The #1 Way to Reduce Stress

12 · 08 · 21

When one of Ministry Incubator’s leaders sat down with a mentor, feeling the pressure of a to-do list that was quite literally impossible for him to achieve that week, his mentor asked him to circle a few things he actually could do. 

To the stressed-out leader’s surprise, his mentor circled, “develop an exercise routine.” The mentor argued that personal wellness was a prerequisite to any work that followed.

It turns out the research backs him up. 

Sisters Emily and Amelia Nagoski’s book Burnout, featured by everyone from Brene Brown to Goop to the Washington Post, could not be more unambiguous in endorsing a good walk

The sisters articulate how dealing with the stressors in our lives (inboxes, caregiving, traffic, pandemics) does very little to resolve the physiological stress (raised cortisol levels, increased blood pressure). 

We’re all pretty familiar at this point with the long-term damage those physiological effects can have, and the best thing we can do to avoid those outcomes is to not have so many stressors in our life. 

This is why it’s essential to highlight the second best thing we can do. 

The Nagoskis explain that our physiological stress response evolved to help us run, fight, and seek help from other humans. 

So to “complete the stress cycle” to show our lizard brains and bodies we are safe, we have to satisfy those needs: to run, to fight, to connect with others. 

There is no single activity we can do to better bring down those stress hormone levels than running for 20-30 minutes. 

They also recommend 20-second hugs to create some of the same effects.  

Both of these might sound like torture to some of us, but could the outcome be worth it?

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Ministry Incubators

Related Posts

Brunch with Benedict

Brunch with Benedict

There is something inherently sacred and special in the act of cooking and eating together. In cultures all over the world, holidays and special occasions are celebrated with large communal meals, often cooked at home. When we gather, when we rejoice, when we...

Holy Man

Holy Man

I met a man last week who described himself as a Navajo Holy Man, or a Medicine Man. His name was Calvin. He explained that he had grown up without knowing anything about Christianity, or even speaking a language that the bible existed in. When he came to faith as a...

Sweeping Cheerios

Sweeping Cheerios

I did the math and I swept eleven times on Tuesday. Eleven separate times. Three meals and day plus two snacks for two kids, plus mess from preparing those meals and snacks, plus leaves and dirt tracked in from the playground, plus a container of panko with a lid that...

Comments

2 Comments

  1. H John Johnsen

    How about adding reading the Holy Bible as a real stress eliminator. I’m surprised the Sisters, and the Ministry Incubators leader didn’t think to add that one. Of course, exercise one is great for the physical body but not long-lasting at all. I know because the Bible relieves my stresses on a daily level or “as needed”. Matthew 11:28-30, Joshua 1:9, Luke 12:22, and lots more.

    Blessings to you, H. John

  2. Kenny

    I’m reading this on the one day this week I skipped my Peloton ride LOL … Maybe I need to find someone to hug today 😉