How Stress Works and How You Can Manage It
Not all stress is the same, and our relationship to that stress has huge impacts on our health!
We know stress can feel like a bad word, but that’s not really fair. Stress isn’t necessarily “good” or “bad” – our relationship to stress, however, can vary greatly and have important effects on our overall health.
Have you ever felt nervous for a new activity or first date? Motivated to meet a deadline for a project you’ve been working on? Startled when you walked into your apartment to find a surprise party gathered in celebration of you? Then you’ve experienced something called “eustress” – your body’s response to excitement. It’s a form of stress that most of us feel in small doses from time to time!
Have you ever woken up for weeks at a time dreading going to an activity or place? Have you ever felt panicked every time a notification goes off on your phone? Have you ever found your mind constantly racing with thoughts about work, preventing you from feeling present? Then you’ve experienced something called “chronic stress” – your body’s constant response to stressors that can have detrimental effects on your health and well-being. But don’t let that stress you out!
Meditation doesn’t eliminate stress, it changes our relationship to it. Stressors will always exist and our physiological responses to these stressors is deeply encoded into our DNA. But we don’t want to be dropping into fight-or-flight mode every time we get a work email, save that response for a time you find yourself on a sky diving adventure. Meditation helps us develop the mindfulness to pivot in those moments of stress and calm our nervous system and body to return to homeostasis; which benefits our physical and mental health.
Mindfulness Monday Tip:
Get outside this week! Leave your phone and smartwatch behind and walk around outside for at least 10 minutes a day. Take notice of the world around you – the sights, the smells, the sounds. Ground yourself in the present moment. This is an excellent type of break to take during the workday to help you feel reenergized and calm!
And for even more of a reset, head on over to one of our San Francisco classes to access those feelings of clarity and calm.