Modern life is stressing and there’s really no way to escape external pressures (technically known as “stressors”) that make everyone’s existence too fast-paced, too exhausting and too demanding.
Asking people to have less stress is like asking birds to have fewer feathers. We could try to ignore stress since it’s so easy to find, but our bodies won’t respond properly. Even a situation that might seem entirely positive, like winning the lottery or going on vacation, could trigger the same stress hormones as negative events.
The surge of stress hormones, mainly adrenaline and cortisol, may be interpreted by the body as an emotion. Then, the physiological reality is hidden from sight. These hormones lead to a cascade of reactions, including elevated heart rate and blood pressure, whose purpose is to prepare your body to handle threats. When prolonged and repeated, the stress response starts damaging tissues and organs throughout the body.
When you become aware that you’re not only victim of stress but also a potential source, your behavior changes. Here are some simple and positive exercises to relieve stress around you, and that you may apply to your personal and family relationships.
- Ask others how they feel and listen to their answer
- Do not insist on getting your way
- Always show respect to everyone. Never belittle or use a scapegoat
- Never criticize someone in public
- Accept input from as many people as possible
- Praise and appreciate other people’s work
- Be loyal so that others are loyal to you
- Do not gossip
- Wait till you are calmed before addressing a situation that makes you angry
- Give your coworkers and employees enough room to make their own decisions
- Be open to new ideas, no matter whom they come from
- Do not favor a small circle and exclude everyone else
- Address tension as it arises instead of denying it or waiting for it to solve itself
- Don’t be a perfectionist, or someone who can never be satisfied
- Treat both sexes equally
If you’ve already adopted all or most of the behaviors listed here, congratulations! You’ve already begun to heal. Most of us, however, must make a conscious effort to change our habits and it’s up to us to make the change in attitude that will benefit us both physically and mentally.