Reducing Stress in the Moment Requires Physical and Mental Awareness
Most examples of stress management advice call for long-term lifestyle shifts, which are all fine and good. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything you can do when stress sneaks up on your in the moment.
There are many little inconveniences in life that, in the moment, can be troubleshooted with a quick Google search: How long will this rainstorm last? Is it safe to eat that expired food? Are those chicken pox on my arm? A quick few keystrokes later and you've got your answer.
But when it comes to stress management, in-the-moment troubleshooting doesn't often come to mind. As Rebecca Knight writes over at the Harvard Business Review, that's partly because we've long been inundated with the same old strategies for stress relief that almost categorically recommend broader lifestyle shifts such as getting more sleep or taking up yoga. Those are fine and good for preventing stress for the future. But what about your stress today? How do you deal with sudden bad news or added responsibilities or any number of different causes of abrupt tension?
Luckily, Knight's piece does a fantastic job of amassing a ton of academic research supporting proven tactics for tackling temporary stress. The common key to dealing with flare ups is to assess one's physical reactions to stimuli. Knight calls these "stress signals." They're usually things like increased pulse, heavy breathing, and toxic feeling of self-doubt. Addressing your stress signals, like treating symptoms of an illness, is the best way to pull yourself out of a temporary funk. Focus on controlling your breathing. Take a walk to calm your mind. Shift your internal conversation so that "stressful tasks" become "opportunities for growth or advancement." You can also enlist a friend to help talk you down or make a list of priorities for problem solving.
These are all basic little strategies, but only the tip of the iceberg. Everyone processes stress differently so your own personal strategy can veer from these stated examples. Just remember that addressing your stress signals needs to be the starting point.
Take a look at Knight's full piece (linked below) for more on the topic. It's a really great article.
Read more at Harvard Business Review
Photo credit: PathDoc / Shutterstock
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Scientists make an important discovery for the future of computing.
- Researchers find a new state of matter called "topological superconductivity".
- The state can lead to important advancements in quantum computing.
- Utilizing special particles that emerge during this state can lead to error-free data storage and blazing calculation speed.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
As tempting as it may be to run away from emotionally-difficult situations, it's important we confront them head-on.
- Impossible-sounding things are possible in hospitals — however, there are times when we hit dead ends. In these moments, it's important to not run away, but to confront what's happening head-on.
- For a lot of us, one of the ways to give meaning to terrible moments is to see what you can learn from them.
- Sometimes certain information can "flood" us in ways that aren't helpful, and it's important to figure out what types of data you are able to take in — process — at certain times.