Are You Okay? Managing your stress better ahead of Seattle holiday celebrations

A professor at Bastyr University says, “Stress isn’t all that bad” when it’s properly managed.

SEATTLE, Wash – Dr. Brad Lichtenstein of Bastyr University’s School of Naturopathic Medicine says that everyone experiences stress and it shouldn’t be viewed as a negative aspect of life.

“Stress is what helps us to experience life,” said Lichtenstein. “Anything that affects the system can be stressful.”

According to Lichtenstein, we can often foresee stress or “triggers”.

“We have to learn to adapt to stress,” said Lichtenstein.

One expected trigger could be hosting a vacation get-together.

Lichtenstein said we could respond more constructively to stress. He recommends getting used to stress, reminding yourself that it won’t last, and being flexible.

Lichtenstein said it was also important to take time to recover from stress.

There are ways to deal with stress, including while at work, says Lichtenstein. Taking a moment to “check in” or to do a “body check” on yourself, Lichtenstein said, can help you locate any tense feelings in your shoulders, back, or other parts of your body during a stressful moment.

Lichtenstein said people should also consider finding times to take breaks and meditate.

“Centering yourself” is also the key to coping with stress, according to Lichtenstein, who recommends using your sense of touch, smell and sound to return to a calm state.

Other ways to deal with stress is to make connections. Lichtenstein said talking to friends and family, as well as spending time with pets, are positive ways to deal with stress.

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