I think most of us would agree, feeling stressed for a long period of time, is no fun. It is, however, a part of the human experience. Fortunately, it doesn’t always be a stressful one.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it helps to step back and identify what causes you to feel this way in the first place. You may also want to give mindful meditation a shot. It could even be as simple as getting a good nights rest.
Keep in mind, not all stress is bad. It can mean the difference between making it to work on time, or clocking in an hour late.
So, what is stress? Well, it depends.
We Experience Different Forms of Stress
John Medina explains in his bestseller book “Brain Rules” – “There is no unique grouping of physiological responses capable of telling a scientist whether you are experiencing stress. That’s because many of the mechanisms that cause you to shrink in horror from a predator are the same mechanisms used when you’re having sex– or even while you’re consuming your Thanksgiving dinner. To your body, saber-toothed tigers and orgasms and turkey gravy look remarkably similar. An aroused characteristic of both stress and pleasure.”
Let’s dive a bit deeper into the subject.
A poll conducted by the American Phycological Association shows that 76% of Americans feel that the root cause of their stress is money & work.
In order to survive, we need to eat. And for most people, that means you need money. It’s just the price we pay as humans.
Fortunately, there are ways to cope with life’s daily struggles.
First things first:
What Causes Stress?
When you’re stressed, your adrenal gland release cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
This trio is good and all released in small quantities. Too much, over a long period of time, and you’ll have a higher chance of feeling depressed or anxious.
These are the hormones that prepare your body to either “fight or flight”. This would come in good use if a woolly mammoth was charging at you, full speed.
(Either way, it probably wouldn’t end well for you.)
But, thankfully, it’s the 21st century, and a more likely –stressful– scenario would be:
- Being miserable at work
- Dealing with a divorce
- Money issues
- Bumper to bumper traffic
So, what do we do?
3 Ways to Reduce Stress
For the sake of keeping this article brief, I’ll only be going over three of my personal favorite strategies.
Try to remember; some things are completely out of our control.
Our best bet is actively to seek ways to reduce stress levels. A good place to start would be here.
1. Identify What Ignites Your Stress
A good way to figure this out is to write in a journal each day.
It helps to identify what exactly causes you to feel stressed.
2. Try Mindful Meditation
Research shows that mindful meditation can have a positive impact on focus, mood, compassion, aggression, anxiety, depression, and of course, stress.
3. Sleep More
Sleep can do wonders to the human mind and body. In some cases, it may be as simple as a good nights rest to get you back on your feet.
Try making your room dark, cool, and quite. I like to keep my fan on at night to cover up the noise that might be happening outside of my room.
If that doesn’t work, invest in a pair of earplugs! These have worked wonders in my life.
The truth is, we’re all stressed. It’s a part of the human experience. We can, however, decide what actions to take in response to stress.
I’d like to hear from you, what makes you want to just pull your hair out? And what action do you plan on taking? Comment and share!
See you next Monday.