Is your goal to avoid stress?
You might want to rethink it, because according to a study at Stanford University, the mindset of avoiding stress instead of embracing it increased the long-term risk of outcomes like depression, divorce and getting fired by increasing people’s reliance on harmful coping strategies such as drinking, drugs or procrastination. (And I'm guessing, comfort eating!)
First know that it is entirely possible to change your mindset regarding stress, start with these 3 concepts:
1. Choose to see stress as something positive for the body, providing energy to use to change things and get things done. Instead of letting stress shut you down, recognize you can use it to your advantage. When you feel your heart pounding, thank it for giving you extra energy to tackle something that might be a bit scary.
2. Realize only dead people have no stress. Stress is relative, we ALL have it, it keeps life dynamic and exciting. Chronic stress is destructive. Learning to embrace stress as part of life and not thinking its something to be eliminated completely is essential to this mindset shift and will greatly diminish chronic stress.
3. View yourself as able to handle stress, even able to learn and grow from it. This starts by lowering the protective barrier we have regarding stress as something to be avoided at all costs. If you have a cheerleader in your life maybe they can help you see yourself differently here, otherwise try to think back on stressful situations you made it through and give yourself some credit.
If this is something you want to change you may want to write an intention around it as I outlined earlier this week. Or give yourself an affirmation such as "I embrace and handle stress easily."
Daily walking or exercise, plus improving the quality of your diet will help improve your body's physiological stress responses and also help your mind think clearly. Making these small changes will add up and in a short time you will feel much more resilient.
Don't underestimate the power just to see one simple thing differently, imagine if stress didn't make you run for the muffins, but made you go take a run... how would your life change?