How to overcome stress?

How to overcome stress:

1. Whatever be the reason behind the stress, it manifests in your body by activating your Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS).

2. Once your SNS is activated, blood is diverted from the peripheral parts of the body to your big muscle groups (e.g., thighs), so that you can fight the threat. That is why you may feel cold or tingling on hearing anxiety-provoking news.

3. SNS raises your blood pressure and heart rate, and slows down your digestion and non-urgent tasks.

4. When you are experiencing this stress, your cortex (the ‘thinking brain’) goes offline. That is why telling yourself to calm down may not work – your thinking brain no longer controls the body.

But there is good news – your body can still influence your brain.

5. So do the following:

– Do progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). Tighten each major muscle group of your body (e.g., feet, then lower legs, and so on) for 10 seconds and then relax them.

As your body relaxes, it signals your brain that there is nothing to worry and your mind also calms down.

– Breathe in to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4, and breathe out to the count of 8. The outbreath activates your Parasympathetic Nervous System, which calms you down.

If your stressor is still there, your stress may later come back but in that moment, your stress will quite likely melt away.

Simple? Try it out and see for yourself.

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