Stress is a way for our body to tell us that we need extra help. Stress is sometimes good and sometimes bad; and both can take a toll on our health if we have too much of either.
Consider this. The way we think about something (cognition) effects the way that we act (behavioral) and ultimately it turns into the way we feel about something (internal state). If you think something is stressful by the way that you interpret it, then your body begins to respond to the stressor in a way that protects you. This can cause an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, adrenaline increases and emotions become heightened.
Ways to manage your stress in moderation for the New Year
1. Develop a work out routine: It isn't about losing weight but getting your hormones to work effectively to support brain and heart health. It creates a happier mood, a calmer demeanor and a healthier body.
2. Set healthy expectations for yourself that you can attain rather than unrealistic ones. As you meet them, add new ones. This will keep you motivated to move forward and it will reduce the stress of perfectionism.
3. Set a budget: Having your financial situation in order with a plan will reduce your stress because you are prepared and attaining goals. If you are overspending, find ways that you can either make more, or spend less without deprivation.
4. Practice mindfulness and presence. When you are doing an activity, be fully immersed in it. If you find your mind wandering onto other things that you need to do, bring yourself back. Practicing being present and mindful in each moment allows the body to slow down, to engage, and to remove stress from the body.
5. If you find yourself lonely in the new year, find ways that you can get involved with others. Stay connected. The more connected you are, the healthier and happier you are.
6. Limit your use of alcohol or other substances. This can include overeating. Although in the immediate moment, your body will relax, it will quickly identify that it is not well and begin to counterbalance what was put into the body. It will identify these coping skills as stressors that cause trouble to your overall system.
7. Find an accountability partner. This is someone who you can be real with and are open to allowing them to give you honest feedback. Love yourself enough to believe an accountability partner is what you need to keep yourself healthy. Pay it forward if someone asks so you can be just as authentic with them.
8. Practice loving. This is a simple concept that helps us with our stress. When you are upset, love more. When you want to pull away, lean forward. Always respond in love, even when your initial reaction is to defy it. You are reteaching your brain to be at peace. It will start with acting and turn into action.
What are ways you deal with stress that help you. Send me an email so I can hear your ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Holidays and New Year!