Often times, it is not the great stress in our lives that wears us out completely. Rather, many small stressful situations that accumulate in everyday life and make up micro- stress.
Micro-stress , how to avoid it
Losing your job, receiving a devastating diagnosis from your doctor, or going through a nasty breakup – it almost goes without saying that these events cause stress .
But often it is not a big event that makes us feel exhausted, exhausted, or constantly tense. Or that you suffer unexplained tension, pain, or sleep disturbances. “For most people, the micro-stress plays a much more important role in everyday life , ” says Dr. Rangan Chatterjee British doctor. He is the author of the book The Anti-Stress Plan and is considered one of the most influential doctors in England.
A little stress is part of everyday life
The stress is an inseparable part of our daily lives. “A completely stress-free life is not possible,” says the GP of the hit BBC series Doctor in the House . But that doesn’t matter: a little stress makes us more alert and focused , and it activates us. The stress only becomes a problem when it exceeds a threshold determined or becomes chronic.
“Often times, we think then that the last thing that happened caused us to overreact,” says Chatterjee. “Then we blame the last email, for example.” But in reality, he says, in these situations so much micro -stress tends to accumulate and add up that the stress level has exceeded a critical threshold . In this case, email is the trigger, but not the cause of our overreaction.
What is micro-stress?
But what exactly is micro-stress ? And why doesn’t it seem like stress to us? “We are supposed to have gotten used to all the little stress releases in our daily lives,” says the doctor. “But our brain and body continue to react to it, even though stress no longer feels like it to us.”
How to identify micro-stress?
An example of micro – stress :
- you went to bed too late, but the alarm clock goes off at 6 (micro-stress 1).
- You hit the snooze button and five minutes later you startle and stop sleeping (micro-stress 2).
- To turn off the alarm, you pick up your mobile and immediately check your email (micro-stress 3)
- and see an email from your boss (micro-stress 4).
- Then you read the news of a serious accident (micro-stress 5) and click through social networks.
- There you see a friend’s vacation photo with a stunning sunset (micro-stress 6)
- and immediately realize that someone has reacted very rudely to your own post (micro-stress 7).
- You suddenly realize that it’s late (micro-stress 8),
- you jump out of bed, you have a coffee in a hurry (micro-stress 9)
- and cannot find the keys when you want to leave the house (micro-stress 10).
“And it goes on all day long,” says Chatterjee. “A single dose of micro – stress is not bad, but it builds up until a critical threshold is finally crossed.”
Find a balance to reduce micro-stress
For this reason, Chatterjee recommends being aware of micro- stress , reducing it and creating a balance to recover and be more resistant to stress in everyday life in general. In his experience, mindfulness , exercise, and the right mindset work especially well for this, and it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. (Also Read: CoolSculpting: the solution when diet and exercise aren’t working)
“It helps a lot if you can take five minutes in the morning to focus on these areas, ” says the expert. For the mindfulness area , for example, a breathing exercise or a short meditation is a good idea. When it comes to movement, a few yoga or stretching exercises or whatever is nice are good for keeping the body flexible. The mindset is about keeping a positive attitude.
“It works best if you choose a routine for it that is as simple as possible and can be linked to another routine,” says Chatterjee. He has taken himself five minutes every morning for five years while sipping his coffee. “I don’t look at my smartphone during that time, but consciously breathe and move, ” he says.
Go little by little
In the book The Anti-Stress Formula , the doctor also names four areas with concrete advice to bring more serenity to life and maintain health. It’s about sense, relationships, body and psyche, and concrete suggestions, for example, to recharge yourself better, improve relationships, or exercise regularly. (Also Read: How listening to loud music affects your ears?)
“The goal is not to work now in all areas at the same time,” he says. “Trying to do that often creates more stress, and you quickly lose your will and energy.” Better to take care of a small area at a time that you would like to work on, he says.
Start with the easiest or the most urgent
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What you choose is up to you. “Ultimately, there are two strategies,” says Chatterjee. “You choose the area that is easiest for you or the one where you feel the need to act is greatest.” (Also Read: How social media filters are changing the concept of beauty)
If you want to work on just one thing, the expert recommends taking care of your relationships first. “It has been shown that it reinforces our well-being, our health and also our life expectancy if we have a good social network,” he says.
Encourage relationships and create a space of intimacy
This may include seeking more physical contact, hugging friends, or booking a massage once the pandemic has subsided. A greater space for intimacy in the couple is usually also an important factor, for example, spending 30 minutes together each night without a mobile phone in sight, or simply greeting your partner with a smile, even if you don’t feel like it at the time. . It is also often helpful to schedule regular meetings, for example during sports, and to set aside enough time for friends. (Also Read: Slow metabolism, the definitive test for weight loss)
Again, it’s important to keep in mind: “It’s not about putting as many of these suggestions into practice as possible or about doing it as intensely as possible,” says Chatterjee. “You just have to choose one look and set aside five minutes a day for it . That can make a big difference, even if it may not seem like a big deal at first.”