There’s a theory known as the ‘stress paradox’ – that a small amount of stress is actually good for you.
A healthy amount of stress can push us and help us feel motivated. Too much stress on the other hand leads to anxiety and burnout.
The science behind the theory is when you feel stressed, the brain releases hormones including cortisol. This puts the body into survival mode where it prepares to ‘fight or flight’, which is ideal for escaping danger but can start to take its toll if it continues for an extended period of time.
However, a small (safe) amount of stress on a regular basis can effectively train us to be able to withstand higher levels of stress.
For example, when you exercise, it puts your body under mild stress and causes your brain to release cortisol.
If you exercise often, your body becomes used to it and gradually releases less cortisol – making you feel less stressed over time.
This benefit then extends to genuinely stressful situations where you would normally begin to feel out of control and overwhelmed.
As you’ve built up that resilience, you can keep a clear head and work towards finding a logical solution to the problem.
But how can we build up this cortisol resistance?
One way, as previously mentioned, is exercise. But there are plenty of ways in which we can get out of our comfort zone.
We explore these in our Resilience Routine, which comes as part of our Developing Resilience eLearning package.
To learn more about them, please visit the page below: