Managing our Tangled Relationship with Stress

Pregnancy is a time of many changes – your body, your emotions and your future are all changing.  You may embrace these changes, but they can add new stresses to your life.

Feeling stressed is very common during pregnancy.  The good news, some stress is healthy. But too much stress can cause physical, mental, and emotional aches and pains.

Your pregnancy doesn’t need to be stressful.  It’s all in how you handle it. Here are 7 tried-and-true ways to manage your stress, so you can get on the path to enjoying a healthy and balanced pregnancy.

#1 Identify your stress triggers

Understanding the things that stress you out, and in what ways, is particularly helpful in solving the underlying problems.

What stresses you out? How do you react to it? Understanding how stress manifests in your life is the first step to finding balance.

#2  Focus on one thing at a time

Our conscious brain isn’t able to multitask.  If right now, you’re reading this post and talking to your partner, you are really doing neither.

An easy everyday technique for reducing stress is to focus on one thing only.  Then move on.

#3  Get some exercise

Moving your body is important to combat stress and keep it at bay.  If you keep your body in peak condition, you feel more energized, leaving you prepared to manage life’s stresses.

No matter what your fitness level may be, the key is to simply move your body every day.

#4  S.T.O.P

In order to live peacefully and mindfully, we have to take time to STOP.  Deepak Chopra, world-renown author, internal medicine specialist and teacher of meditation and wellbeing techniques, uses the word as an acronym – S: stop what you are doing, T: take a few deep breaths, O: observe your body and smile, P: proceed with kindness and compassion.

#5  Eat well

Nourishing your body with the right food will give you the energy you need to tackle what life brings you, including stress.

If you’re stressed out, what you’re eating is a great thing to look at, stresses can be triggered by different foods. It’s important to make conscious eating choices especially when you’re pregnant.

#5  Sleep to combat stress

Are you getting your zzzz’s?  When you’re well-rested, you can approach stressful situations more calmly, yet sleep is so underemphasized.

The key is making sure you’re not only getting enough sleep but that the quality of sleep you’re getting is restful and restorative.  

#6  Smile

Have you heard of the mind-body connection? How much power does the body have over the mind?

Research has found that even a phoney smile can help you handle stress  So if you’re looking for a quick way out of stress, you’ll need to smile more.

#7  Find stillness every day

Meditation is one of the best tools you have to counteract stress, and your brain’s bias to hold onto negativity.  Sit quietly, without an agenda, for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sure your mind might get restless during meditation, but after a while, it will quiet down and you will relax.