We’re all guilty of it; a friend asks how we are, and we say “stressed, but okay”.
And while we might feel like talking about stress is a good outlet for our emotions, our use of the word could actually be making us feel worse.
Clinical psychotherapist Seth Swirsky told Well and Good that the word itself can become self-fulfilling and actually make us feel more stressed out.
“Just saying that you’re stressed can [set] off a cascade of chemicals in the body – epinephrine and cortisol – and neurotransmitters in the brain that make us feel, well, completely stressed out,” he said.
“Our hearts beat faster, our breathing becomes more rapid, our blood pressure goes up, we can’t think straight, and we’re filled with fear and anxiety.”
So to counter this Pratima Raichur, a doctor of ayurveda – a traditional Hindu medicine involving diet and breathing exercises – suggested practising mindfulness and positive language:
“Cultivate awareness of your thoughts and emotions, identify your habits, find ways to let negativity go each day, and find gratitude,” she explained.
“Over time, this practice will start to shift the qualities of the vibration within your consciousness and ultimately alter the thoughts you think and the types of emotions those thoughts trigger.”
In other words, meditating and self awareness will do you a lot more good than telling yourself how stressed you are all the time.