Perceived Stress: How You Think About Stress Matters
By: Mady Peterson
Did you know that how you perceive stress has real health implications?
That’s the word from Limeade behavior change advisor Stacy Shaw Welch, Ph.D. No one knows stress better than Stacy. As a founding member of the Evidence Based Treatment Centers of Seattle and Co-Director of the Child Anxiety Center, Stacy is always on top of the latest stress research.
Stacy recently added perceived stress insights to our expertise on stress at work, and we’re pleased to share what we’ve learned.
Your perceived stress makes a huge difference
And there’s data to back it up. If you think your stress is having a huge impact on your health, it likely is. In a study of more than 180 million adults, individuals who perceived that stress affects their health and reported a large amount of stress had an increased risk of premature death. The good news? You can control this. By changing your perception of a stressful event into a learning experience, or even a new challenge, you’ll avert long-term health effects.
When evaluating your stress, distinguish between daily hassles and life events
You may chalk up your commute or stressful morning routine to something you just have to deal with. But these small stressors over time really add up. It’s important to think about the daily hassles that add stress symptoms to your life and try to eliminate or change as many as possible.
Stress management is individual
Think about the last time you were stressed. What helped YOU? Was it a run? Was it a massage? A yoga class? Venting to a friend? Develop a list of ways to manage stress that work specifically for you. Use this list to optimize your plan of attack next time you’re experiencing stress symptoms.
Need help dealing with stress? Check out our additional resources:
Stress management resources
- 5 ways to combat stress: Download our tip sheet and print out for the break room to offer employees ways to manage stress.
- 5 signs it’s time to take a mental health break from work: Learn when it’s time to take a break and get 5 tips to help you recharge.
- 6 ways to support mental health in the workplace: Get strategies to help take care of your employees.
- Sweet spot of stress: Find your sweet spot of stress in this 7-minute video with Stacy.
- 3 TED talks to help you de-stress: Carve out 15 minutes for yourself to check out our three favorite TED talks on stress.