Process Your Stress

When you get stressed out, do you find yourself feeling stuck and swirling?

Stress and burnout experts tell us we have to do something called “complete the stress cycle” in order to escape that stress swirl.

Here are three meaningful steps to completing the stress cycle—helping yourself move out of an activated stress state.

  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, feel your stress, and let your body do the heavy lifting of the stress processing for you.

  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.

  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 helpful. 

These things all make a difference in alleviating your stress. Give it a month of trying these three things, and notice if it helps.

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