Stress has become a standard part of everyday life, with individuals often feeling overwhelmed by work, financial worries, family responsibilities, and global issues. Unfortunately, this stress can negatively affect health, including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, sleep problems, substance abuse, and poor mental health.
Micro stresses are when you have little things pile up and then become bigger. This is not new; we need to know what we can handle. There are books on this to help.
On the other hand, when faced with the right conditions, stress motivates us to achieve and be our best selves. The critical difference between harmful and positive stress is one’s mindset. To shift towards a more positive outlook, rephrase “have to” into “get to.” This simple change in thinking can help foster a sense of gratitude. For example, instead of thinking, “I have to go to work and finish that project,” try thinking, “I get to work on a really cool problem at work.” Similarly, instead of thinking, “I have to make dinner,” try thinking, “I get to nourish my children.”
Another way to shift your mindset is to view stress as a challenge rather than a hardship. Take, for example, the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile race across California’s Death Valley. While the idea of running such a distance may seem unbearable to many, around 90 people participate in this race every year. They embrace the challenge and use it as an opportunity to prove themselves. By looking at stress similarly, we can rise to meet it and overcome it.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that stress can come from many different sources, and people may respond differently. Finding ways to manage stress that work for you is essential. This can include things like exercise, meditation, talking to a therapist or friend, and setting boundaries with your time. Remember to take care of yourself and make time for activities that bring you joy. Remember that you can’t always control the stressors in your life, but you can control how you respond to them. With the right mindset and tools, you can learn to manage stress and use it as a motivator to achieve your goals.
Changing Your Mindset in Relationships
People with fixed mindsets believe intelligence, talents, and personality traits are unchangeable. On the other hand, those with a growth mindset believe that any ability or quality can be developed and improved with effort. According to psychologist Carol Dweck, these two mindsets impact how people respond to school, work, and relationship challenges. People with a fixed mindset may think that once they find the perfect partner, they will live happily ever after without any work needed. However, those with a growth mindset recognize that even the best relationships require effort, care, and attention.
Here are some ways that a growth mindset can benefit relationships:
Forgiveness over revenge. When relationships end, those with a growth mindset tend to embrace forgiveness rather than seek revenge. In contrast, those with a fixed mindset may take rejection personally and seek revenge, leading to negative emotions.
Change is possible. People with a fixed mindset may not believe that change is possible for themselves, their partner, or the relationship. As a result, they may be more likely to leave a relationship at the first sign of trouble. However, those with a growth mindset understand that with effort, growth, and change is possible and are more willing to work through issues.
Relationships require work. Those with a fixed mindset may believe that relationships should be easy and perfect from the start. If this is not the case, they may see it as a sign that the relationship is over. In contrast, those with a growth mindset recognize that good relationships take work and are willing to try to build a strong and lasting connection.
Tips for Changing Your Mindset About Food
Food is not only a necessary fuel for our bodies, but it also holds cultural significance. We gather with friends and family around the dinner table, and food plays a significant role in holidays, celebrations, and cultural festivals. However, many people’s attitudes towards food may have been shaped by negative experiences such as growing up in households where food was scarce, used as a reward or punishment, or constantly judged. These challenges can make it difficult for us to fuel ourselves well, without stress, and with healthy enjoyment. Changing your mindset around food can help improve your habits. Here are some tips:
Mindful Eating: Slow down and pay attention to the colors, textures, flavors, and smells of your food, as well as your physical sensations as you eat. Engage all your senses as you enjoy your meal.
Food as Adventure: Many adults tend to avoid new flavors, just like kids who wrinkle their noses and say “yuck” when they see new food. Resolve to try new foods and give new flavors an honest chance, and you will open up a new world of taste.
Embrace Learning: Expand your knowledge about food by reading about nutrition, taking a cooking class, or meeting with a registered dietitian. This will help you take control of how you fuel yourself and discover new confidence in the kitchen.
Reframe your thoughts: Instead of thinking of food as “good” or “bad,” try reframing your thoughts to focus on the nourishment and fuel that food provides for your body. This shift in thinking can help reduce feelings of guilt or shame associated with certain foods and allow for a more balanced and healthy relationship with food.
Practice gratitude: Take a moment before meals to reflect on the food in front of you and the people who helped bring it to your plate. Acknowledging the effort and resources that go into producing and obtaining food can help foster a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the food you are about to consume.
Set intentions: Before eating, set an intention for your meal. This can be something as simple as “I will eat slowly and mindfully” or “I will listen to my body’s hunger and fullness cues”. Having a clear intention can help guide your actions and choices during the meal.