By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Stress. Yuck. We are all feeling that more than ever, right? (Isn’t that the understatement of the world...lol.). There is nothing good about stress; stress is one of the most harmful emotions to our mental and physical health. Numerous studies have shown that chronic stress can weaken the immune system, increase blood pressure, speed up aging, worsen sleep, and decrease the body’s feel-good chemicals of dopamine and serotonin. I don’t know about you but there is nothing on that list that I want more of in my life (‘Cause we all want to look older, said nobody EVER.)
These negative effects of stress are largely due to the activation of the body’s fight or flight response. Put simply, this is our body’s survival response to literally save you from bodily harm (for more information, check out this blog post from SoulShine Life Connections from October, “Take a Deep Breath: Save the Fear Response for a Tiger Chasing You” https://www.findyoursoulshine.com/blog/take-a-deep-breath-save-the-fear-response-for-a-tiger-chasing-you). Stress is a constant battle in our lives and a threat to your health and well-being. And, it is a huge roadblock to you living your best life.
Listen up! I don’t want you to miss this #truthbomb I’m about to drop on you. Even right now, in the midst of a national crisis, you do NOT need survival-mode stress level in your life. And, here’s why. Survival-mode stress makes you focus on the next move for safety and prevents you from coming up with long-term solutions. We need all of our critical thinking ability to navigate this time, and survival-mode stress is not going to help you.
Now that I have your attention, it’s time to give you the power back. Stress isn’t as hard to defeat as you might think. You know where it starts? With you and a choice. Yup. It’s that simple. How YOU choose to react is how to defeat stress. You can CHOOSE to feel blessed instead of stressed, CHOOSE hope over fear. And, what superpower should you use? Gratitude.
Being grateful flips the switch, DreamChasers. Study after study have shown it is impossible to feel stress or negativity when you are expressing and experiencing gratitude. Gratitude releases those feel-good chemicals of dopamine and serotonin that stress holds hostage back into your system. This starts the pendulum of positivity swinging to the hope direction. A mindset based in gratitude, hope, and positivity is the difference maker and will start you on your banishment of stress from your life.
You might be saying, “Great. But, what do I do??”. Never fear, DreamChasers, SoulShine would never leave you hanging without a solution! Here’s the SoulShine Blessed Instead of Stressed Strategy:
Flipping the script not only makes you feel blessed instead of stressed but also see the possibilities instead of impossibilities, recognize solutions through the complaints, positivity rather than negativity, hope shining through fear. And, that, DreamChasers, is how you get past the roadblock and back on the path to your best, most inspired, and purposeful life.
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.