I have always believed that I am either prone to stress or have a very poor way of dealing with it. And to a certain extent that is true, but I have always been active in trying to control stressful reactions. In the past I have seen the overall benefit of allotting effort for self-care, time management, diet, exercise and positive perspective.
Just in the past week, however, did I truly come to the realization that my perspective of ‘dealing with stress poorly’ may indeed weaken my ability to deal with it. I rated myself lowest on: perspective, diet and exercise. Each got a score of about five to six. I suppose I tend to sacrifice keeping up with my well being over other priorities. Anyway, I figured I would coolly try to improve these areas over the next week to see what happened.
Indeed, it definitely helped. I forced myself to stop over-thinking and worrying. Even further, I focused on positive aspects of each day. I hoop dance - which I allowed myself time every evening to do, to get my heart rate up and have fun. And I made chicken noodle soup from scratch, to last the week and add a nutritional boost.
I found improving one area helps reinforce improving other areas. Not only was I feeling generally unstressed, I was more motivated to continue feeling that way. I stopped complaining about things, found myself wanting to exercise more and eat healthy food more. I even found myself cleaning up and organizing often in my free time.
I must laugh. I’m looking over what I wrote yesterday with a sore throat and a cough. I guess I can’t be positive that stressful feelings caused a drop in immunity and an oncoming cold, but considering I have not been sick for several months prior, yet twice over the past three weeks, makes me wonder.
Regardless, mentally, I feel less stressed. I re-rated myself today at about a seven or eight, depending on the day (for perspective, diet and exercise). I do now tend to have a brighter outlook and increased motivation. Plus, aside from this oncoming cough, I feel physically more energetic and fit.