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How to Choose to Respond Differently to Stress

by May 30, 2019Mental Health0 comments


There are times throughout the year that stress hits us a little harder than other times. It can  hit us during the holidays, birthdays, moving, graduations etc.

And I know there are friends that will simply say to you, “Don’t stress.” They mean well, even if it’s frustrating to hear.

But actually that’s not bad advice…I mean simply saying, “don’t stress” to someone who is freaking out is not the best delivery but the idea or meaning underneath is exactly what all of us need to do this month.

Today’s topic: Choose to respond to stress differently this year

I’m not denying there is a lot going on in today’s world.

What if you make the conscious choice and set an intention not to let it all get to you? What if you decided that this (move, holiday season, graduation, etc.)  is going to be about what you want it to be about?

Stress is created when our bodies sense a demand or threat. The threats can be real or imagined but your mind and body don’t know that so the response is the same. When we get email after email, phone call after phone call, we are not in immediate danger but that feeling of overwhelm kicks in and we start to get into either a fight, flight or freeze mode and eventually shut down.

The fight, flight or freeze mode isn’t a choice. That’s our natural way of responding to stress but what we do in response to that stress is a choice.

Action Step: Set an Intention for a Stress-Free… (holiday graduation, house move etc.)

Intention setting is a great way to set the tone of your day and will help you get clear on how you want (intend) to show up and BE as a person during this stressful time(s) of year.

Setting an intention for whatever event could be stressful will help you better understand what you want to be doing.

For example, let’s say you want to set an intention that you want to really connect with people this year. So in order to really connect with the people in your life you love and appreciate, what does that look like? Does it mean not spending time shopping for a gift but deciding to give the gift of your time and energy?

Maybe you’re really tired of people and your intention is to have more time for yourself and to make sure you keep up with your healthy habits. What does that look like? Maybe you decide that you’re going to go to only one holiday party this year and you’re going to book workout classes a week in advance so you have it in your calendar.

Intentions should always be framed in the positive so it automatically shifts your mindset from a place of fear or lack into a place of abundance and hope.

“I intend to keep my healthy habits this year.”

“I intend to be present and focused when I’m spending quality time with my friends.”

“I intend to talk to 3 new people at the holiday party this year.”


I recommend first setting an intention for the month.

This month I intend_______________________________________________.

Then each morning as you brush your teeth (it’s always good to pair a new habit with an already existing habit) you set a daily intention that aligns with your monthly intention.