumas, and subconscious behaviours, so that they are no longer directing your response.
These triggers are specific to each individual person.
It is possible to overcome these subconscious triggers on your own, but often the help of a trained professional can greatly aid this process.
It’s great to be able to lessen the stressors in your life, but that is not always possible. Knowing about these 3 levels for building your stress resilience and implementing the strategies that work for you can help you greatly towards lowering your stress response and helping your overall wellbeing and productivity.