The decisions that you make are influenced tremendously by the state in which your body is in. In this article, you’re going to learn about how when you’re in a state of stress, it affects the decisions you make. You’re also going to learn 3 tips to relax yourself when stressed, so the next time you have to make a decision while stressed, you can calm your body down to think about it and make the best decisions. When we think about being stressed we think about anxiety, depression, or getting a bad grade on your report card, and you’re stressed your parents are going to find out, and you’ll get in trouble. Although these are situations of stress, but being hungry, sleep-deprived or getting physically injured, and many other things are examples of stress on the body which can play a negative factor on the decisions you make. In these situations when you go to make a decision because of being in a state of stress it alters your thinking, and you’re unable to make a good decision. When stressed in an unknown environment, you are more apt to make a more decision.
When making a decision while stressed in any way, what happens is your heart rate increases along with your blood pressure and the part of your brain that regulates your thoughts (prefrontal cortex) to tell yourself this decision isn’t good, shuts off. The pre-frontal cortex is responsible for thinking through how the decision you’re about to make before you act may affect you negatively or positively, in life now or later. Because this part of your brain is shut off, and you have nothing to regulate your thoughts and emotions at the moment. Along with your blood pressure and heart rate rising, you act on your emotion and feelings of stress without thinking. An example of this is you and your friend get into a heated argument, and it starts to stress you out, before you know it you physically attack him. Not because you wanted to, but because you acted on your emotions and without thinking about it attacked him. When people say to you “what were you thinking?” when you made that decision, and you think to yourself “I don’t know what I was thinking”, you actually weren’t thinking at all you just acted on how you were feeling. This is because the part of your brain that does the thinking shuts off, and you act on your emotions and go into fight or flight mode. The following are three exercises that can help you to reduce the stress you’re feeling, so you can think more clearly and make better decisions.
- Taking deep breaths in through the nose out through the mouth– When you get stressed your breathing get faster and shallower, activating your sympathetic nervous system which is the fight or flight response. You can consciously change your response from stress to relaxed. You do this by changing your breathing pattern, the depth and the rate at which you breathe. Furthermore, you want to make sure to breathe in for at least a five count and then out for an eight to ten count. Do this at least a half a dozen times.
- Having good posture– The next time you’re stressed, take a mental note of your posture, chances are you’re slouched over. We are in that position for a reason(because of how we are feeling) this is how our body reacts to the stress. So to help you get out of that state and to get you having more energy, roll your shoulders back stick your chest out and stand up nice and tall like the superman pose for around 3 minutes. Believe it or not, this will help to release more of the chemicals in your body that will reduce the stress you’re feeling.
- Mindful Meditation– You can do this for a few minutes to a half hour, or for up to an hour. The great thing about this is if you only have a few minutes, you can take part, it doesn’t take a long time to partake in this. Mindful meditation is great because in this practice you become aware of what you are sensing and feeling at the moment, what may be the thing that is stressing you out. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on, with no judgement. This practice helps to relax the body and the mind to reduce stress.
We have every day stressors that affect the decisions we make, effecting the quality of life we live. To make better decisions in those times of stress, make sure to take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, be mindful of your posture and correct it with your chest out and shoulders back and partake in mindful meditation. Using these tools will not only help you reduce the stress, but also put your body in a peak state to make better decisions to live a better life.