Feeling stressed out?
Some days just don’t go terribly well. Your schedule gets thrown off, you easily get into squabbles with the people around you, it’s as if Murphy’s Law is running the show–anything that can go wrong, will!
When you’re having this kind of a day, how do you typically handle the stress? The way you routinely handle your stress, and the increased anxiety levels that accompanies things not going your way, is known as your stress response.
The same way your knee jerks up when the doctor taps on it, there are also particular ways you respond when you start getting stressed out.
Yours might be running straight to the freezer and climbing into a container of Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream. Or perhaps you screech at every person who crosses your path.
Your stress response takes over as that last straw breaks the camel’s back–you’ve just had enough!
How do you relieves stress?
When stress levels reach a breaking point, it’s normally too late to stop and respond from a conscious place. Start to pay attention earlier–before it’s too late. Identify methods of dealing with stress as it starts to build up, before it gets out of control.
Consider what your stress response might be. You might not have thought about it before. Perhaps you don’t even realizing when stress begins to take its toll and starts to send you into rampant, unconscious coping mechanisms.
Once you discover how you actually handle stress as it begins to tip the scales, you’ll be able to avoid counterproductive behaviors and choose healthier more satisfying outlets.
What creates change?
The next time you start to feel stressed out, keep an eye on how you are reacting in the situation. Do you explode like a bomb, devour the contents of your fridge, or do you get a knot in your stomach and began to feel physically ill?
Keep a record of your physical sensations at those times. Write down what you’re thinking and what you end up doing.
You can’t change anything you’re not aware, so the first step is to know thyself. And then find ways to react differently.
Beth and Neill
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