Managing Stress: Don’t Wait for Mistakes

Stress hits me like a brick. Suddenly, I can’t think, or do anything the way I usually do. I feel terrible or just want to rip something apart. Whatever the symptoms, stress makes me unbalanced, unfocused, and kinda sick. 

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I get jammed.

I see the mind as a conveyor belt. Packages of thought are looped around to direct action. If the load isn’t managed, it piles-up and causes distress.

Stress is much more than just a state of pressure felt during a rough week. It continuously interrupts well being, health and outcomes. The clog of thoughts and feelings is the reason: 

  • I forgot to send that email
  • I didn’t pay attention on that phone call
  • I got road rage in traffic

Now, I can't run around blaming stress for my mistakes and emotions like I am helpless to it's grasps. Stress build-up might filter out better judgement, but I am responsible for the upkeep. 

BETTER RECOGNITION AND INTERVENTION OF STRESS

I had the ability to recognize and manage my stress.  I have to build awareness and control the stress to see better action.  

That email wasn't sent, because in the split moment after reading it, it stressed me out. I quickly said, "I'll do it later." 

I didn't. 

Stress allowed emotions and thoughts to direct me to another task even though it was more rational to send the email right away. 

Knowing email is a stress trigger, I am more aware of my behavior. Next time, I can complete a 2-minute regulation technique when my brain sends out a stress signal correlated with an email notification.  

When we dislike, overlook, or misplace something, stress is usually behind the deed, shadowing our perspective from greener pastures.  

From now on, I can take my mind off lunch, and focus on the meeting. Or, just enjoy my ride home by planning my weekend.

HOLD ON. That's not just going to happen. 

Getting Regulated

I can say that this is what I am going to do, but can I make this a routine? 

Stress regulation techniques provide the foundation for stress relief. Regular training, once or twice a day, prevents stress build-up. Techniques open your perspective to better patterns of thought for a greater ability to deal with attention and emotions. 

Explore the following evidence-based techniques for stress reduction:

I have to recognize when I am stressed and train my brain to react in a more calm and balanced state.  Stress can be checked throughout the day to relieve tension and train for a less reactive stress response. 

Learn more about brain altering techniques.

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Cara Jacobsen is the Director of Clinical Operations for DataDog Health developingMindset, a biomedical app that manages and measures physiology and mental state toward personalized stress regulation. She has a Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from St. Louis University.

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