Smarter Ways to Fight Stress

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We’ve all been wired to think that stress is the devil that we avoid at all costs. And maybe it is: chronic stress can cause a variety of problems—emotional (irritability, depression, etc.), physical (nausea, chest pain, etc.), cognitive (anxiety, memory failure, etc.), and behavioral (drug dependency, procratination, etc.).

But while stress may be a given in our everyday living, it doesn’t have to overcome our daily existence. We have to be smarter in fighting stress. Here are four ways.

1) Reach for adaptogens

Consider these the superherbs: adaptogens are herbal ingredients that are said to help fight stress and fatigue. They are used to “improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress.” I’d like to think that we have been using adaptogens all our lives—all the way back to the time our moms made us drink a warm concoction of boiled lagundi leaves for our nagging cough.

Ginseng, holy basil, rhodiola rosea, and turmeric are some of the more popular adaptogens. Healthy Options has some products with these superherbs in stock. This 101 should also help get you started on your journey to discovering adaptogens.

2) Change your mindset about stress

“I want to make you better at stress. How you think and how you act can transform your experience of stress,” psychologist Kelly McGonigal shares in her talk “How to make stress your friend.” It’s a powerful video that we recommend to anyone who experiences daily little and big stresses—and that’s all of us. “When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. And when you choose to connect with others under stress, you can create resilience,” she adds.


3) Practice mindfulness.

We’ve talked about how mindfulness keeps you sane at work. Mindfulness allows you to be aware, and in moments of stress, it’s important to identify your stressors. The moment a stressful incident happens, acknowledge it and be aware of how you react to it. Take a moment, breathe, go for a walk (even if that means momentarily walking away from what’s causing the stress), collect your thoughts, and clear your head.


4) Connect to an app.

It may seem counterintuitive to connect to technology when you’re already stressed, but it’s not if you connect to apps that help reduce or manage your stress. We particularly enjoy Calm (going to the site alone is already calming), Headspace, and Buddhify.

How do you deal with stress? Share in the Comments.

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