Manage your stress for healthy living

Accept that there will always be events in your life you cannot control that will cause stress and anger. Also, accept that you will always be dealing with people and that, in most cases, such interactions could lead to stressful situations. You will receive comments about your intentions, insensitivity, capabilities, and behavior.  Should that happen, keep your anger and reactions in check.

Don’t let others’ words or actions control you. When you get angry you are only punishing yourself for other people’s insensitivities, mistakes and incompetence.

Be respectful of different opinions. Others have the right to their opinions just as you have the right to yours. Agree to disagree if you must. And, don’t try to change the world; you cannot. Try to adapt, change your approach, and treat people like you would like to be treated. Hatred, animosity, or grudges towards people will only add to your stress.

Find ways of dealing with stress that work for you, e.g., keeping a positive attitude, practicing deep breathing when stressed, meditating, socializing, and talking through issues with your family and friends. Talking about problems does help. They become bigger if you don’t discuss them. Speak with a professional, with expertise in helping people manage stress and anger, for additional techniques. Also, search for and read articles on the subject; there’s a wealth of information out there.

Keep a notebook or spreadsheet in which you record your stressful situations. Any time you are faced with a major stress, note down the nature of the event, who you were with, what you were doing, how it made you feel, the anger, hurt, and frustration you felt, and your reactions. Review your notes at the end of the day to analyze what triggers your stress, how to avoid it if you could, your ability and effectiveness in dealing with the event, and what you could have done to deal with it better. Remember it’s not the situation that causes stress, but how you react to it. You have the power to control the outcome.

Knowingly try not to create stressful situations for yourself. Think through your actions before you take them. Discuss decisions to get another point of view. Be open to suggestions.

Finally, try and overcome any addictions. While it is easier said than done, you must try hard. Resorting to alcohol, drugs, or something else does not relieve stress. It only adds to it and then compounds it by creating anxiety.

As you practice stress-relieving techniques, you will find that you are able to deal with stressful situations you encounter. This will in turn help with your health.

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