It’s been over a century since we’ve faced a global pandemic that’s had such a drastic impact on the economy and daily life like this one has. In the U.S. tens of thousands have passed away, tens of millions are out of work, businesses are having to make some very difficult decisions as many are fighting for survival and we’re currently being restricted from our normal way of life.
Although we are on the downward slope as far as reported cases and deaths from COVID-19, times are tough for a lot of people causing stress, frustration, uncertainty, and anxiety to be more prevalent throughout our society than we’ve ever seen in our lifetime.
Great leaders, whether in business, the military, sports, or wherever leadership is present, seem to always be able to remain calm in situations that cause mere mortals to crumble to pieces. They are able to not just remain calm, but move mountains when chaos has broken out all around them!⠀
Neuroscientists have proven however, that this isn’t a rare genetic trait inherited by a select few, but a skill that anyone can develop. This is good news for us because sometimes in life, like we’re seeing now, we can’t control what’s happening around us – but we are always 100% in control of how we choose to act, react or respond to it.
The goal is not to completely eliminate stress, because stress can actually bring out our best and has the capacity to unlock human potential when called upon – the goal is to develop how we respond to it, so we can use it as an evolutionary advantage that will help us to continuously move forward in life.
Here are 3 Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Your Stress Thresholds Which Will Help You Dominate in Stressful Situations!
1. Lean into discomfort
Waking up early, hard workouts, public speaking, cold showers, fasting, breath-work and meditation…All valuable opportunities that will not only improve many areas of life such as your health, mindset, mood, confidence, mental acuity, income and general state of being, but will also enhance your ability to thrive in discomfort!⠀ ⠀
2. Pay Attention to the Breath
You probably don’t think about your breath that often. I mean it’s just there, in the background, when you need it. But paying more attention to how you are breathing can actually make a huge impact on your ability to manage and mitigate stress. When you’re in stressful situations, your breathing tends to be shallow, rapid & come from the chest. Deep, slower, longer breaths from the belly bring more carbon dioxide into your blood, which quiets down the parts of the brain that create the fear/panic/anxiety response. So next time you feel yourself getting overly stressed, whether at work, home or anywhere else you can find stressful situations; immediately become aware of and focus on your breath- Then spend as much time as you need taking deep, slow, deliberate belly breaths until you’re able to compose yourself.⠀
⠀3. Detach ⠀
Have you ever said or did something really stupid when you were stressed or upset? Yeah, because stress legit kills brain cells & can even shrink the brain. The stress hormone known as cortisol also alerts the body to store fat, but that’s a different conversation entirely. If you’re feeling progressively stressed and can’t seem to shake it, it’s most likely being caused by your focus being centered on the stressor. So stop that! By feeding energy into problems or stressors, we turn up the stress response and basically cripple our own senses or ability to execute good judgement.
Detach of your emotions by removing yourself from the chaos and environment where you’re experiencing these emotions. Leave your phone, go for a walk outside preferably in nature; clear your mind by focusing on the breath as we touched on above and demand yourself to take control of your mind, instead of allowing it to control you.
Once you’ve done this and are no longer being held hostage by your “feelings”, you’ll now be able to have an objective look at the situation. Which no matter what the situation is, from this mental state you’ll immediately see that it is nowhere as bad as you thought and how you were acting when you were obsessively focused on it.
From this higher perspective, you’ll have freed up lots of mental energy that you can now invest on solutions, not problems..