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
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.