Stress Management Basics

Got stress? The science about stress shows us that stress can be helpful or harmful depending on how we handle it. 


Here are some stress definitions: Stress is defined as 1. pressure or tension exerted on a material object, 2. a state of mental or emotional tension, and 3. a “surprise.”


Stressors are external environmental circumstances, and our stress response is our emotional, behavioral, and physiological reaction to environmental circumstances.


There are two kinds of stress: acute and chronic. Acute stress, that fight or flight response, that is not managed well over time can lead to chronic stress which causes mental and physical health problems. However, stress in and of itself is not a bad thing. How we manage it turns it into a good or bad thing.


Interestingly, when we experience stress there are two hormones that are released. One is adrenaline which causes the fight or flight response in the body. This is a helpful stress response that can help us to escape from a tiger! Surprisingly, there is another hormone that is released from stress - it is oxytocin, the cuddle hormone. 


The stress response has a built-in mechanism for connection because the oxytocin release pushes us to seek comfort from others and helps us to know when others need our care and support as well.


The release of oxytocin is a clue about how to handle stress in a positive way. Your biology is telling you to tell someone instead of bottling it up. Social support matters for well-being.


This week, I want to share with you two bowl recipes that will help you increase the health and yum factors at lunch time. One is a Burrito Bowl with a tofu cilantro spicy sauce that is so delicious. The second is a Sriracha Baked Tofu Rice Bowl. You will love them both.


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