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Managing Stress

The basis of Slowlii came from being and feeling stressed out, so let's take a deep dive into stress:

How does stress show up?

  • According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the most common 5 symptoms of stress are irritability / anger, fatigue, lack of motivation/interest, feeling nervous and headaches. 
Stress management helps us to remain calm when the body is activated.
  • Dr. Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., Professor of Neurobiology and Opthamology at Stanford University School of Medicine, notes that "the goal of all stress management is to remain calm of mind when the body is activated" 
  • This is easer said than done, but I think we all know that telling yourself (and others) "to calm down" does not work. 
  • Stress is a good thing. It is what gets people up and going, releases adrenaline and generally helps people create forward motion in their lives. 
  • When you are no longer able to sleep, you are leaving "good" short-term stress and entering harmful long-term stress, says Huberman. 
Ways to increase short and medium term stress threshold:
  • One can increase their medium-term stress threshold through rigorous exercise, cold showers, fast biking while keeping your mind relaxed.
  • Breathing exercises help release short-term stress.
How do you mitigate long-term stress?
  • Maybe no surprise here, but it's all about social connection (in addition to sleep and exercise of course). 
  • Diving a little deeper on that point, social connection mitigates long-term stress by leveraging serotonin which has positive effects on the immune system and connections in the brain. 
  • Social connection can be to other people, romantic, plutonic, pets - and even just attachment to things we take joy in seeing or participating in.
In your relationships...
  • Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale who teaches the incredibly popular "Psychology and the Good Life" says that there is data behind understanding if a relationship is going well depending on how your partner responds back to you.  Specifically, are they showing you attention when you ask a question, or are they not attending to you?
  • So, "pay attention to what you are attending to" says Santos.  
Obviously we can't be present all the time, but how do you become more present and thereby cultivate better social connection? 
  • There is loads of evidence that the key ingredient for Happiness is something called time affluence.
  • "Time affluence" = the subjective sense that we have some free time.
  • It is the opposite of time famished, which is feeling deprived of time.
  • Rushing everywhere, no time to connect, no time for social connection, no window of time to be present with someone else ... sounds pretty unfulfilling. 
So if there is one take-away from today, it is this:
  • Give yourself the perception of free time.
  • It doesn't need to be much, it can be a few minutes here and there. it is the subjective sense that you aren't always rushing.
  • So slow down, write a thank you note, connect with someone you love or schedule a few minutes in between meetings so you feel like you have more time. It'll be worth it!

 

More Than a Moment

We help others create moments throughout the day so they can slow down and live more.