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Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Stress – we all have it. It triggers the sympathetic nervous system. And there are times when we need that. It developed to make us move quickly in an urgent moment – say, if you are being threatened by a predator. You want to get away from that lion fast!

But when it continues too long, it causes a host of chronic problems. What can a person do to help dial it back down?

If you have an activity that helps activate the relaxation response, that can help. Physical activity can help. A walk when you are stressed helps to relieve that stress enough to calm down and be able to think about things more rationally.

Social support can help. Often, we turn to friends or family members, people we feel safe with. If we choose someone as a confidant who isn’t safe, though, it can set the negative feelings back into a vicious cycle. So choose who you share with carefully. Sharing with that trusted person can help improve your quality – and possibly quantity – of life. That’s why people with a strong emotional support network tend to live longer. Being there for others, and having others be there for you makes for a better life. Much better than a seething volcano of emotions.

Rather than explode, remember HOLD listeners are confidential and safe and ready to listen with compassion and care.

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