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How to Beat Stress at Its Own Game

By Sandy Schroeder

Much of stress advice focuses on reducing it with exercise, relaxation, or diversions, but that may not be the whole answer.  Scientists are now telling us we can benefit from exposing ourselves to a small amount of stress to become stronger. It’s like getting a stress booster shot.

Regular exposure to small amounts of stress may build up tolerance, enabling us to handle larger amounts of stress when we need to.

There are three parts to a stress booster shot.

Prep for stressful situations – If you expect challenges with your finances, or problems with your family, do the homework to learn how others have handled these situations, and what the specifics look like. Then you will be better prepared to cope with the situation.

Practice dealing with stress – Don’t run from daily stress situations. Accept them as they show up and learn from them. Each time you do, you will be getting feedback from the world and from your own feelings, telling you how well you are doing and how you feel about it.

When major stress hits, don’t panic – You have done the homework to learn more about stress. You have the skills to cope. Now just go ahead and work through the situation. You might be surprised how familiar it looks and how easy it is.

Here are more ways to practice handling stress. Nudge yourself to get into the game.

  • Speak in front of a group
  • Learn to scuba dive
  • Tackle a tough new work project
  • Go on a long wilderness hike

Gradually you will become comfortable with the stress sensations, and they will have less impact. At the same time you can build resilience.

  • Start the day positive – That helps to make the whole day follow suit
  • Rethink negative views – See what you can learn from problems, rather than just groaning through them
  • Copy success – Think of the people you know who are natural leaders or born survivors. Learn from them
  • Stay active – Stress may just disappear when you walk, run or bike away from it. Make exercise a stress weapon
  • Stay in touch – When stress hovers, reach out to friends, family and colleagues. Going it alone never works
  • Know your goals – If you have a clear idea of where you are headed, interim stress may not seem so major. You have bigger things in mind.

The more we learn about stress, and the more positive actions we take, the better our chances are of surviving and thriving.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Worth, Tex.

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