Stress is the biggest trigger in most people’s lives. And let’s be honest, the times we are living in can be pretty stressful right now. Every day life is already pretty darn stressful. Commuting, financial responsibilities, job stress, and relationship stress, but did you know that how you react to these stressors is the key. Triggers produce thoughts, which lead to actions that have consequences. Remember that! Being aware of how you respond to stress, bad habits, or triggers is the first step in being able to conquer them.
It’s time to double down and take a look how we respond to stressors and how to kick those high cortisol responses to the curb! Let’s grab a hold of the moment and turn it around. Behavior therapy can help you transform how you react to stress.
First, imagine the outcome you want from your current situation. I call it visualizing. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and visualize yourself one week or month into the future. Notice what is the same and what is different about your situation. If you’re still in the same spot, maybe think of how will you be different. How will you feel different or react differently? Really see it.
Now, picture yourself interacting with your new situation. You are not your circumstances. You are you. And because of that, your circumstances can feel different. If you really think hard about what you want next, studies show that it can help you increase your self-efficacy, overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.
Next is to put time into your “chill” practice. Whether you meditate, practice yoga, journal or run five miles, you need to invest some time into doing something that helps fill you with joy or something that makes you feel connected to yourself and the world around you.
Do you ever relax? I mean really chill. A warm bath, reading a good fiction book, snuggling with your pet or loved one…anything really that helps your jaw relax, your shoulders come down, and puts a smile on your face. Getting grounded and true relaxation can help bring cortisol levels down.
The next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, physically or mentally remove yourself to calm your nervous system down. This will help you tackle the situation with a straight head rather than saying or doing something rash. Speak to yourself in a kind way and talk positively about the outcome. “You can do this” or “I can make it through this” are positive reinforcements to tell yourself.
Learn more tools like this in my new Nourish + Flow lifestyle program that starts January 9, 2021.