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Stress Out ⇨

There's a way out...

Perspective is everything.

Gone are the days when we could simply just step back and take a breather. No longer is it just a matter of taking a quick 5 second timeout to destress your brain. Things have changed. More and more things make us stress and where there are more things, there are more ways.

When you are stressed, it can feel like some one pumped your body full of air and you have no control over whether or not you are going to explode. It can seem like you can’t get enough good oxygen into your lungs because the polluted oxygen is taking up all the space.

Is there an end to feeling so overwhelmed by things you can’t control?

YES. There is a way. The light at the seemingly endless tunnel is closer than you realize.

Target the problem.

Ask yourself: "why am I stressed?" Talk yourself through all the reasons why you are stressed. Keep asking yourself "why" until you come to the root issue.

For example: Sarah just got home from work. Her husband is in the living room playing with the kids. She has had a rough day. Today’s mail is on the counter in the kitchen. In the mail are bills that need to be paid. But Sarah knows that at least 3 of those bills will not be paid on time. Come dinner time, the kids are doing anything but sitting down to eat. They are running all over the house yelling at each other, for who knows what reason. Sarah and her husband are trying their best to remain calm and get their children to settle down. Unfortunately Sarah is already at her boiling point. She turns to her husband and asks him to take care of the kids on his own for the rest of the evening. Sarah then steals away to the bedroom. There she asks herself the question.

“Why am I stressed?”

Answer: “Because my kids are running around all wild.”

“Why is that making me so upset?”

Answer: “Because all I wanted was a peaceful evening at home after work. Pleasant dinner, and maybe after a fun movie to watch as a family.”

“Why did I want to have a quiet evening?”

Answer: “Because I’m tired from a rough day at work.”

This example is purely fictitious, simple but effective in revealing the point. Target the problem. In this instance, Sarah is tired and at the moment doesn’t have the energy to wrangle with her kids. Admitting that you need something is a helpful step to de-stressing. Sarah needs to admit to herself and her husband that she need to rest. It’s amazing what a goodnight’s sleep will do to a person. It improves mood, clears the head, makes us more alert, and even helps to reduce stress…

However, not all levels of stress are caused by lack of sleep. Some stress is caused by focusing too much on the problem. When you think about something too much it can slowly encroach on all of your thoughts, activities and normal day to day life.

Stop thinking.

Turn your brain on airplane mode. Don’t run away from your problems, but if there is a way to take a vacation from them without causing harm, then do it! When is the last time you did something that makes you happy? When is the last time you laughed? Seriously. Not the polite laugh you let out when a coworker tells a corny joke. But the deep long hearty laugh that makes your stomach hurt and leaves you gasping for air. If it's been a long time or you can’t even remember, then it's probably time you did something to remind yourself how. (Baby steps though, you don’t want to pull a stomach muscle.)

Do something that makes you happy. Play a game of golf with your buddies. Have a day where you pamper yourself at the spa. Drive up to the lake and stay there for the weekend. Go have fun!

Come back changed.

Come back to the situation with a changed mindset. Think of yourself as a mountain climber. The mountain is your stress. All you must do is find the best way to get to the top (working around your stress). If you need to pause on the climb up, that’s ok. But don’t keep your head in your armpit. Look at the view around you to re-adjust your focus. Your focus should not be on the mountain, but on the view you will see at the top. Perspective is everything. If you feel all of a sudden that the mountain will crumble and come crashing down on you, then it will. But if you press on, taking breaks when necessary, you will reach your destination and be able to fully appreciate the beautiful view that awaits you.

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Stress Out ⇨
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