6 Ways To Keep Your Inner Sparkle BRIGHT (Even When You're Stressed)

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how to deal with stress

Stress can rub the "shine" right off your, typically, sparkly personality!

And even if you don't consider yourself the "sparkly" type, it's pretty hard to have your best self "shine" through when you feel overwhelmed, exhausted or rubbed the wrong way.

Whether the weight of the world is bearing down on you or a single text has sent you into a tizzy, the nature of the human stress reaction throws you into survival mode. Your personality may change and often, not for the better. Not only does it feel bad to know your evil, grumpy, or wimpy twin personality is starting to emerge, but your inner critic happily jumps in to heap guilt on the fire.

How can you practice self love in the face of stress and stay sparkly? Follow these steps:

1. Stay Calm

Use your body to bring your "smarter," "happier" brain back to life. Mindfully, slow down your breathing (try five in, hold five, out 5 x 5!) to boost your brain power and adjust your perspective. You can actually dial down your sympathetic, flight or fight system simply by calming your body.

2. Get Clear

Focus in on what really feels out of control. Is it the nasty email from your boss or the fact you're angry with yourself for not finishing that project or something completely unrelated? In the midst of stress, you naturally tend to catastrophize, spreading "disaster" and failure to think without pinpointing what feels challenged. When you ask yourself exactly what feels out of control, then you can properly identify and address the situation, or the thinking it triggered.

3. Be Curious

Don your research attitude and ask yourself what lesson can this serve for you. Asking questions ramps up your frontal lobe, creativity, and broadens perspective. What would shift you from victim to "power warrior"?

4. Act Courageously

Think of a situation in which you mustered up your inner warrior. How can you apply courage, now? Maybe you need to use your voice to have a, crucial, conversation? According to Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of the Upside of Stress, thinking of yourself as empowered by the challenge, can improve the outcome and reduce the effects of stress on your mind and body.

5. Show Compassion

Compassion, especially self-compassion, is another frontal lobe boost that will help you rally your better self — there is strength, not weakness in self-compassion. When is the last time you extended the same kindness and care to yourself, that you give to your friends?

6. Be Grateful

Focus on the feeling of appreciation to quickly release chemicals to counteract the stress hormones coursing through your mind and body.

By taking some slow, deep, breaths and intentionally focusing on a more helpful mindset, you will improve the circulation to the parts of the brain that'll help you put the stress in perspective and create the solutions you need. No, you can't change the world, but you sure can "shine" in the face of challenge!