4 Top Clinically Proven Ways to Reduce Stress
Why We Get Stressed Out
<p?Stress was originally a good thing that kept our ancestors alive. In a world before computers, most of the stressors of daily life were immediate and also involved some sort of exercise. Our ancestors had to learn how to run away from some animals, and to run after other animals, for survival. The zebra on the savanna has a stress response designed to get its body moving into gear to get away, and then once the lion is safely out of range, to chill out and go back to eating grass.
Stress was originally a short-term solution to mobilizing the body to be more resilient the face of danger.
The problem in our society is that our stressors often don’t involve running nor are they over quickly. Think financial, marital, familial, or career stress. Such psychological stressors are just as challenging as physical stressors, and our bodies are extremely well adapted to trigger the stress response when it senses danger. When bodies are in a constant state of low-grade stress, our response to stress is actually more harmful on us than the actual stress itself.
What Helps Manage Stress
Outlet for Frustration.
- Having a hobby (such as mountain biking) or something that you can look forward to helps manage your recovery from something stressful. Just thinking about the fun, stress-relieving activity is usually enough for people to minimize the impact of stress. Key questions: what do you look forward to in your life? What system can you create to remember it when stressed?
- If you have friends – or a life coach – who can listen to you, your response to stress and glucocorticoids will be lower. Stress while isolated can be a huge challenge.
- Anything you can do to help make your life more predictable if you’re stressed out, is going to reduce your stress. Bored or need something to shake it up? Then go the other direction and do something wild. Being able to think in terms of systems and predictability helps manage stressors.
- Hope theory and Growth Mindset rule here. If you think you can control what’s causing you pain, your stress levels will drop. If you think you can do the work to get where you want to go, setbacks aren’t as stressful.