S.M.I.L.E. through stress
Oxygen|Fall 2020
Protect your mind and body from wear and tear and keep stress at bay with these strategies.
Sandy Todd Webster

Life can be intense, and the past six months have been exceptionally disquieting on many levels. Whether it’s been the pandemic itself or the taxing fallout of illness, quarantine, financial uncertainty or isolation, it’s fair to say that people are hella exhausted. But take heart: You can learn to manage your stress levels with a few practical behavioral shifts and some sagacious coping strategies.

The 8-Step Prevention Plan

Human beings are innately wired to deal with on-the-spot stress, such as the heart-pounding fight-or-flight instinct you feel when faced with danger. But our biology is not equipped to handle repeated exposure to acute stressors, and recurring surges of hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine can ultimately corrode and deregulate cell balance. In a domino effect, other systems break down, causing things like weight gain, insomnia, depression, anxiety and fatigue.

Your best bet is to prevent stress from happening in the first place, and this checklist from Michael Mantell, Ph.D., behavior science consultant and transformational coach, can set you on the preventative path.

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