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How to Be Better at Stress - Well Guides

Stress and Appetite

Sudden and acute stress can shutdown our appetite temporarily as a stress-response mechanism, but chronic stress (anxiety, worry) can increase our appetite.

Mindful eating, which involves eating slowly and relishing every bite, while being aware of the food that is going in us, is extremely important. Be present in the moment and savor the food you're eating.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Be Better at Stress - Well Guides

How to Be Better at Stress - Well Guides

https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-deal-with-stress

nytimes.com

10

Key Ideas

Understanding Stress

  • Dealing with Stress is imperative as it is unavoidable in modern life.
  • Our work, family and our finances create daily stress and other external factors (like politics and terrorism) contribute to our stress levels.
  • A little bit of stress is good for you, and even make you stronger, as long as you don't let it rule your life.
  • The power of belief is actively at work with stress, which can harm you if you believe that it can.

Your Perception About Stress

With stress, the mind and the body are intrinsically linked. You can view stress as something that is wreaking havoc on your body (and it can) or as something that is giving you the strength and energy to overcome adversity.

Exposure to Stress

Regular exposure to stress in small quantities can prepare us to handle a big stressful event in our lives. Prepare yourself for stress by self-education about the stressful event, by doing some physically stressful activities like completing a marathon, or something you dread, like giving a speech.

Repeated exposure to mildly stressful conditions can alter your body’s biological response to stress, making you manage stress in a better way.

Socially Stressful Activities

Socially stressful programs and activities like:

  • Basic Military Training
  • Boot Camp
  • Wildlife Camping Trips

have skill-building, uncomfortable situations by design, that help kids and adults incorporate social and intellectual abilities.

Boost Stress Resilience

Resilience is our ability to 'bounce back' from difficult experiences. There are several ways to practice it:

  • Reframe a seemingly negative condition.
  • Focus on core belief or faith.
  • Find a role model who has come through adversity.
  • Face your fears and confront them rather than avoiding.
  • Take the support of religion or spirituality.
  • Reach out to friends and family.
  • Exercise.
  • Challenge yourself regularly in physical, mental and moral domains.
  • Find meaning and purpose in your life.

Exercise to Lower Stress

Consistent exercise helps in handling stress by:

  • Providing our body with the physical conditioning it requires to recover from stress.
  • Producing mood-boosting endorphins in the brain (especially weight training).
  • Outdoor activities boost your mood further due to the natural surroundings and fresh air.

The Mind

Our mind may be the key tool in handling stressAnd it needs rest to recover and handle the stressful situation in a better way.

  • MeditationOur mind is an emotional muscle, and meditation is the tool to make it rest and restore itself. Controlled breathing is one of the best ways one can improve concentration, vitality and boost one's immune system.
  • Journal writingwhether it is a daily journal, or a mission statement or even a priority list, it can help us reflect on our situation, change our perception, and identify obstacles that may be hindering our goal.

Stress and Appetite

Sudden and acute stress can shutdown our appetite temporarily as a stress-response mechanism, but chronic stress (anxiety, worry) can increase our appetite.

Mindful eating, which involves eating slowly and relishing every bite, while being aware of the food that is going in us, is extremely important. Be present in the moment and savor the food you're eating.

Friends And Family During Stress

The support of family and friends is a vital element in handling stressful situations. 
  • Seeking, and giving support is a powerful way to manage the stress in your life and boost your resilience. This includes listening to and emphasizing with a friend, mentoring, and volunteer work.
  • Acts of physical touch can ease your stress, like hugging or holding hands.
  • Spending time with animals is known to reduce stress, and there is ample evidence that pets are a source of comfort and stress relief.

Health Effects of High Stress

While some stress is essential for human function, chronic stress creates a cascade of physical changes throughout your body: 

  • Heart problems: high risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. 
  • A weak immune system, leaving you vulnerable in the face of illnesses. 
  • Diabetes risk: Chronic stress can lead to extra blood sugar. 
  • Stress can cause stomach and digestion problems and increase the intake of unhealthy foods and alcohol. 
  • Sex and reproduction problems in both men and women.

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Understanding the emotional brain
  • The neural circuits in our emotional brain - the limbic system and subconscious memory systems - control our emotional responses in daily life.
  • When a stimulus arrives in the brain, it activates either stress-resilient circuits, the internal calmers and healers, or stress-reactive circuits.
  • The brain activates the strongest circuit, which controls our responses.
  • If the strongest circuit is the reactive circuit, our strong emotions get the upper hand, and the stress interferes with the part of our brain responsible for higher-level thinking and planning.
  • The longer the stress-reactive circuit is activated, the more likely they are to activate other stress-reactive wires, which can cause an emotional meltdown of anxiety, numbness, depression, and hostility.
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The brain learns to be resilient by being resilient. It takes becoming stressed, then use emotional techniques to change the unreasonable expectations stored in that circuit.

  • One technique is to complain briefly. It activates the reactive wire that has encoded an incorrect response.
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According to research, when we connect with friends, we can handle stress better.

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According to a study, spending time in nature, or even just looking at scenes of nature, may help you recover faster from subsequent stressful experiences.

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Means being consciously present in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, as well as managing your mental and emotional state. 

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Just focus on your sense. You don’t need to close your eyes. You don’t even need to be sitting down.

Use Mindful Reminders

You can use interruptions as hooks to make you more mindful.

Every time your phone rings, take a mindful breath. Every time you hear the ping of a text message, pause to be mindful of your surroundings rather than immediately reacting by checking the message. 

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