What about Stress?

Stress? Who has Stress? I sure don’t! Wait who doesn’t?

Since we all have it, why do some of us appear to be stressed and some don’t?

In August, I was in the midst of writing my book and I ran into a friend at the store. She asked me how I was doing, and I told her how “stressed” I was. She politely listened, I asked her the same question. I then heard the details about a serious health crisis her Father was going through. I felt like my problems were absolutely nothing

Now, there are always going to be people with worse situations and way better. The point is not to shame ourselves or to compare. What we can do is to learn from those who do not let stress impact their health, while others seem to lose their grip over a parking ticket

The American Heart Association recommendation is to find a positive way to handle stress as a way to lower our risk of heart disease. When we are stressed, our bodies react by releasing stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) into the blood. These hormones prepare the body to prepare for “fight or flight” by increasing heart rate and restricting blood flow to the extremities and sending it to the core

Fight or flight is a great evolutionary response when we are fighting a bear. However, we do not need it to kick in over the lack of parking at the mall

A few pointers for managing stress
1) know where you can influence change and where you can’t. Traffic could happen, but leaving the house 15 minutes early can help how we feel when we encounter some.

2) For the areas where we can not influence change such as the weather, we can work on how we think about it. If we tend to be bummed during the grey days of winter, having some fun things to look forward to in January can help our outlook

3) Be aware of your triggers. I can’t handle large crowds. Going shopping on Black Friday does not appeal to me. I plan on never going. I am ok with missing out of all on the saving a few dollars as I will be avoiding tons of stress.

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