There’s a lot of overwhelm out there at the moment and it’s particularly the case for young people who have lost the perspective-giving power of having friends, colleagues and bosses sitting right next to them. Left with only parents, flat mates or perhaps no one to provide that perspective and a sense of reality, many are slipping into overwhelm and stress - and as a result, everything gets out of proportion.
The results of that can be quite serious, both for them and the businesses they work in. They work more, they think less clearly, it takes longer to get things done. Their brains flood with cortisol. Inflammation occurs and it becomes harder and harder to hang on to your clear perspective on what to do, what to prioritise and what conversations to have.
So what can you do?
- Exercise really does help. It reduces the inflammation in your brain and increases serotonin, which helps you feel happier and more in control
- Open conversations and normalising how you feel by hearing how others are coping also help enormously. I know that the most significant benefit of the group sessions I’ve been running for teams lately is hearing that others are struggling with elements of this situation too.
- At a more instant level, recognising the stressful thinking patterns for what they are and distracting your brain by consciously doing something else at that moment - singing, learning, reading, listening to a podcast, sewing, digging - anything that changes the tempo will help enormously.
Your brain can unlearn these habits, so instead of slipping into the repetitive “I’m so stressed” conversations inside your own head, try to take some control over your thoughts. Your brain will thank you for it.
How stress changes your brain and what to do about it