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When we are stressed, cortisol circulates through our system. Cortisol impairs your memory, your ability to think clearly and your ability to problem solve. In order to reduce cortisol, try these 3 tips:
#1: Oxygenate - deep breaths allow our bodies to flush out cortisol. When stressed, take a walk around the block, do some deep breathing exercises, yoga, etc.
#2: Acts of kindness - doing kind things for others, such as recognizing them, thanking them or helping them stimulates serotonin and dopamine in our systems. This helps stimulate happiness and turn on the learning centers in our brains.
#3: Humor - Laughter eases tension and stimulates those happy hormones. Find ways to share funny memes, quotes, videos, etc. to ease some of the tension and have a little fun!
#4: Limit storytelling - When we are nervous or scared it is easy to tell ourselves stories. We usually tell ourselves a “worst case scenario” story at that. To help keep yourself calm and not overreacting, make a list of facts. Go to reputable sources to get facts first. When you write down those facts you will often see that we have added to that in our minds even if it is not true.
Our brain has something called the amygdala that is responsible for our fight or flight response. The amygdala doesn’t know the difference between perception and reality so when we get ourselves worked up in our minds, we have the same reaction as if something were really happening. Do your best to stick to facts not stories!
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