Stress certainly plays an important role in our lives - it IS the thing that helps us study for a test, practice a performance piece, think about what we need to pack for a vacation so we don't forget anything. Chronic stress is NOT helpful though. "Prolonged stress changes the brain. The part of our brain that helps process threatening situations, the amygdala, can appear larger in people who are chronically stressed. Researchers have also seen that areas of the brain involved in rational thought and planning, the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, can appear smaller."
Check out What Stress Does to Your Brain to learn more about how closely stress affects the brain and ways to reverse these adverse effects.
When our minds starts racing it’s easy to lose sight of the moment and become stressed about the future or the past. Here are 3 things we can do in the moment to ground ourselves.
1. Slow down. Literally. Whatever you're doing start doing it at slightly slower pace. Try this practice for slowing down.
2. Soften the body. Our body is usually tensed-up and contracting during stress. Here are seven ways to give your body a break.
3. Be mindful of a simple task. Any simple task. Try this practice to bring awareness to a seemingly mundane task.