Most of us spend a majority of life in the fight or flight mode, exercising our cortisol muscle to it’s fullest extent with running kids to sport practices, assisting in homework, deadlines at work, and bank account deficits. With this stress responds comes a myriad of mental and physical health issues. What would happen if instead of panicking in a stress laden situation, we flipped the switch and turned on the “tend and befriend” hormone, oxytocin?
The ‘fight or flight’ model is based on the very simple assumption that our bodies prepare us for action to either fight with an enemy or to run away from it. But, by nature, women are caregivers and we have the power within us to shift the way we think about stress which research has proven can have a significant impact on our health and happiness.
To shift your stress mindset in a more positive direction, you have to first understand the story you tell yourself centered around stressful situations, and then purposefully explore a more empowered set of positive beliefs.
For example, if you currently have the belief that stress means “I’m weak,” you might try shifting that to “I’m nurturing.” One mindset convinces you that you should abandon the situation to escape the feelings, while the other encourages you to do something in support of what you care about. That simple reframing can create a more positive, less damaging stress experience.
Second, evaluate whether you believe you have the ability to handle stress or you think it’s naturally uncomfortable and damaging. Again, this is a set of beliefs you can challenge and shift.
A final key aspect of your stress mindset is whether you think stress is isolating or a basic human experience. This might be the difference between thinking, “no one understands what I’m going through” versus “stress is part of being human and there are countless other people who know what this feels like.”
You play an active role in how you react to stress. Being clear about your values allows you to transform your experience of stress. Instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me?” ask, “What now?” and “What next?” Give yourself permission to acknowledge that you are going to be changed by stress, adversity, and struggle — but not necessarily only for the worse.
Change is hard! What if you had a strategy, personalized to meet your needs and fit your lifestyle, from a trained healthcare expert who's been where you are and who will empower you to become all you want to be? NOW, that would be EASY. Click here to schedule your free discovery call.