Are you holding your breath, even just slightly? Are you leaning forward, tensely anticipating the next problem to land in your email inbox? Most of us, without realizing it, hold our breath while we’re at our desks or at work.
Take a moment now to lean back in your chair and take a few deep slow breaths. Shallow breathing, while we’re responding to email, is just one of the many ways in which we’re unconsciously contributing to the stress response in our bodies. Personal and societal stress add up in our bodies every day. We wake up with it, carry it with us like heavy luggage, pile on more throughout our daily routines, and wrap ourselves in it as we fall asleep. Even if we are not aware of it. We are on high battery mode, and exhausted by the end of day.
But we don’t have to live this way. We can put down the luggage. We can live on a more powerful battery mode, using the regenerative energy of joy and purpose.
Dr. Elissa Epel is a New York Times bestselling author (The Telomere Effect) with a plan to turn stress into strength in her new book, The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease. As a leader in the fields of stress and biological aging, she is acutely aware of the ill effects of stress on our health. But her research also explores how we can transform our relationship to stress—how we can stress better, viewing stress as an exciting challenge rather than a threat, and how we can find true relief from feeling overwhelmed. Dr. Epel’s 7-day plan equips you with practical, science-based tools from her decades of research.