The key is to see it as a chal­lenge

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

be­cause there’s a back cat­a­logue of things you tried and, yes, it was a hard time but you’re OK, you look back at how you dealt with it and it adds to your self-be­lief.”

For celebrity yoga in­struc­tor Shona Vertue, the best an­ti­dote for stress in a pos­i­tive way is yoga and med­i­ta­tion, which al­lows you to fo­cus on your breath and slow down.

“They’re a tool for both en­er­gis­ing the body and re­lax­ing it — this is one of the rea­sons it’s great for stress re­lief,” she says.

“Through a con­sis­tent and com­mit­ted prac­tice you can re­ally feel both the men­tal and phys­i­cal ben­e­fits.“

The prac­tice has a strong celebrity fol­low­ing. While they may earn mil­lions, their de­mand­ing sched­ules, the scru­tiny of pub­lic life and pres­sure to al­ways ap­pear happy for fans leaves many feel­ing pres­sured.

Su­per­stars Katy Perry and Gisele Bünd­chen both find peace in tran­scen­den­tal med­i­ta­tion, us­ing it to chan­nel those pres­sures into creative pur­suits.

Perry has gone so far as de­scrib­ing it as the cure for com­mon stress, adding: “Stress is such a killer these days and I have a lot of it in my life. I have a tool that is go­ing to sub­side it.”

And Bund­chen told Vogue that med­i­ta­tion brings her a dif­fer­ent aware­ness and greater peace. But for it-girl Ken­dall Jen­ner, re­liev­ing stress is a sim­pler so­lu­tion in mu­sic and talk­ing things through with her equally fa­mous sis­ters

The idea that mod­er­ate short term stress is ad­van­ta­geous isn’t new. In 1908 psy­chol­o­gists Robert M Yerkes and John Dilling­ham Dod­son es­tab­lished the Yerkes-Dod­son Law, col­lo­qui­ally known as the in­verted U model.

The the­ory is that those with low stress ex­pe­ri­ence bore­dom, cor­re­lat­ing with low pro­duc­tiv­ity. Those with too much stress were least happy and the worst per­form­ers. Pro­duc­tiv­i­tyvity peaks in the mid­dle, where some stress­ress is present but is a mo­ti­vat­ing, rather than han de­bil­i­tat­ing force.

Clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Dr Aileen Ale­gado from Mind­set Psy­chol­ogy agrees someme stress is op­ti­mal, liken­ing our pro­duc­tiv­ity too start­ing a car — it won’t work if it’s too cold bu­tut you don’t want it to over­heat.

“We all need a lit­tle bit of stress in n our life to start to get go­ing,” she says.

“But when the stress be­comes more­ore chronic or tips over that op­ti­mal level — andd that level is dif­fer­ent for every­one — it can ac­ti­vate­ti­vate the fight or flight re­sponse. A lit­tle of that at is good, but too much can cause anx­i­ety.”

Dr Ale­gado says it’s im­por­tant too keep stress levels in check, recog­nise any be­haviouralvioural changes if they hap­pen and rec­om­mends mends pos­i­tive cop­ing strate­gies, in­clud­ingg yoga and med­i­ta­tion or other ex­er­cise and seek­ing ek­ing sup­port to talk is­sues through with fam­ily and friends who can of­fer per­spec­tive.

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