Stress is the body’s way of reacting to and managing threats or strenuous demands on the body. The more demands or threats we face from day to day the higher our stress levels. These levels can get so high that it can affect our health–in a very bad way.
Headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite are common side effects of stress. Continued stress along with these common side effects can cause us to make poor decisions, have or cause accidents and generally spiral out of control until some develop anxiety problems, depressions and other illnesses that cannot be clearly diagnosed.
We must find ways to reduce and learn to cope with the stresses of everyday life. This may look different to different people because we all handle stress differently. Here are some sure fire ways to reduce stress in your life that have worked for me.
- Let Go. Let go of toxic people in your life and toxic situations. You know where you go and who you are around that make you feel stressed. Limiting or eliminating these people, places or situations will help keep your stress level down. You don’t have to feel guilty about it (adding more stress), just decide to wish them well and let it go.
- Understand that Everything Changes. Nothing stays the same forever–we know this in our heads and in our hearts. The seasons change, the economy changes and we change as the life around us changes. To help relieve some of the stress you are feeling just remember that “this too shall pass.”
- You Are In Control. This is your life and you control it. If something is stressing you out on an ongoing basis–you can change it. No one can dictate how you live your life. If the stress is coming from a financial situation or your work environment you can make the decision and take the steps to make the changes that work for you.
- Focus. Understand and accept the things that are important to you and focus on those things. Let the noise of all the other stuff going on in the world pass you by. When you keep your focus on the things that really matter–to you–everything else just extra. Keep your focus.
- Gratitude. When you have had a particularly stressful day, take a deep breath and think about all the things you are grateful for. I bet, as you do this exercise, you will find that the things that were stressing you out are not on that list–so refer back to # 1 and #4.
It is so easy to get caught up in the negative energy of others–and that causes a great deal of unnecessary stress, but worse we continue to do the same things with the same people that are causing the major stressors in our lives and expect a different outcome. By using these 5 steps it has helped me cope with stress and learn to change the stressful circumstances.
I hope they work for you too! Life is too beautiful to be stressed out about stuff that really doesn’t matter! Happy Friday!