We get to school and Big A realizes she forgot something and panics (and so do I). I leave right on time to my appointment and get stuck in unexpected traffic. The printer is jammed right as I need to print something for work. Then I remember I need to get something done today, ruining my writing plans.
Let’s face it, the daily stressors are never ending whether they are happening in the now or a concern for the future.
What we may to always realize is the way in which we respond to daily stressors is an important aspect of health. Research shows that how we view stress — the stress mindset — can improve or hurt the stress response.
In one study, people either viewed a film clip highlighting the enhancing nature of stress or the debilitating nature of stress. When given a challenge, those in the “stress-is-enhancing” mindset showed more cognitive flexibility and positive affect while those in the “stress-is-debilitating” mindset had declines in those areas.
It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We have the ability to choose responses that positively affect our mood, outcome, and the health of our body. Avoiding (or lessening) the flight or fight response means we think more clearly and strengthen our problem-solving skills. And when we find more productive ways to respond to stress we become positive role models for our kids.
So this week let’s be mindful of our responses to stress. When something is causing you to react catch yourself, and pause. Can you choose a better response?