Has your stress motor revved up and not been able to slow down?
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Stress activates our body’s emergency response system. Navigating day-to-day stressors builds psychological strength and resilience. But if stress is chronic or traumatic, it becomes unhealthy.
Many “cope” with chronic stress by using drugs or alcohol. Others passively watch television or aimlessly scroll on a computer. Some may adopt abnormal eating habits.
Are there more effective ways to manage stress?
Well, we've got a few suggestions!
Confide in a trusted family member or friend. Studies show that the support of a loved one gives protection from stress and its related disorders.
Do not focus on worst-case scenarios. Excessive worry is like rocking back and forth in a rocking chair — you expend lots of energy without actually getting anywhere. Limit media consumption.
Get adequate rest. Make time to unwind and allow yourself to let strong feelings fade.
Set sound priorities. Eat healthy meals and exercise daily. Take time to listen to your children’s concerns and address their questions.
Be forgiving. Remember that everyone reacts differently to emergencies. When someone upsets you, try to stay calm. Do your best to settle disagreements respectfully. Do not hold on to anger or resentment.
Try a creative outlet. Learn to make something with your hands or to play a musical instrument.
Our world is indeed facing a crisis like never before. We may feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and completely out of control. The secret to gaining control is learning both to accept our new circumstances and then to work within our new limitations.