Last updated on Jul 7th, 2020 at 01:59 pm

We live in uncertain times, but if you don’t want daily stress to get you down, then here’s what you need to do…

If you can balance living in the moment with planning for the future you will handle daily stress better and feel better for it.

This is according to a study from North Carolina State University.

“It’s well established that daily stressors can make us more likely to have a negative affect or bad moods,” says Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the recent work. “Our work here sheds additional light on which variables influence how we respond to daily stress.”

The researchers looked at two factors that are thought to influence how we handle stress: mindfulness and proactive coping.

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What is mindfulness and proactive coping?

Mindfulness is when people are centred and living in the moment, rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.

Proactive coping is when people engage in planning to reduce the likelihood of future stress.

The study included over 200 people

To see how these factors influence responses to stress, the researchers looked at data from 223 study participants who completed an initial survey in order to establish their tendency to engage in proactive coping.

Participants were then asked to complete questionnaires for eight consecutive days that explored fluctuations in mindfulness. On those eight days, participants were also asked to report daily stressors and the extent to which they experienced negative mood.

Plan ahead while living in the moment

The researchers found that proactive coping (planning ahead) was beneficial at limiting the effect of daily stressors, but that this advantage essentially disappeared on days when a participant reported low mindfulness.

“Interventions targeting daily fluctuations in mindfulness may be especially helpful for those who are high in proactive coping and may be more inclined to think ahead to the future at the expense of remaining in the present.”

This means that if you tend to plan ahead and worry about the future, you need to find a way to slow down and smell the roses too.

Source: North Carolina State University via www.sciencedaily.com

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