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How to deal with stress & THE TOP LIFE STRESSORS

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Stress can be best described as those moments in our lives where we feel like there is too much pressure than we can handle. Everyone feels stressed, but is is how we deal with those feelings that can determine whether or not we can live a successful and happy life. Below are 10 ideas that can help ease stress. With work and dedication, these pointers can help change your life.

 Do you feel more stressed when you go to a particular mall, store or a family member's home? If so, then one of the smartest things you can do is to avoid or stop going to those places so much. Of course if it is work related stress, not showing up will cause you more stress when you lose your job for not working (that is for another article). There are times that we choose to put ourselves in places or around people that we know will cause us extra stress. Sometimes these people make us feel guilty if we are not constantly there, and other times it is our own inner self that is telling us we are obligated to see certain people and go to certain places. Whatever it may be, it is time to shut off that little voice inside of your mind and take care of yourself first. Learning to eliminate (or spend less time with) stressful people and situations is a great start in learning how to cope with stress. 

Set realistic goals that both challenge you and allow you to meet those goals in a timely manner. When planning, always be sure to allow yourself some relaxation time after you have achieved one thing. Make sure you reward yourself and not set goals that are impossible. People who are perfectionists are more prone to this problem. They love to go above and beyond so they will set outrageous goals that in some respects are just too much. It is great to want to challenge yourself, however, there is a point where you need to be proud of your accomplishments and not try to act like Superman. Remember, Rome was not built in one day. 

The more you can focus on something else other than what stresses you out, the better. Pick  a new hobby or just become more dedicated to an existing hobby. Whether you like to read, play video games, or walk, you will be astonished at how much better you will feel when you participate in something that you enjoy.

This is a big one. Exercise has always been recommended  by many doctors as one step to helping our entire overall feeling of satisfaction. Staying in shape will not only make you feel wonderful about your body, but it has also been scientifically proven to reduce stress by allowing oxygen to flow, reducing stress. Exercise burns off chemicals such as cortisol and nonrepinpephrine. The hard part about exercise is the ability to get started and keep your regular schedule. Stress can easily allow you to feel like not exercising. To alleviate this problem, take a friend with you who will hold you accountable. Eventually, it will not just be something you feel forced to do, it will become a habit. 

Indulging in unhealthy candy, greasy foods and fried foods is not only unhealthy to your heart, but also to the mind as well. Think about how you feel while you are eating those items. Probably pretty satisfied during the process. However, AFTER you have swallowed your last bite of  this particular food, you usually feel guilty and at this point you either stop or you grab another slice of cake to appease the guilt. 

Unhealthy food is not good for you simply because it can destroy our internal body and take a physical toll on your body. Start eating healthy and you will at least eliminate the stressful feelings you get when you KNOW you are eating the wrong way.

What is more important, a date with your wife when your marriage is in deep turmoil or cleaning your car? When I mention learning to prioritize, I am not necessarily always talking about huge things. It is the small things in our lives that we put first that will add stress and completely destroy us. People are under the misunderstanding that the "big" decisions are the things that often bring on stress towards us...sometimes it is actually the other way around. The next time you have to choose between taking your spouse to the movies and shining your car, just remember what counts. 

Grouchy people are never fun to be around. Sleep is imperative to everyone. It helps give our body the natural boost that we need while repairing cells and reenergizing us all at once. Lack of sleep alone can cause stress simply because a sleepless mind causes irritability and unhappiness. Sleep should never be an option. Set up a time where you can get the appropriate amount of sleep. A restful person tends to deal with stress better.

From time to time, we all need a friend. Whether it is someone that you only speak to once in a blue moon, a close family member or a counselor. Sometimes talking to someone will help alleviate the stress within your life. This can be extremely important because as you began to speak with someone else, you will realize that you are not alone in what stresses you out. Whatever you are going through, there are millions who are in the same boat and millions who have been there. One of the worst things you can tell yourself is that you are alone in your situation. Talk to someone. And if all else fails, try talking to your dog; they actually listen better than humans.

This one will always and forever be near the top of the list. Why? Because most people who are unhappy and stressed are too busy comparing themselves with their next door neighbor. The most stressful people in this world CANNOT stop wishing and dreaming to have another person's life. Some go to extremes to compete against another person. Constantly competing will bring nothing but stress and hatred. Remind yourself that you are wonderful the way you are. There is no one else like you. And if you happen to be on the receiving end of being around a person who is always trying to out do you...let them win. It really is not worth your time or effort to deal with that type of behavior.

For those who do not believe in a higher power, it can stop at number two for you, but for those who do believe in something greater, then this is the perfect opportunity to renew your relationship through your faith. When times are hard, many people find their faith to be a crutch to lean on. 


Written By: Te-Shandra Haskett, MBA