Is stress good for us? At first glance, Elizabeth Kirby's research suggests that the answer is yes. This psychology researcher has observed that exposure to stress encourages the production of new neurons in the brain, on one condition: that the stress is temporary. So it's out of the question to abuse it. Fortunately, it is possible to regain your composure at any time, thanks to little tricks accessible anywhere. Even, and especially, when everything is going too fast around you.
Things to do anywhere, anytime
- Breathe. If you are reading this article, you are already breathing. But if you were to describe everything that happens when you breathe, what would it be?
- Drinking a glass of water, as you would if you had just run up the Abbesses stairs in 42°C shade. With a suitcase.
- Close your eyes. Whatever is stressing you out disappears, even for just 30 seconds. You isolate yourself from your environment, to put some distance between yourself and the chaos around you.
- Listen to soothing music. Everyone will have their own preferences, but if you're short on ideas, we recommend listening to Weightless by Marconi Union. The album is said to contain the world's most relaxing track, according to a study by the British Academy of Sound Therapy.
- Drink a glass of water and breathe deeply with your eyes closed. It's almost worth a silent retreat in a monastery in Bhutan.
Things to do with a little organization
- Make yourself totally unreachable for an hour a day. Yes, the world will keep turning and no, you won't miss anything important. In 99% of the cases. You'll end up knowing about the other 1%, an hour after everyone else.
- Sports. Nothing better to get the blood flowing, oxygenate the brain and clear your head.
- Meditate. It's not a matter of closing both eyes and concentrating on the third in the middle of a stressful situation, but of doing it every day, in a moment of relative calm. Regular practice develops the ability to focus and keep a cool head.
- Prioritize. Once a week, review everything that has been done, everything that remains to be done, everything that you don't do but would like to, everything that you do but don't want to do... To better understand how you spend your time. And don't forget to compensate for a crazy week with a few quiet days.
Things we'd like to do but won't
- Throw everything away. Because then we'll have to put everything away.
- Leave on a deserted island on a whim. Except that we won't have taken a tent or drinking water. And we won't have the 4G to find out how to make a fire.
- Add to it. I panic, you panic, he or she panics, we throw everything away and we have to put everything away.
- We have to leave everything behind to go and grow organic parsnips in the Perche national park. A project like that has to be prepared, if only to avoid stressing the parsnips.