How’s your stress level these days? After months and months of the pandemic, it can be tough to keep a positive attitude. Positive psychiatrist Dr. Samantha Boardman says the way we deal with stress makes a big difference and suggests ways to approach it differently so we feel uplifted, not drained.
- We don’t all handle stress the same way - Dr. Boardman explains that some people are “more Teflon” - stressors don’t stick to them - while others are more Velcro - stressors stay stuck to them. Stressful moments have an immediate impact on us, we get annoyed, our blood pressure goes up and irritating little everyday things - or micro-stressors - add up over time.
- How we perceive stress is more important than the stress itself - Our perception of stress is affected by the resources we have. Feeling like people have your back and support you makes it easier to deal with stress. Dr. Boardman says helping others is a great stress reliever because it makes us feel like we’re “adding value.”
- The Three C’s can help us think differently about micro-stressors - They are:
- Connecting with others - Having positive interactions with people will uplift you.
- Contributing to something beyond yourself - Being part of something bigger turns the attention away from your stress.
- And feeling challenged in some way - Finding a way to challenge yourself in a positive way helps “build an armor” around you, so when the little stressors happen, they’re less likely to get under your skin.
- Ruminating doesn’t help - It’s easy to get caught up in something, constantly think about it and feel like you can’t let it go. But it’s not helping to go over the same thing again and again. “When you focus too much on the little things, you don’t have perspective,” Dr. Boardman explains. “With perspective, at 30-thousand feet, you can see a situation with clarity.”