It’s the start of a new year and not only does it mean it’s time to start working on your resolutions but also it’s the opportunity to start introducing new practices into your lifestyle to better yourself and your mental health.

While stress is mostly unavoidable, there are ways to keep it a minimum, and embrace it.

Dr. Elissa Epel, stress researcher and author of “The Stress Perception” joined us on the show to tell us some tips and tricks on how to better handle our stress in 2023.

Her tips are:

  • Adopt a positive mindset about stress because it’s good for you
    • Acute stress prepares our mind and body for what we need to do in the moment, energizes and helps us perform, and during recovery, makes our cells young and vital.  By adopting a positive stress mindset, or tailored ‘stress shield’ statements, we can shift away from the draining threat response and promote the healthy helpful stress response. 
  • Metabolize Stress
    • You already know activity is good for physical health. But did you know aerobic exercise in repeated short bursts (such as HIIT) creates hormetic stress? Hormetic stress conditions the nervous system so that we burn up stress hormones and excess emotions, recover more quickly, stop rumination in its tracks, and boost our mitochondria!  We can create ‘stress fitness!”  
  • Increase Stress Fitness with a Cold Shower or a Hot Sauna
    • There is more to stress fitness than exercise. At the end of your usual warm shower, turn the dial to cold— as cold as you can stand it. Being immersed in cold water is uncomfortable, even shocking. Using small doses of controlled stress can help our bodies learn to recover and even slow the aging process.
  • Go Green Mind
    • Urban living stresses out even the bees and birds– they have shorter telomeres than their rural cousins. Experience the calm and wonder from wild expanses of nature. Sensory immersion, even in a home sanctuary, can dissolve stored up unconscious anxiety and reduce blood pressure.  Pick three ways to get the green effect wherever you are.

You can find more information about Dr. Epel and her book here.