Few people receive formal training on how to manage stress, which may explain why many of us turn to destructive ways of coping.
Although commonly practiced relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation help, they may not be as effective as learning to sidestep potential stressors before they happen.
Receiving training in stress management will make us better at handling the ups and downs of daily life.
“Desserts” spelled backward is “stressed.”Isn’t life like that? Even the good things in life—fine wine, rich food, sex—can stress you out.
There is just no escaping stress, and some experts even suggest that a little stress is good for you. In my view, that idea is flawed—the misleading result of averaging data across many individuals. Yes, high levels of stress are harmful to most people, adversely affecting health, mood and productivity. And yes, most people perform and feel better when faced with moderate levels of stress. And sure, very few people know how to be productive when they are not being pushed by stressors—but it can be done. Just as some people are able to perform well under highly stressful conditions (think Olympic athletes), it is also possible to perform well when relaxed (think masters of kung fu). That should be the goal, in my opinion: a life that is productive but also virtually stress-free.
This article was originally published with the title Fight the Frazzled Mind.