Using the word 'stress' less could actually make you less stressed

By training ourselves to use positive words, might we be able to improve our stress levels?

Olivia Blair
Thursday 20 April 2017 11:45 BST

How often do you tell someone you are stressed?

If you’re in a demanding job, raising children, planning an event or living in a fast-paced environment this could probably be at least once a week.

However, by articulating that you feel “stressed” you might be making things worse for yourself. Seth Swirsky, a clinical psychotherapist, says that the word itself can become self-fulfilling.

“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 told Well and Good.

“Our hearts beat faster, our breathing becomes more rapid, our blood pressure goes up, we can’t think straight and we are filled with fear and anxiety.”

So, in order to reduce the feelings and effects of stress we might just need to amend our language and thinking.

Pratima Raichur, an Ayurvedic (an ancient, holistic healing system developed in India) doctor, told the publication you should remove the word from your vocabulary and replace it with more positive language – which she suggests can be done by practising mindfulness.

“Cultivate awareness of your thoughts and emotions, identify your habits, find ways to let negativity go each day and find gratitude. Over time, this practise 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.”

Mindfulness is a recently popular psychological method of focusing a person’s attention on the present and letting thoughts pass by without judgement.

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