Manage Your Stress!

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Manage Your Stress!

Encourager-In-Chief: May 17th, 2022

Expert advice from Sarah Ellis of Birth Babes

Imagine yourself in the most relaxing, calm, and serene moment of your life. Seriously, though, do it right now before you read any further. Close your eyes for a few seconds, take a deep breath, and picture the scene. Ready? Go!

Fantastic work! Great job.

Think about the image that came to mind. Were there certain sights, smells, or settings that emerged when you settled into the exercise? Taking time to focus on the core elements of life that emerged during your exercise are a great place to start minimizing stress.

Speaking of stress, what exactly is it? Sure, we all experience stress for various reasons, but it’s helpful to know a bit more about the dynamics that go into what we experience. Stress is a normal human reaction and our bodies are designed to experience stress and react accordingly. When you experience unanticipated changes or challenges, your body produces physical and mental responses as a cue that “something is up!” That’s stress!

When managed properly, stress is not all bad. It can be used as a tool to indicate that your emotions or body needs help adjusting to something unexpected or unfamiliar. For instance, certain amounts of stress can be positive, helping us stay alert and motivated and ready to avoid danger. It can help us become aware of physical pain that can be addressed with medical assistance or lifestyle changes. It can also help us to maintain healthy relationships, provided we properly identify and communicate the stress we feel when around others. When stress continues without relief or periods of relaxation, it can quickly become a problem. Unmanaged stress can cause all sorts of complications, both physical, mental, and emotional. Physically, stress releases cortisol in the body which has been found to be one of the number one causes of accumulated belly fat.

To lessen the effects of stress, try three simple strategies to help you renew your outlook.

Time Management and Organization.

As much as some people love to manage their time and be organized, there are many who choose to have other priorities. When it comes to stress management, a more organized life (including time) can make a huge difference. A clean home, for instance, makes it easier to concentrate on the other things that life throws at us. One method is to take a single room in your home, such as your kitchen, choose one drawer and organize it. Doing small, reasonable tasks to start organizing your life is one of the first steps to managing stress.

Rest and Relaxation.

In this day and age, people seem to always be “on the go.” It is imperative to learn techniques of relaxation to destress the body and to find a balance. Our bodies are on a constant mission for homeostasis (balance within the body). We can help our bodies attain this goal more readily by getting adequate rest (8 hours of sleep at night), balanced nutrition, and finding activities that you love, like hiking, swimming, and gardening among many others. Keep yourself motivated with the activities that energize you and burn off unnecessary stress.

Change Your Perspective.

While two different people experience a similar situation, one may find the experience to be stressful; the other may find it to be motivational. Each person goes into a situation with a different perspective. Perspectives can be altered because neuroplasticity allows us to “re-wire” our brains with a better approach. This helps us to adopt new ideas and methods for accomplishing tasks. Altering your inner narrative can also help to reframe your perspective. Let your mind order your thoughts and how you choose to view the world.

Let me hear from you.

(Sarah Ellis will be one of my guest panelists for the Proven Success Skills for Business Women: Managing Stress Forum.) I encourage you to click here to register for the Proven Success Skills for Business Women: Managing Stress Forum on Thursday, June 23, 2022 from 9 AM to 12 noon Eastern Standard Time at Melhorn Manor in Mount Joy, PA. This event will also be available through live streaming.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
- William James

Let me hear from you!