Stress is unavoidable in today’s world.
A Yale study concluded that stress literally shrinks your brain.
However, stress is a necessary emotion. It is because our brains will not take action until we feel at least some level of stress.
In fact, a study shows that you perform better if there is some stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s quite good for you.
This sheds light to the important fact that stress needs to be controlled.
According to the same research, too much stress suppresses the brain’s ability to develop new cells.
Next time you face a stressful situation, remember these effective strategies:
1. Appreciate what you have
Being grateful for the things you have reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%.
According to research carried out at the University of California, gratitude is good medicine.
It states that practicing gratitude boosts emotional and physical well being.
When you are grateful, your nervous system is in harmony with your heart rate which means mental clarity.
2. Avoid asking “what if”
Statements starting with “What if?” makes people worry.
When you focus on worrying about how things will turn out, the less time you’ll spend on taking action.
Avoid asking this type of question because it’s a place you don’t need to go.
3. Stay positive
Positive thinking is a key part of effective stress management.
When you think of positive thoughts, you focus your brain’s attention on something that will calm your worries.
When you stay positive, not only will you experience less stress. You will also live longer according to this article.
4. Cut off email usage
A study states that a high amount of email is associated with a high level of stress.
You deserve to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work.
Choose a time when you can go offline to recharge.
5. Limit your caffeine intake
Sorry, coffee lovers. Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, our survival hormone.
Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response. This response sidesteps rational thinking to act faster.
This is great when a bear is chasing you.
But if there’s no bear, it puts your brain and body into a hyperaroused state of stress.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep is important in managing your stress levels.
Not only that, but it also increases your emotional intelligence.
When you sleep, it’s the time your brain recharges itself. But when there is a lack of it, your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced.
According to this article, sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own.
Although we cannot prevent stress from happening, we can control the damage it can bring.
When you are overcome with stress, just follow the steps above to empower yourself.
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