How to build Stress Resilience – Step by step guide
We all want to go through pandemic unaffected. How can I increase my chances? Reading this article will give you a great step-by-step explanation of why is building stress resilience important and how to build a strong immune system.
If you want to…
– Build stress resilience
– Become a stronger person
– Keep fear of uncertainty away
– Grow instead of worry about your future
…then you will find this article helpful.
Why is building stress resilience so important?
In pandemic times, having a strong defense against viruses is vital to our health. Building stress resilience was always important, but this topic is a huge hit in 2020. Why?
Because we all want to survive the pandemic unaffected and keep our immune system as strong as possible. Social distancing, masks and gloves are playing the most important in preventing the spread of the virus, but having a strong immune system is something we can’t overlook.
In case we encounter the virus, having a strong immune system can be the difference between getting sick or staying healthy.
What are the biggest threats to our immune system?
Our immune system is a refined defense system that prevents viruses and bacterial infections to harm us. If maintained on a high level, it can even prevent infections. But it can be very easily weakened with improper care.
Some of the main threats to our immune system are:
Lack of sleep
While we sleep, our body is in maintenance mode. We recharge and get ready for the next day. If we neglect our need for sleep, our body can’t get ready for the day ahead and as a consequence, we often feel as being tired and unhealthy. Lack of sleep can seriously damage our mental and physical health.
It can also cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or even cancer. You can learn how in this video.
We are what we eat. If we eat fast food, which is often full of trans fats and sugars, we are fuelling our body with fuel, which will damage our engine along the way.
In general, food takes up 72 hours to pass through your body, but some things, like mercury which is poisonous and is found in tuna, stays in our body for the rest of our lives.
Trans fats, sugars, mercury, and other damaging ingredients are damaging our body and with it our immune system.
Alcohol, smoking, and other drugs
Do we need to say more? Let’s. Alcohol damages our livers, smoking affects our lungs, skin, and pretty much everything else in our body.
Drugs such as meth and heroin often leave unrepairable damage to our bodies and our brain. If you want to keep your immune system intact, make sure you stay away from these as much as possible.
The biggest factor of them all is stress. Stress is something that we all face on a daily basis, and if we don’t know how to handle it, it can seriously weaken our immune system or causes us to get various illnesses, even cancer.
How can stress affect our bodies?
Stress can cause our body to “malfunction” in many areas. It causes:
– High blood pressure
– Tense muscles
– Weakened immune system
– Risk of heart attack
– Stomach ache
– Shortness of breath
– Thousands of other health issues
More and more research every year shows the importance of decreasing stress in our life to stay fully functional and healthy. A healthy mind and body are our first-class tickets to success and full and happy life.
Stress can cause us a lot of harm, but if we know what causes it and how to prevent it, we can decrease stress by a lot.
What are the main causes of stress?
Fear is an emotion that kept us safe in the past but is damaging us in the present. Fear kept us alert, so we noticed if we were approached by a tiger or a bear. It stopped us from being reckless and it saved our lives many, many times.
But in these times, fear is present constantly and is doing us much more harm than good. It causes us to suppress our emotions and it keeps us anxious. 95% of the fear we feel nowadays is completely irrational. It causes us to worry about the things that will never happen. Most of the fear we feel nowadays is classified as social anxiety.
In the current era, we are most afraid of:
– COVID19 infection
– Losing our job
– Financial bankruptcy
Relationships can fill us with energy or they can deplete our energy. If we are in the company of someone who embraces us for who we are, it fills us with energy and we feel great. But when we are with someone who constantly judges us and makes us feel uneasy, we can feel a lot of stress.
These kinds of relationships are toxic. If we aren’t paying attention, we can let a lot of negative people in our life, which can deplete our energy on a daily basis. Energy depletion weakens our immune system.
Low self-esteem causes us constant stress because we are always unsure of ourselves. Uncertainty is a very big stress factor. Low self-esteem is often caused by:
– Comparing ourselves with others
– Feeling like we aren’t enough
– Not believing in ourselves
– Treating ourselves like we are underachievers
Being positive is beneficial to your mental health and for your immune system. Negativity is decreasing the quality of our life on all fronts. We can become chronically pessimistic and negative if we don’t correct these behavior patterns:
– Automatically expecting negative outcomes
– Losing all battles before beginning them
– Approaching life with cynicism and pessimism
Suppressing our thoughts and emotions
The reason for keeping everything to ourselves is often the fear of confrontation. We care so much about other’s perceptions of ourselves, that we often suppress who we really are.
If we keep this up, we soon lose our confidence and the feeling of powerlessness takes over, which also causes us severe stress.
How can we build stress resilience?
Stress resilience isn’t a trait. It’s a practice. We can build stress resilience by taking care of our mind and body. There are many physical and mental exercises we can do throughout the day, which will help us build our stress resilience to a much higher level. The more of these exercises we will do daily, the bigger the effect:
According to science, we need at least 7 hours of sleep daily to be at our best. Making sure we have a steady sleeping cycle is vital to our stress resilience. When dealing with depressed patients, establishing a steady sleep cycle is one of the first approaches to curing depression.
Besides making sure that we get enough sleep, getting up at the same hour every day is also important. Routine is what keeps us stable and can be our foundation for a healthy mind.
Breathing exercises are a huge hit in the past few years. They are known for centuries, but Wim Hof brought them closer to us with the help of additional scientific research which proved its effect on our immune system. I suggest you look into it, so you will understand the science behind it.
Meditation is something we have all heard of, tried, but didn’t pick up, because we couldn’t feel the immediate effect. Meditating is like going to the gym. At first, we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see the effects, but after a while, the results become very clear to us.
Practicing meditation regularly increases our focus, mental stability, and helps us keep our ego in check. It helps us relax and handle the pressures which are causing us stress.
Here is an easy meditation tutorial with a basic explanation for beginners.
For a healthy mind, we need a healthy body. Physical exercise is one of the biggest stress reducers we know. Exercise produces endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers, which help us sleep and reduce stress.
10 minutes of exercise in the morning will give you tons of energy and vitality, especially when you do it every day. If you need a little extra motivation, you can do a follow along workouts, such as this one, from AthleanX.
Food is fuel for our minds and body. If we want our body to perform at its best, we must consume food that is healthy and gives us the energy that we need. A healthy life is a marathon and not a sprint, so let’s avoid junk food as much as possible.
If you want to get into the specifics of how to eat healthier, we highly recommend watching this 15-minute video tutorial, that will help you understand the benefits of eating healthy and how to approach it.
Dopamine is a hormone and a neurotransmitter our neural system uses to send messages between nerve cells. It plays a huge role in how we feel pleasure. Social media, TV, videogames, and sugars all give us an instant dopamine rush. Quick pleasures like these reduce our productivity because we don’t feel the need to work afterward. We already got our reward, so why bother?
The problem comes when we get addicted to scrolling our phones, or watching TV and start neglecting our responsibilities. This kind of behavior is eventually accompanied by regret, which is a huge stress factor.
With dopamine detox, you minimize these activities and draw happiness from the ones that contribute to your better future, such as exercise, cleaning your apartment, investing in a loving relationship, writing a book, etc.
You can learn more about dopamine detox in this video.
Self-awareness is the key to stress resilience. If we don’t know where we are limited by our ego, we fail to see the solutions to our problems. When we always blame everyone else, we drag our problems along to our future, which causes us a lot of stress.
Instead of focusing on the external world, let’s focus on ourselves and we will solve all of our problems much quicker.
As Simon Sinek said: “The only common factor in all of my failed relationships was me.”
Honesty is vital to our happiness. If we lie, we create stress for ourselves, because we fear exposure. But an even bigger problem than lying to others is lying to ourselves. If we make up excuses for everything, we are postponing our problems that can only be solved by the truth.
Once we have the courage, to be honest, and overcome our fears, only then we can solve the problems that cause us stress.
Life of purpose and vision
Another Simon Sinek quote: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.”
Find your passion and you will remove a huge chunk of stress from your life. If we create a vision that pulls us to the future, we create a life of purpose and that is a happy life, where all the stress can be dealt with quickly.
If you have a problem with finding your purpose, contact us. We would love to help you find it!
Surrounding ourselves with people that bring out the best in us is one of the greatest antidotes for stress. Have you ever heard of the saying “You are an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”? It means that if you are feeling stressed and unhappy, it is important to see if those 5 people are filling you with energy or causing you stress. If it’s the other, then it is time for a change.
Start speaking your mind and stop tolerating negative energy and disrespect.
But not all relationships should be swapped with new ones. Healthy relationships need a lot of understanding and attention in order to work. Here are some tips for healthy relationships from best-selling author Mark Manson.
Maintaining our stress resilience
Building stress resilience isn’t a one-time job. It has to be maintained constantly. Every day actually. Even when we have an upper hand and we solved 99% of our current problems, new will appear very soon, so we need to have constant self-awareness and emotional clarity.
When we are in touch with our emotions, we can find out very quickly what causes us stress and we can solve it instantly. The problems that come along daily can be solved with honesty and proactivity. Once we learn to tackle our problems immediately, we are reducing stress daily, which enables us to be creative and live a full life.
The cure for procrastination, which also causes us stress in the long run is discipline. If we keep the promises we have made to ourselves, we gain all the confidence we need. We learn to work on our goals, without excuses and we make regular progress in all areas of our life.
We turn from quitters to winners and from pessimists to optimists. After we build our stress resilience we learn to avoid or stop the negative thought loops in which we all fall into every now and then.
Positivity becomes our new way of life in which stress is just a visitor we quickly dismiss.
Now we’d like to hear from you!
We really want to know how you motivate your employees to stay positive. What is your approach?