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How to Flip the Switch on Stress

By Sandy Schroeder

Right now, as we navigate through a very stressful world, most of us would welcome some relief from stress, but we may be missing a key option. Harvard Health doctors tell us we may flip the switch by changing the way we see stress.

Their doctors say, "The key isn't to deny stress, but to recognize and acknowledge it as we find the upside.

If you are like me you have a whole set of responses to stress that involve calming down, stepping away or using  meditation, yoga, or hobbies to get relief. In contrast, the Harvard doctors say some stress can be handled by changing the mindset. You probably know some people who actually perform better under pressure. Kelly McGonigal offers some ways to get that positive mindset in her book, The Upside of Stress.

Here are some ways to turn around stress.

Understand a racing heart - As you begin a presentation or wade into a tough negotiation, you may feel your heart pounding. Realize your body is revving up to give you more energy so go ahead and pour that power into your efforts.

Consider why you are nervous - If you are feeling jumpy, stop to figure out why. Often it turns out to be because you are doing something that really matters and will help your family or friends. Keep that in mind and keep on going.

Pause to help someone - When you are in over your head on the job or in the midst of family issues, take a few minutes to reach out to someone who needs help. Give them a hand, and then return to your efforts.

Maintain your connections - That circle of friends can mean a lot when they need you or you need them. I have a group of former co-workers who know how this works. Whenever one of us runs into trouble, we quickly put together a lunch or dinner to listen and help in any way that we can.

Learn how to "tend and befriend" - When you have just gone through a very stressful time learn from it and decompress a little by reaching out to help someone cope with their problems. You may have watched someone completely change after they have gone through a major health, financial or family situation. Helping others seems so right.

Whatever you do when stress just won't go away, don't ignore it. If you don't deal with it, stress will find its own way to emerge. Before you know it, you will have gained 10 pounds and rediscovered double-double burgers or late night tacos. Skip the hassle and find a way to channel your stress.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wellington, Fla.

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