Manage stress with mindfulness | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Manage stress with mindfulness

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Karen Linsley

Life Values

Review the life values listed below. Choose a few that connect with you most.

Accountability

Athleticism

Authenticity

Citizenship

Commitment

Compassion

Creativity

Curiosity

Environment

Equality

Family

Generosity

Healing

Health

Honesty

Honor

Humor

Inclusivity

Independence

Integrity

Joy

Justice

Kindness

Knowledge

Leadership

Loyalty

Movement

Relationships

Reliability

Resourcefulness

Strength

Success

Teamwork

Tradition

Trust

Vitality

Wisdom

“I’m so stressed out!”

Likely, someone has said this to you — or you’ve said it yourself. These days the word “stress” has a negative connotation. But what if it isn’t the actual stress that’s harmful, but how it’s perceived?

Your Reaction to Stress Matters

Research published in Health Psychology has shown that there’s a higher risk for premature death in those who perceive stress as negative, including those with only a minimal amount of stress. However, study participants who experienced a high level of stress, but didn’t perceive it as harmful, had a lower risk for premature death.

These findings suggest that having a positive mindset about stress may help develop resilience.

Avoiding stress may seem like a rational strategy, but this often leads to feelings of discontent. When you seek a stress-free life, you may develop feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and depression because being stress-free is an unrealistic goal.

Turn to Your Life Values

Generally, daily stressors are conflicts with our life values. Life values give us a foundation and sense of purpose.

So in order to rethink your stress mindset, it helps to understand which values matter most to you.

Take a look at the list of values, then take a few moments to reflect why each of these values is important to you.

How do you express this value in your everyday life? How do these values support you in being true to yourself?

Recall a past experience in which you overcame a stressful event or task. What value or part of you made that possible?

Research illustrates that reflecting on your values in moments of stress can help reframe a negative, reactive mindset to a positive, reflective response.

Becoming Mindful of Your Values

To develop daily mindfulness around your values, write them down on sticky notes and place them in visible areas, such as your home, car and workstation. When you notice stressors in your life, looking at your sticky note will help you mindfully reframe your reaction.

This can help you “rise to the challenge” and face stressful situations with reason, logic, compassion, and self-control.

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