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Ten Keys To Reducing Stress


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1. Identification - Start by identifying the things causing the stress. Without knowing what these are, you cannot make proper changes. Keep a list every time you feel stressed of the situation. You should even sit down and take a few minutes to go through the various aspects of your life, making note to those that seem to make you feel irritable, tired, or frustrated. Once the triggers for stress have been identified, you can then take action.

2. Unnecessary Commitments - One of the major faults we see is over committing. Typically, people hate saying no in fear of disappointing someone. However, you are but one person and there is no way you can do everything. Therefore, learn to commit to things you enjoy or know you need to do for the family, home, and work. However, other commitments, lunch with a friend, bowling on Thursday night, or carpooling kids to school should all be reexamined. These things are important but perhaps eliminating one thing will lower the stress level.

3. Disorganization - A common stressor is being disorganized, whether at home or the office. Spending wasted time trying to find something is exhausting. Take a weekend, buy bins and containers to help get organized, and then hit one room at a time. Get rid of things you no longer need through donation, and put the things you do need in some type of order. You will find being organized is a huge relief.

4. Procrastination - When things are not handled on time, they soon pile up, which is another huge stressor. If you need help, then ask for it rather than put things off to the point of being overwhelmed.

5. Control - You may need to learn to let go of the need to feel in control all the time. Sometimes, it is just better to laugh off a situation than to stress over it. Remember, you can control just one thing - you.

6. Energy - Take note of things that zap your energy and then eliminate them. Being tired is one of the main causes of stress. Therefore, realize that some things in life have to be cut, allowing you to have more energy for the things that are truly important.

7. Difficult Friends - Unfortunately, we all have friends that make life tough. Sometimes, a friend calls 10 times a day to tell you the same story repeatedly. Then, you might have a coworker that constantly complains you do not eat lunch with him or her often enough. Although difficult, reducing the time spent with difficult friends will also help reduce stress.

8. Simplify - Look at your daily habits, routines, and commitments, finding ways to simplify. When life becomes too difficult, we stress. Instead, go through the way in which things are handled, learning how to make those things easier. For instance, if you cook dinner every night for the family, you might consider making two meals at a time so you get one night off from cooking.

9. Slow Down - We all move at supersonic speed in today's world, which is a big stressor on its own. Although it takes practice, slow down. Stop rushing through life as if you were on fire, taking time to eat slower, walk slower, and enjoy the people and things around you more.

10. Give Back - While somewhat controversial, you can actually reduce stress by giving to others. Often, we fail to appreciate what we have because we are so focused on self. Therefore, giving some time at a local nursing home or children's hospital will make you feel good while helping you to be more grateful for the life you have.

For more free resources, visit Julia Sorensen is the author of “Overcoming Loss Stories and Activities to Help Children Transform Grief and Loss" Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers:
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