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April is Stress Awareness Month

5 Small Ways to Lower Stress Everyday

asset71.0You encounter stress every day, often without even realizing it. Whether big or small, these moments can cause your body to release hormones that put you into fight or flight mode, which affects the way you think and act.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Staying resilient in the face of stress often boils down to microdecisions or small choices you make every day. These tiny mental and physical shifts can have a big impact on your mood and set the tone for the rest of your day. “With a microdecision, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to think about how you really want to react,” explains Ashley Karpinski, a Psychotherapist and Lead Business Consultant for Aetna’s Behavioral Health Strategy and Innovation.

Here are five simple but powerful microdecisions you can make today that will help manage stress, increase resiliency and provide mental clarity:

  • Adjust your posture;
  • Take a moment to reset yourself;
  • Take some deep breaths;
  • Learn your stress signals; and
  • Reframe small stressful events as opportunities to build resilience.

Making these five small choices can often mean the difference between remaining upbeat or feeling distressed during a difficult moment. Microdecisions allow you to go from reacting to responding. Reacting is instinctive, subconscious or out of your control. Responding is taking a moment, assessing your own internal state, assessing the situation and then acting with intention. If you find that you’re consistently under stress and having a hard time managing it, you may want to consider talking to a trained professional.

For more information on ways to lower stress, visit here.

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