Four Awesome Ways to Manage Stress
26 Aug 2021
Our brain and body function with one another. So it is not surprising to have a natural mechanism that works against specific challenges that come along the way. As our brain detects a possible threat, our body uses its hormones to face imminent danger. This reaction is what they call the fight-or-flight response.
Sometimes, our system gets confused with this process, which results in uncontrollable emotions. Without taking the necessary steps to manage this situation, it might lead to a chronic condition known as stress. Stress causes chemical changes to our system, affecting our overall health. Especially when in high levels, mental and physical concerns may also arise. So, what steps can we take to avoid stress?
Ultimately, the answer to managing stress lies within our minds and body. According to a study by the Journal of Research in Personality, we have three stress-response variables present:
Whether we believe that we can manage the situation influences how we deal with stress. This variable is the perception of competence. It measures our capacity to encourage ourselves to respond successfully to stressful situations.
We can define this variable as relying on values rather than reacting through impulse. It happens when you respond consistently with your objectives rather than the current situation.
Some people have the drive to withdraw from unpleasant life situations. This response is what they call avoidance coping. It is the most concerning variable as it leads to psychological discomfort and decreased well-being.
Four Ways to Develop Mindfulness
Stress causes us to focus on a single context, which prevents us from seeing the rest of the picture. So, how can we wind down? Here are some routines that can help us handle what comes ahead.
1. Practice Meditation and Breathing Exercises
Breathing is an effective tool that allows us to manage our emotions. Yet, we often take it for granted. As we take our breath, our body activates responses that help us stay calm.
Breathing exercises are simple. You can perform it by taking air in, hold, and then letting it out for twice as long. As you do this activity, you’re encouraging harmony in your body, which lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
2. Adopt Mindfulness in Your Activities
For others, our daily activities may appear to be a chore. But it does not have to be something that we do on auto-pilot. Adopting mindfulness in our routine is one of the best ways to teach the mind to be actively present.
Making Your Bed
What better way to adopt mindfulness than practicing it as you start your day? First thing in the morning, be sure to sit back and connect with your body. Think about what drives you to get out of your bed, and set your goals for the day.
In the process of baking, we are using all of our senses. The appearance, texture, smell, and even sound of your ceramic bakeware may leave a self-soothing effect. So, the next time you try baking, why not pay attention to the ingredients as you add them to the mixing bowl?
It’s easy to describe eating as the act of biting, chewing, and swallowing. Who hasn’t gone through a meal without even noticing what’s happening? Eating is one of the most festive activities we partake in as living things. Thus, practicing mindfulness while doing it will make it a far more enjoyable experience.
3. Connect with Others
How frequently do we give our full attention to another person? When was the last time you had someone to be there with you? Aside from food and shelter, it is our innate need to connect with others.
As you walk outside your room, try to notice the people around you. In simple ways such as greeting and smiling, you can instantly make positive vibes throughout your day.
4. Practice Self-compassion
Let’s say your day isn’t going pretty well for you. What do you think happens to mental condition at such time? Self-compassion is being mindful of your emotions. Whenever you fail at something, you don’t have to identify yourself to that moment. You can stay calm and observe without adding fuel to the fire. Self-compassion means accepting that everyone makes mistakes and that it happens in life.
Responding to Stress
There are many ways to cope with stress. One of the most important elements is present-moment awareness. It involves the principle of mindfulness, which increases our stress resistance.
Mindfulness is focusing on what’s currently happening rather than anticipating the future or fixating on the past. Thus, the best way to respond to stress is to live in the present. Keep it in practice, and you’ll see the world from a different perspective.