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Stress: How Do I Manage It?

Stress: How Do I Manage It?

Stress is a common and often consistent part of our every day lives. Unfortunately, it's not something we can completely cut out of the human routine. Especially during these difficult economic times, stress seems to have reached a fevered pitch. However, this does not mean that people can't learn, access, and utilize tools to manage it.

Although we can't eliminate family, relationship, school, and work stress, here are just a few ways you can lessen stress:

  • Ground yourself- take a 5 minute break to focus on your 5 senses. Be aware of sights, sounds, touch, taste, and smells.
  • Counting- Count back from 100 or whatever number you are comfortable with- steady your breathing with your countdown picturing the number in your head while saying out loud (or internally).
  • Breathing Exercises- Place your hands on your abdomen. Breathe in and breathe out slowly, letting your belly relax- while it moves outward and inward.
  • Imagery- Place yourself in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Choose a place (pretend or real) that makes you feel calm (i.e. lying in a hammock on the beach at sunset works for me!). Focus on that image. Take note of the atmosphere around you, notice the smells, notice the noises around you, etc. Sometimes imagery works well if you can also put on some calming soft music.
  • Make realistic daily goals for yourself. A list of "things to do" longer than seven items will probably cause you stress. Do what you are ABLE. Do not set yourself up for failure before you've even begun to tackle your day.

These are just a few ways to take breaks from stress and calm yourself. I will be posting more blogs detailing more specific tools to use in de-stressing your life. For now, remember, you are a good and worthy person who has much to offer the world.

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