How to Be More Adaptable to Stress Less

UPDATED: May 23, 2024
PUBLISHED: April 24, 2019
How to Be More Adaptable to Stress Less

When it comes to stressing less, we must be willing to create a new approach. Old methods for managing stress leave us fragile and miserable because they do not identify or face the root issues behind the pressure. Much of today’s stress stems from feeling less than. Ingrained in the workplace, at home and in nearly all public spaces, “not good enough” is a poisonous phrase that spawns bad habits, like stress eating, substance abuse, poor sleep habits and workaholic tendencies.

This toxic behavior bears the scars of previous generations who were slowly but surely becoming a part of the “industrialized machine.” But we do not have to think or act like that anymore because success is being redefined. In doing so, we empower ourselves toward wellness and happiness.

While stress might be an inevitable part of life for most, there are a myriad of ways to adapt. The goal is engaging in healthier choices to better suit the human experience. Embracing change, adapting a go-with-the-flow attitude and being flexible are all skills that have been highly underrated. Stress crumbles in the face of those who choose to look at it more positively—which is why adaptability is key.

The reason life can feel stressful is because we allow it to feel that way. We choose stress. We do! This means we create our own realities whether we like it or not. Want to stress less? All you have to do is change how you think and react to incoming stressors. Integrating adaptability just means altering a few habits, which can be done in less time than you might expect. As long as you’re willing to be consistent in your practice, you’ll reap the benefits tenfold. Channel your energies toward a life with less stress and watch your enjoyment go through the roof and into the cosmos.

Know that everything is temporary.

Realize that nothing can stay the same, ever. Life does not work on these principles. The only constant is change. When you are able to embrace that philosophy, anything that comes your way will begin to lose its stress-inducing reaction. Remind yourself, “This is temporary and shall pass,” regardless of how intense the stress is. The more you engage in this thought pattern, the sooner you’ll slip into a mental space that’s much more relaxing and stable.

Just breathe.

The breath and its ability to flow and move with ease is a prime example of being adaptable. While we don’t pay much attention to our breathing, breathwork is a proven to technique to reduce stress. Based on yoga principles, Ujjayi breathing has reduced stress in only a matter of minutes, and other methods can help alleviate stress and realign the nervous system, too. Try including positive affirmations as a part of your breathwork session to boost results.

Related: 5 Ways You Can Use Mindfulness to Fix Your Brain, Reduce Stress and Boost Performance

Be an optimal optimist.

Focus on what can go well, not what can go wrong. Being non-reactive by changing language is a tool that builds better habits and reduces stress. Instead of saying, “I’m so stressed. I can’t manage this. It’s too much,” how about going for a more uplifting phrase like, “This is a challenge that I can manage, and I go into it with great confidence.” While this might feel strange in the beginning, the more you practice positive self-talk, the more it becomes natural. Shifting from negative thinking to positive is personal alchemy and it has to start in the mind. So tell the brain what to think and don’t let it control you.

Accept that failure is essential.

Accepting failure is a part of the process and evolution toward less stress. Learning happens from failing: Each mistake is a lesson about how to do something better. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes; as a matter of fact, look at them as stepping stones and ladders, propelling you forward into your best self. When you embrace failure, your body adapts, which helps you push into and beyond growth edges.

Find your space.

Set up a system that bolsters the fundamentals of flexibility, like yoga or daily mindfulness practices. You can also foster adaptability by changing small habits or routines, increasing wellness through better sleep and eating habits, for example. While in the middle of the change, notice how your mind and body respond. Then keep a tight control of what the mind says and teach the body how to stay calm. Be sure to engage in positive reinforcement and confidence building during these mindfulness practices.

Flexibility fundamentals include:

    1. Life is in constant flux.
    2. The quicker we realize this, the better.
    3. And the better we will become at adapting to whatever life throws our way.
    4. And the sooner we can accept life as it is.
    5. We understand life is an ever-changing series of actions and emotions that guide, push and challenge us to be our best selves.

We thrive with motivation, and you can be your biggest cheerleader by engaging in small acts of self-kindness. Feel free to print and pin these article takeaways in your home or office as gentle reminders about how to reduce stress and augment adaptability:

  • Accept life as it is, forever changing.
  • Practice breathwork regularly.
  • Do personal alchemy and be as non-reactive as often as possible.
  • Make mistakes and don’t take yourself so seriously.
  • Set up good habits that uphold adaptability concepts.

Related: Do You Have Adaptability?

Photo by Olena Yakobchuk/ 

Jacklyn Janeksela, MFA, is a freelance writer and a poet. Her online self, aka that writing life, can be found here. She works for Culture Designers, Thrillist, Honey Colony, among others; her poetry is tangled on the inter-webs. Her herbal alchemy meets astrology creative business can be found here. She explores self through poetry, planets and photography @ female filet.