Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Make Stress Your Friend

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and David Castillo Dominici.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and David Castillo Dominici.

Working on a project yesterday, I started feeling a bit stressed out. I stepped away from the computer and took a little walk. Within a few minutes I felt better and came up with a solution to my problem.

It’s a far cry from when my only stress-busting technique was a walk to the nearest vending machine. And even then, it was just a quick, short fix. Soon after munching on Doritos, not only would my stress return, but also guilt over eating crap. Which prompted a walk to the soda machine. Ugh!

Yep, I was a stress eater. Once I left the rat race behind, I thought that would end all my stress.  Nope! If it wasn’t a job, then I’d find something new to stress over, like finances or my health.

We can never get rid of stress. But how we approach it makes a big difference our health and peace of mind. Recently I came across an interesting TED Talk by Kelly McGonigal. Apparently all the physical signs of stress are pretty normal. McGonigal posits that stress is in fact a good thing. It’s when our fear takes over that is the problem.

If we embrace stress as a potential for personal growth, it will make us stronger, smarter and happier.

I don’t know if I’ve successfully turned stress into my friend, as McGonigal suggests, but I handle it better these days. I no longer look to food for comfort. With a lot of practice, movement and activity became my de-stressors. Walking, knitting or cleaning is what I turn to now. I’m able to clear my head and think logically about my problem.

You can never get rid of stress, but I think McGonigal is right. Fear just overwhelms us into paralysis or making dumb food decisions. But learning from stress, taking advantage of it, makes us more resilient.

 

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