In our previous article, we invited you to reflect on how you have been dealing with stress this year. Slowly reaching for the end of the year and aiming at staying healthy if not becoming even healthier than we have been so far, let’s bring our attention to the stress response itself. Although we give stress all the bad names, it is a helpful and necessary process which is worth understanding better. As for everything, it gets easier once we become aware of it and can adopt a more balance approach towards it. Here is how to get there.
The habit to quit: maintaining the stress levels high.
For those who were still doubting this, stress is in itself a healthy physiological response that helps us run away from danger and be ready & alert for action when we need it. And as nature always looks for balance, phases of stress are usually (or at least should) be limited in time and counter-balanced with phases or rest and relaxation. Actually, what a wonderful thing! The issue with this though, is that if we maintain this state of stress constantly turned on by getting ourselves all busy and overwhelmed, by engaging with negative and judgemental self-talk, and by forcing ourselves to achieve always higher goals even in our free time, we never give our system a chance to rest. And this is not the fault of stress itself, it is how we choose to interact with it, how we maintain it at a constant high level through our behavioural and thought patterns that ultimately depletes us from energy and prevents us from recovering.
The habit to adopt: allowing for a balanced stress response.
Our body needs moments of calm in order to be fully operational. Just as our mind needs to wind down every now and then to allow us to focus when we have to, our body too needs rest, care and stillness. And because body and mind are intimately connected, being stressed and tensed mentally ultimately impacts the way we breathe and physiologically maintain our stress response on, preventing our body from recovering in between. So let’s cut ourself some slack and aim to give our body, together with our mind, moments of true and well-deserved rest, as mindfully and as often as possible. It can be a break or a short walk through the office every hour or 30 min. A moment to breathe, a minute to stretch.
Are you ready to manage stress more consciously and effectively in the year to come? Then you are all set to get the good habits going, feeling more empowered, resilient, in control and calmer, no matter what comes your way. Make sure to check our NEW YEAR specials, as a workshop at your company or as an event session to include to your team event or meeting.
Book before December 30th online, set up the date with us for January 2019 and benefit from an immediate discount on your order. We look forward to helping you make 2019 a wonderful, stress-proof and productive year.
And for tips that you can start using straight away, check our online videos on our Youtube channel.
Picture @Unsplash Estee Janssens