How to cope with stress and become more resilient
Bek Nutter is one of our amazing Healthy Mummy wellness experts. In a recent podcast, she shares how you can learn how to cope with stress. You can hear more about this topic in her podcast on the Healthy Mummy Wellness App.
Setbacks are part of normal life. You may face stressors from everyday challenges or even from traumatic events in your life.
In order to deal with whatever it is you are facing, it’s important for you to build up your resilience. There are ways to train yourself to cope with life pressures and help yourself bounce back.
Naturopath, nutritionist, fitness trainer and breath coach Bek Nutter explains that building stress resilience in a safe environment is important in order to improve your ability to handle different things.
“It’s a hot topic at the moment, but you can build resilience in many different ways,” she says. “Emotional health stress resilience is a definite game changer. It’s huge.
“Practice dealing with stress in a safe and happy place, so when you are put in a situation that’s a bit unpredictable, your body remembers what to do.
“People who are prone to panicking or experience anxiety can really benefit from this stress resilience training.”
For the full podcast, check out the wellness app.
Exercise is a type of stress on your body
Stress doesn’t always have to stem from bad things. Exercise is a massive stressor on the body, especially when you start something new, for example, a new gym class.
In this environment, your breathing could go up, you may feel anxious and uncomfortable. However, you can teach yourself to push through it and research shows that people who exercise are more mentally resilient.
“I like to think of stress resilience as a rubber band. If you gently stretch it, little by little, the rubber band starts to expand. If we aggressively tug at it, it’s going to snap,” says Bek.
Other things that can contribute to feeling stressed include not getting enough sleep, not eating enough nourishing food or not feeding ourselves with positive thoughts. When we do something new, we push the boundaries a little. It’s all part of building our adaptability.
“When we want to challenge our stress resilience, think about a rope that’s hanging down from the ceiling that’s nice and straight,” says Bek.
“If the rope is stretched side to side a little bit, when gets to the middle line then it may be stronger. The more you push your boundaries, the stronger you become, both mentally and physically.”
Ways to build your stress resilience
Life is not comfortable all of the time. You may find yourself in uncomfortable situations, like staying in a cold bath and staying there for a little longer. At the end of a warm shower, have a blast of some cold water. You can do a long exhale as you adapt to the change in temperature and this will calm down the whole body.
“You can also do this in the reverse, with hot water, just make sure not to burn yourself!” says Bek. “These kinds of safe tasks really challenge the edges of physiology. Like the rubber band, you are being stretched in each direction.”
Another thing you can try is a breathing exercise. Place a finger under your nose, right under nostrils. Then slowly begin to reduce the flow of air in and out of your nose, until you can barely feel your breath on your finger. Think of the finger as a feather you don’t want to move.
“By breathing slow, it may feel a bit uncomfortable, that feeling can be the same as those experienced when you feel panicked. Stick with it and using these slow breaths will help get you through it, it’s really powerful,” says Bek.
Recap on the things we’ve learnt about stress resilience:
- Practice how to deal with stress in a safe environment
- Research shows that people who exercise are more mentally resilient
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep, nourishing food and feeding yourself with positive thoughts
- Practice building resilience by staying in a cold shower and breathing through it
- Try breathing exercises to calm yourself down
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