Yesterday we talked about the part stress plays in our lives, underscoring that we need a certain amount of stress to be revved up enough to perform and function optimally. We also discussed some of the ways we can de-stress when we are overloaded with stress. Too much stress isn't healthy.
In addition to finding ways to calm ourselves down when our stress is out of control or is chronic, we can learn to change our perception of things. We can challenge ourselves to see things differently so something we used to dread doesn't seem quite so threatening anymore.
Each of us has things that signal "danger" to us. Perhaps for you it's meeting people you don't know. Or it might be speaking up in a large group. Whatever it is, see whether there's a way to reframe the experience so it's less frightening—and eventually, perhaps not frightening at all. When you are able to change your perception and your thinking, you will be able to change the feeling that accompanies the experience. If entering a room of strangers seems frightening, try walking into that room with the idea that you might find just one person with whom you can converse—perhaps one new friend you haven't yet met! Search the faces to find the most inviting and least threatening one. That may seem less intimidating than thinking of an entire roomful of strangers. You might even walk over to that person and introduce yourself or ask a question.
If you are able to reframe some of your stress and build a toolkit for responding once stress overwhelms, you will help your body stay healthier. It's so worth it.
P.S. As I said yesterday, beginning in January 2017, I will post blogs three days a week rather than five. I'm happy to hear your topic ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.