According to Sarah Laurie, author of a new book called “Stress Less” and life coach, the way we have been approaching stress has been wrong: we need to change our responses to stress and not necessarily try to remove the causes.
Sarah was inspired to write her book after speaking at a conference in which she learned that all 350 participants in the room knew someone who ended their lives due to stress.
Sarah says that the answer doesn’t necessarily lie in changing the external situations that cause stress, but how we respond to them.
In “Stress Less” Sarah notes:
The way to do this is to manage our stress response, and this occurs in the brain. It’s hard to get our head around the idea that it’s not what’s happening in our life that’s causing our stress, but rather it’s how we experience what’s happening that makes the difference.
So, how can we change our responses to stress? Below are 5 tips:
1. Act now
People often overestimate the changes they need to make as well as the time it takes. The key is to act now to start making the change.
2. Acknowledge that the stress you feel is your brain’s stress response and not due solely to your life circumstance
3. Commit to short but consistent behaviors to reduce stress
Step away from your work at least every 90 minutes, and do a breathing exercise.
4. Think differently about your situation
Thinking positively in general will help form a new pattern of thinking!
5. Focus on the good
Consciously turn your attention to what is working well. This will remind you of what’s good and also help form a new response pattern.
The New Zealand Herald