May 2020 – Positive vs Negative Stress

May 2020 – Positive vs Negative Stress

Positive vs Negative Stress

We all have stress, especially during these uncertain times. Negative stress can keep you from feeling and performing your best, mentally, physically and emotionally. Try these three simple techniques for dealing with it. Positive Self-Talk – Lets be honest, we all talk to ourselves! Sometimes we talk out loud, but usually we do it in our heads. Self-talk can be positive or negative, with negative self-talk increasing stress. Positive self-talk can help you calm down and control stress. With a little practice, you can learn to shift negative thoughts to positive ones.

 Examples of Shifting Negative to Positive 

“Everything is going wrong.” > “I can handle this if I take one step at a time.”
“I feel helpless and alone.”> “I can reach out and get help if I need it.”
Emergency Stress – Stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations, and sometimes it helps to combine them. Here are some ideas:

  • Count to 10 before you speak or react.
  • Take a few slow, deep breaths until you feel your body unclench a bit.
  • Go for a walk or do something active. Exercise is a great antidote for stress.
  • Try a quick meditation or prayer to get some perspective.
  • If it’s not urgent, sleep on it and respond tomorrow.
  • Walk away from the situation for a while, and handle it later once things have calmed down.
  • Break down big problems into smaller parts. Take one step at a time, instead of trying to tackle everything at once

 

Stress-Busting Activities Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to relieve stress and find your happy place. When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes. Some of these activities may work for you:

  • Be creative – draw, color, paint or play a musical instrument.
  • Read a book, short story or magazine.
  • Listen to music or watch an inspiring performance.
  • Take a relaxing bath and feel the stress wash away.
  • Meditate or practice yoga.
  • Work in the garden or do a home improvement project.
  • Go for a walk or bike ride to clear your head.

The key is to find your groove and make it a practice. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you may start to feel better once you disrupt the cycle of stress.     – Info adapted from American Heart Association.

Benefits of Movement

Physical activity along with proper nutrition, is beneficial to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Benefits include

  • Control weight
  • Promote strong bone, muscle and joint development
  • Conditions heart and lungs
  • Improve sleep
  • Increase your energy and self-esteem
  • Relieve stress

Ways to Get Movin’

  • Give your house a good spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Plant and care for a vegetable garden (then cook the vegetables for healthy meals).
  • Start your day with a morning stretch or end your day with calming yoga.
  • Experience the great outdoors with a hike or bike ride.  Info adapted from HHS.gov