Fight, or flight. How to deal with stressful situations.

a person biting a pencil in halfOur bodies are well equipped with the ‘fight or flight’ response. This is known as our SNS system; sympathetic nervous system. When our bodies go into crisis mode, our adrenaline gets high and our blood pressure peaks. There are ways to combat stress and remain calm, even in the most intense of situations. At home, driving in traffic, when running late, it is easy to allow stressful situations to escalate. This is damaging to our minds, bodies, and psyches  Here are some tips to keep stress levels under control. 

Breathe. 

Take long deep breaths. When we are confronted by a stressful situation, we take shallow breaths. This does not allow for our bodies to get enough oxygen, rendering us incapable of thinking clearly, or rationally. Take some very deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Really breathe deeply, feel your diaphragm expand and contract. 

Count. 

Count to ten. Slowly. This is especially helpful when confronted with a stressful conversation, or a phone call where communication has been compromised. Count to ten before you speak. A pause to consider what your next words are could prove invaluable – think before you speak.

Walk away. 

Most hairy situations can be avoided by merely walking away. Simply say that you can deal with the situation later, and take a moment to regroup. Then when you are calmer, you can deal with the issue at hand in a rational manner. 

Break it down. 

Break down large problems or tasks into smaller ones. For example, if you have 100 emails in your inbox, return them all in increments. If they don’t all have to be done in one day, allot a set time to deal with them ten at a time. This takes away that overwhelming pressure of getting it all done RIGHT now. Ever had that feeling that you have so much to do that you don’t know where to begin? We’ve all been there. Just break it down, one step at a time. Slow and steady wins the race.

Daily doings. 

If you find yourself confronted by stress on a day to day level, consider practicing meditation or yoga. Meditating for even just ten minutes a day has been proven to lower stres levels, and clear your mind of all the clutter and junk. Yoga, with it’s concentration heavy, slow and soothing moves can help you get connected with your inner ‘ohmm’. The place inside you of peace and awareness. If none of these appeal to you, find something that you love to do that calms you, and do it daily. Take a run, a walk, knit a scarf, find time to take care of YOU. 

***picture credit: kodjoworkout.com

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.