“On a scale of 1-10, how much stress do you have in your life?”
You’ve probably encountered this question before. What would your answer be today? What could you do to cut that number in half?
You might be thinking things like “quit my job”, “win the lottery”, or “give away my kids” (don’t worry, I won’t tell your kids). While those might seem like easy ways to reduce the stress in your life, the truth is, we could never remove all the stressors we face, nor would we want to.
While the connotation of “stress” is typically negative, in the right amount and duration, stress can actually help motivate us, focus our energy, and improve our performance. This type of positive stress is also known as “eustress” (example: exercise). The negative kind of stress that we more often think about is called “distress”, and like it or not, both are a part of our daily lives. While none of us can completely avoid distress, there is another way to cut our stress number in half: we can learn strategies to reframe and better manage the stressors we face.
Why would we want to cut our stress number in half? Well, for one, we know that stress (especially chronic stress) has been linked to increased inflammation in the body, which in turn increases our risk for disease, depression, and even cancer. By reducing our stress levels, we can deactivate our sympathetic nervous system (which turns on our fight-flight-freeze stress response) and activate our parasympathetic nervous system (which governs our rest-digest-reproduce relaxation response).
- Chris Kresser – Beyond Paleo: Manage Your Stress
- Chris Kresser – Five Simple (But Powerful) Tools for Fighting Stress
- Emily Fletcher – Three Reasons You Keep Quitting Your Meditation Practice
- Do Yoga With Me – Free Online Yoga & Meditation
- Yoga With Adriene – Free Yoga Classes!
- Bulletproof Radio with Emily Fletcher – Meditation: The Ultimate High Performance Tool
- Ali Miller, RD – The Stress Connection to Autoimmune Disease
- Ali Miller, RD – The Stress Thyroid Connection
- Untangle – The Meditation Podcast
- 10% Happier with Dan Harris