There is something that we must all reconcile: life happens whether or not you plan for it. Life does not wait for you to make decisions — it moves forward regardless of what you want.
There is a solution to every problem and people allow situations to take unnecessary emotional tolls on them. We are all human and we are all therefore, not perfect. Stress does happen.
However, stress is not just a fleeting aggravation — it is a burden. It is unhealthy and it can lead to some serious issues like high blood pressure, chronic migraines, depression, addictions and more. There are a few truths that can lessen our stress levels.
Truth #1: It is what it is
There should be simplicity at the core of life. While stress is not a one-off aggravation, it brews long like a strong black tea. Stress, as any physicist will tell you, is brought on when there is resistance to a particular challenge-causing movement. Upon strengthening the movement or lessening the resistance, the strain becomes obsolete.
There are situations in life that may be stress provoking, but it is our own thoughts that will determine whether those situations can become problematic. It is what it is.
Truth #2: Decide then move on
Don't stress about the things in life over which you have no control — it’s completely pointless. Make decisions about the things in life over which you do have control. You are the common denominator in your life. If some stress stems from an inability to make a decision, just deal with it then move one. Handle repercussions as they come — one thing at a time.
Consider a sport, like basketball or soccer. You make countless attempts to complete a goal but that opposing team gets in the way every time! You could stress about it and let that stress cloud your judgment and impede your success or you could decide to try your best. Decide to try numerous tactics. Decide to learn the parameters of the challenge you’ve been presented and move forward. You decide.
Truth #3: Breathe
Breath is the central line and vehicle for energy, sustenance and balance in our lives. Well, obviously! If you stop, you’ll die! Take a moment out of your day to stop and focus on your breath for one whole minute. Gain control over it as it moves through your body — notice its presence.
As silly as it sounds, this small practice will help to center you and allow you to gain some clarity. You will find yourself immediately relaxing. Stress can suffocate you, literally and figuratively. Stop and take a breath before engaging in stress and allowing it to enter your space.
Truth #4: Engage yourself
Be active. Choose an activity or a hobby that you enjoy and try to do it on a weekly basis. Whether its indoor rock climbing or walking from your office to the local deli for a sandwich at lunch, set aside time for exercise! Work, school and home are the three main areas that occupy most of our mental space. Stepping away from those routine occurrences to be active (even if you’re a personal trainer) will allow your mind and body some down time.
You can also engage by going out more. If finances permit, set aside one night every week to be social. Grab a drink, get a manicure or do whatever feels indulgent and relaxing. No need to choose activities that are outside of your comfort zone; the idea is simply to participate in things that that are outside of your stress-zone. Your mind and your body will thank you!
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