How you think about stress REALLY matters.
Turns out, there’s a huge difference between…
“Ugh, why does everything in my life have to be so HARD!?”
“This sucks, but I can learn and grow from it.”
In fact, research shows that people with healthier stress mindsets cope better when confronted with stressors.
And progress may take WAY less time than you might think, according to a study published in Emotion.
The scientists found that right after people did a short journaling exercise, they immediately—and for two weeks after—experienced a better attitude about stress.
Want to try a similar experiment? Do one of these visualization activities:
Come up with a list of common stressors and write down what someone might learn from them.
Imagine the top three stressors you think you’ll deal with in the next month. Then detail how you might tackle them and grow from them.
Spend five minutes jotting down what was most stressful for you in the past week and the positives that came from that stress (no matter how small).
If you feel like you’re benefiting, keep it up. After all, for mindset changes to take hold long-term, they likely need to be consistently reinforced.
This is also where considering all 6 dimensions of deep health is important in your fitness journey. Because true health is much more than just sets and reps!
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Keech JJ, Hagger MS, Hamilton K. Changing stress mindsets with a novel imagery intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Emotion. 2021 Feb;21(1):123–36.