When you get stressed out, do you find yourself swirling around—agitated and stuck?

Stress and burnout experts tell us something called “completing the stress cycle” is an effective way to stop the spinning.

Here are three meaningful steps that can work wonders.

  1. Exercise

Physical exertion is the best way for our bodies to metabolize stress hormones. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym. A brisk walk, doing 7-minute fitness apps on your phone, yoga, kickball with the kids—it all counts. Just get your heart pumping, think about the stuff that’s stressing you out, and let your body do the heavy lifting of the stress processing for you.
It will metabolize your stress hormones while you are exerting yourself. It’s powerful medicine for your mental health.

  1. Mindfulness/Meditation

You don’t have to become a yogi or guru.

But, the research is really powerful.

Learning to be more mindful (present) calms our stress. It keeps us from projecting forward in our thinking with scary movies about things that haven’t happened—and from ruminating backwards about things we can’t change.

Meditation (even for just a few minutes a day) is a great way to train our brains to be more present and less reactive.

If you can’t do that, practice counting your breaths for 1 minute a day in the morning and 1 minute in the evening. Try grabbing one wrist with the other wrist to soothe yourself. These are mindfulness tools to help you strengthen your mind’s ability to process stress.

  1. Community

Connecting to other people—through meaningful conversations, time laughing, venting, etc. can all be good medicine for our stress. If you spend your time with others recounting everything that stresses you out? It may not be helpful. But, good old fashioned heart to heart connections can be really good for you.

These three things all make a difference in processing your stress. Give them a try and let me know how you feel.

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