We have all heard that it is good for our health to reduce stress. But what actually makes our stress levels go down?
We are told to exercise and to get the right amount of sleep. These are accepted as being healthy practices to help keep stress under control.
Although healthy, and two things I highly recommend to anyone, finding time to work out as well as getting to bed on time aren't enticing enough to some people.
Even though it's not considered "healthy", sometimes catching up on a few DVR'd episodes of Dr. Phil with a slice of pizza in your left hand and an ice cream cone in your right is what it will take to feel better.
Your hormones play a big part in determining your stress levels, but honestly, I don't know enough about them to get into it.
So to not get into what physiologically needs to happen to get rid of stress, I think what helps us reduce stress is for us to experience some form of escapism from the frustrations in our lives.
This could just be forgetting about your day for an hour during your workout.
It could be going for a walk long enough that you forget what you were just fighting with your spouse about.
It could be the brief enjoyment of a burger and fries - so enjoyable that at the moment, you've stopped worrying about tomorrow's presentation.
It could be anything that takes your mind off the turbulence in your head churning your stress.
Over time, hopefully, we train ourselves to deal with stress better.
Hopefully, we recognize which methods of dealing with stress work best for us.
Things in your life can certainly cause you to stress, but what is most powerful is how you react to those things in your life. If you have an arsenal of activities that you can use to get your mind on things other than your day to day annoyances, you will be better off. Who am I to judge what those activities are for you?
Figure out which activities make you feel good while doing them, and do those things more often to keep stress at bay.