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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reduce Stress

Stress is terrible for you. It affects every aspect of your life, whether you realize it or not. It can take a normally happy, adjusted person and turn them into an angry, high-strung, twitchy excuse for a person. It can take a healthy person and give them a slew of medical issues (stress has been shown in medical studies to cause silent inflammation). Stress takes mothers who love their children and want nothing more than to gently guide them through life and turns them in to screaming harpies! (Don’t ask me how I know).

The first step in reducing stress is to identify your stressors. Is it an increased work load (whether you’re a stay at home mom or a CEO)? Could it be due to a health issue in yourself or a loved one? Sometimes it can be from one hundred little things in your day that you suppress and internalize. Whatever the case, identifying the cause is the first step. A doctor can’t fix a medical condition if he doesn't know what it is, can he? He might prescribe the wrong thing and complicate the disease or even hurt the patient. That’s why he must run tests to figure out what is causing the problem so he can be accurate in his treatment. Same thing with you–find the cause so you can treat the issue appropriately.
The second step is then to relieve the cause of the stress. If you’re internalizing your issues, then find a way to let them out. As cheesy as it sounds, journaling or meditation work better than anti-anxiety/depression medication.
If the cause of your stress is the adverse health of a loved one, obviously the condition is out of your control. Remember, you can’t control what happens to you, but you can control your reaction. If the condition is terminal, talk through the situation with that person and do everything you can to make yourself at peace with what is happening and how it affects you. If it is a treatable condition, learn more about treatment options, speak with your loved one and gather information so the condition stops being a “scary unknown” and becomes something you can understand and deal with.
If the stress is due to an increased work load, consider working from home full-time or going to part time at your current position and looking at residual income options. One of the common reasons for feeling over-worked is lack of delegation.

Remember that antioxidants are very effective in controlling the damage done in the body from oxidative stress. 

In order to banish stress effectively, you have to identify the cause and then treat it accordingly. As a bonus, it is always helpful to put positive, uplifting information into your brain daily. Some people listen to inspirational songs, motivational speeches, read the Bible, dance around to positive music or talk to an optimistic friend.
Whatever you do, don’t continue to do the things that got you into the stressful place. You have to change in order to change your life.
Are you stressed? Do you have more suggestions? Please leave us a comment below!

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