Wellness: 4 Easy Steps to Manage Stress

Have you asked yourself recently, whether as an athlete I am managing stress well?

As dancers, we deal with more stressors than the average person: training stress, competition stress and life stress. How are we to manage it all?! Let’s be honest, we cannot eradicate all the stress in our lives. Some might even say that a bit of stress is good to perform optimally. The answer is not in celebrating or eradicating stress but in managing it – that’s the holy grail.

PointePeople went looking for the universal mantra to manage stress and found these four ways:

Get Rest: while you might think, good performance is a function of continuous and tireless practice you’d be surprised the amount you progress by getting some rest in between training sessions. You must work out a gradual training schedule that allows you physical and mental rest. Ask yourself, am I getting enough time to relax and enjoy the little things in life; is my body getting enough time to relax? If the answer to any of the questions is no, pause and rethink your schedule.

Count your Blessings – so you lost your balance when attempting a perfect pirouette in front of your favorite teacher; so you could not perform at your best in a competition; or you bungled your audition. SO WHAT? You have so many reasons to feel blessed otherwise. It’s only when we count our blessings each day that we realize that life is filled with positive things. Do this tonight? List 5 things you feel blessed about. Next time you feel like you didn’t do your best, remember these things and know that you are blessed in so many ways. In the grand scheme of things, what will matter is how you react to your setbacks not the setbacks themselves as they are temporary.

Laugh – amongst all the craziness, when was the last time you laughed with your heart. It’s a scientific fact that laughter has short and long term benefits – next Wednesday Wellness we will be learning more about benefits of laughter. Based on research done by the Mayo Clinic - laughter enhances your intake of oxygen, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the release of endorphins.

Connect with People – connection with other human beings has been timelessly considered a stable source of happiness. Finding connection with people (family, friends, even strangers) can relieve a significant amount of stress. Firstly, talking to someone makes you forget about the things that are stressing you out; but more importantly opening up to and sharing your stresses with others can also help you with the relief. The saying “better out than in” has real merit to it.

Hope the above easy steps help you better manage your stress – remember, stress can never be eradicated, what we can do is learn how to manage it well.

We challenge you to try the techniques above and share how each one has helped you manage stress better!

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