We are all familiar with the feelings of stress: shallow breathing, heart racing, nausea, headache, and much more. Despite our best efforts, stress is an inevitable part of life. Whether we’re dealing with something unexpected, going into a high-pressure situation, experiencing conflict in a relationship, or any number of other circumstances, stress will be present. This doesn’t mean we have any reason to fear it nor that we’re helpless in the presence of it.
Stress cycles have a beginning, middle, and end. This is important to note because if we dismiss or suppress stress, we miss the opportunity to work through it. Negative emotions (e.g., anger, rage, etc.) are processed in the body as stress. This doesn’t mean they’re bad. They have something important to tell us, and if we pay attention then we can address our needs and ultimately help ourselves move through stress more efficiently.
Chronic stress has many negative consequences, including potential health and mental health issues, burnout, and relationship strain. That said, there’s plenty to be hopeful about! Proactively identifying stress and implementing strategies to reduce it can help us live healthier lives. There are evidence-based strategies to move through a stress response so we don’t get stuck.
I’ve narrowed these down to a few suggestions to help you move through stress rather than avoid it:
Stress is part of life, and it can serve to indicate what’s important to you. What is stress telling you? Maybe it is time for a change or time to take a break? Whether you’re in an unhealthy relationship, or something in your body just doesn’t feel right, whatever it is, pay attention. Ask yourself whether the situation you’re in is a manageably stressful situation, or whether a shift needs to take place.
One definite is that you can’t avoid stress altogether, so get creative and try some of these suggestions to reduce it and bring some peace into your life.
This article was written by Kelsey Block during their time at Shift Collab.
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