Positive Pause Part 2

  1. As can be seen in part 1, it’s stress-reducing to even merely admit that you’re hurting because of that particular stressor. That can be the first step. And it doesn’t require any greater insight, just stop hiding your own feelings from yourself.
  2. You can decrease your stress by ensuring adequate amounts of the following in your life/work — control, predictability, social support, outlets for frustration.
  3. A novel activity is generally stressful till it becomes a habit. So whatever it is about your work that you feel scared of, afraid to do, stress-inducing, do it again and again and again, till it becomes kind of usual.
  4. Exercise. At least 20–30min a day, few times a week. Exercise helps produce endorphins is common knowledge. But a word of caution here, exercise reduces stress only if it’s something you actually want to do. Forcing someone to exercise will surely increase their stress and worsen their health.
  5. Meditation actually results in changes in your body. it’s not just sitting with your eyes closed and imagining it’s reaping some benefits. It reduces your glucocorticoid (stress hormone) levels, sympathetic tone (fight or flight response), lowers BP etc. I meditated one time with a guru, guided meditation; and it was like someone had done magic on me. My paining limbs were rested as if I’d had a good sleep. That was ages ago, been wanting to take up meditation ever since, but there’s only so much time in one’s life when you work 6 days a week. But excuses apart, will surely comment more on meditation once I’ve inculcated this habit. 🙂
  6. One important last point I would like to add here. While in the first point I mentioned getting more control is healthier for you, reduces stress. This also comes with a word of caution. You shouldn’t believe that everything is under your control. If you’re in a crazy situation, some man-made or natural disaster, better not believe that you had some control over the outcome. This will lead you into a negative spiral of “I could’ve done something more.” Don’t be mentally trapped by this. Sometimes it’s ok to admit that you did your best, rest was actually out of your control.

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