Minimize Stress or Maximize Recovery?

Stress is a normal part of the human experience. The negative impacts of stress affect all aspects of our lives, from happiness to health. Many of us spend significant amounts of energy trying to reduce the amount of stress in our life. However, to a great extent some amount of stress is unavoidable. Some stress may well be out of our control. Trying to control the uncontrollable is a great way to increase our levels of stress.

Perhaps our goal should not be to reduce stress but to bring our level of recovery into balance. What if instead of trying to reduce stress we spent time, energy, and focus on raising our level of recovery. This could be especially effective if we can gain control over our recovery.

In fact, if we want to maximize learning and growth, the optimal balance would be a high level of stress equally matched with a high level of recovery. I’ve spent some time thinking about how I recover. Here are some of my strategies.

  • Sleep
  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Watching a good TV series or movie without distraction
  • Candle light
  • Listening to music on my headphones and not doing anything else
  • A walk through the neighborhood with my daughters
  • Watching an exciting sporting event with a great finish
  • Hottub
  • Massage
  • Being moved to tears by hope, inspiration, community, inner strength, and overcoming adversity
  • A great conversation and meal at a great restaurant

How do you recover?

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