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How to Improve Your Stress Mindset - 5 Minute Action That Really Works!

How you think about stress REALLY matters.

Young female doctor holding side of head looking stressed out with eyes closed

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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If you, or someone you know, needs help with nutrition or a fitness routine, please reach out. Either online or in the gym, I specialize in helping busy professionals over 40 get fit without burning out. My personal training studio services downtown Toronto and is just steps away from the UP Union to Pearson Express Station.

PMID: 31566399

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.

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