While some women seem to manage stress levels well and outwardly, some, indeed, struggle greatly. We are not designed to cope with high levels of stress for long periods. There are, however, times when stress is necessary for survival and moving forward. In reality, children need to learn about stress and how to deal with it. And the teenage years are a perfect time to learn more complex stress-tolerance tips to better prepare for adulthood. But it is something that we can all work on. So, for you or your teen, here are some valuable tips to help increase your stress tolerance levels and reduce overall stress.
What is Stress Tolerance?
Basically, stress tolerance is how well you deal with stress. People who seem to handle more happening at once will likely have a higher stress tolerance. This is because they have desensitized to it by working through stressful times. There are a few factors that can contribute to better stress tolerance, including personality traits, lifestyle choices, environment, and genetics. Though some of these things are much more challenging to change, there are some things you can do to build your stress tolerance.
Adopt Relaxation Techniques
Society tells us that when we aren’t doing anything, we are lazy, right? WRONG!!!! Truthfully, you don’t just deserve to rest and relax, it’s essential to your well-being. Relaxation is a skill because it involves making changes to our lives. Doing things like shutting off phone notifications, the TV, and taking time away from others are all examples of simple lifestyle changes that affect your ability to relax.
Relaxation looks different for everyone. For some, relaxation is met by reading or listening to music. For others, it is participating in a gentle sport. The important thing is to find things that calm the nervous system and bring about happy thoughts. One other thing that is a strong relaxation technique is intentional breathing. There are many different techniques, but simply being aware of your breath has a huge impact on our bodies and minds.
Learn TIPP Skills
Learning Tipp skills can be extremely effective for reducing stress and handling it when it shows up. TIPP can help you work through many emotions, like anger, frustration, sadness, and more. This clever acronym stands for the following:
T- Temperature: changing the temperature either around you or your body can help you to weather stress more effectively. Try splashing cold water on your face, lowering the room temp, or walking outside when it’s chilly out.
I- Intense Exercise: try doing some form of movement that matches whatever you’re feeling. How about running down the street for five minutes or squashing a spin class? You decide what you feel like doing and just do it.
P- Paced Breathing: box breathing is one of my favorites. You breathe in for 4 seconds, pause for 4, exhale for 4, pause for 4, and repeat for as long as it takes to calm down.
P- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: this involves moving from one muscle to the next by tensing and releasing. Try to tense the muscle for 5 seconds and then release it before moving to the next muscle. Some people like to start with the head and face and work their way down to the feet. Alternatively, you can start at the feet and work your way up.
Be Perfectly Imperfect
One of the most important things to remember as a human being is that no one is perfect and shit happens. Accepting the things we can’t change and knowing and understanding that mistakes are inevitable is crucial for getting through challenging times. As a recovering perfectionist, I understand just how needing to be perfect all the time can kill joy, peace, and happiness. If you’ve lived like this for any length of time, it won’t be easy to change, but it’s more than possible.
Cut yourself some slack, and see the goodness in you and your life no matter what is going on. Stress is a result of wanting things to be better or different from what they are. It’s ok to let things go sometimes. Be kind to yourself by showing self-love and acceptance for your flaws and mistakes.
People with low-stress tolerance tend to live in the past and the future but not often in the now. This means they think about the past as though it can be changed by replaying it. They also worry about the future by building stories in their minds about what will happen. Both of these things take us away from the only thing that we can affect- the present moments of our lives. I challenge you to take just one minute and try to live there by focusing on your breath or the words of the person who is talking to you. See how this exercise feels and creates a space to just BE.
I hope that you try some of these stress-tolerance tips for easing anxiety and pressure from life’s challenges. For more reading about living a more fulfilling life, check out our article 4 Life-Changing Steps To Greater Happiness And Success.