The Up Side of Stress

We’ve had more than our fair share of stress in the past year of Covid – worries about job security, health and home.

When stress becomes overwhelming, breath, deeply, suggests Stress Reduction Specialist Holly Duckworth. Think about the source of stress and the intensity. “Is this positive stress or is this chronic stress? If you’re feeling it in your heart, or in your body, or you’re extra-exhausted, give yourself a mental break, a physical break, even a five minute walk,” she advises.

But according to the American Psychological Association, low level stress – tension – can have an up side. A good dose of adrenaline can focus thinking. “That stress invites us to be better problem solvers,” councils Duckworth. “Judge, discern, think, know and remember.”

You’re sharper, more alert, more in the moment when endorphins course through your veins in limited amounts. Like a job interview. You might be nervous, forgiven for feeling a bit stressed. But that stress can work in your favor.

If it builds and races your heart, breathe. Walk. Get it under control. “Acknowledge the stress, and make a different choice,” suggests Duckworth.

photo: Getty Images

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