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12 ways to de-stress your life

(Concerning my last article, “Stress: American Killer,” I thought it would only make sense to post a follow-up piece detailing ways in which you can deal with America’s potential number one killer.)

According to The Help Guide, really, the only way to rid yourself of the negative effects of stress is to get rid of the stress itself. You can start by identifying the sources of stress in your life and either eliminate them completely, or rethink them to reduce the stress they cause. Keep in mind that this doesn’t only include the things we don’t particularly enjoy in our lives. Stress can also be caused just as easily by things we enjoy, even positive, life-affirming events like getting married, having a baby, getting that big promotion at work, planning a best friend’s birthday party and even taking that long awaited vacation.

Since even positive changes in our lives can be just as stressful as negative event, dealing with stress isn’t simply a matter of cutting out everything in life that stresses you out. Instead, try to develop practices and a mindset that work to dissipate and reduce those inevitable stresses that come with life.

Like I noted in my last article: stress kills. That’s pretty serious stuff. Here are 12 ways you can choose to combat this killer:

1. Make some time for quiet. Whether it’s meditating every morning to some Yanni, practicing yoga three times a week, biking on weekends, or just spending an hour each night curled up to a good book, you need to create a time when you can clear your mind of anything and everything that could drag it down. Get some you time and you’ll see that this method helps most with anxiety or depressive disorder.
2. End the procrastination. Worrying about important tasks causes stress. Procrastinating important tasks leads to more worry. More worry… Well, you get the idea.
3. Make a habit of writing things down. I know forgetting things causes me to stress. Try writing things down or creating some other system that can help you remember things to alleviate some stress.
4. You are what you eat. A healthy diet can help your body better deal with stress. It only makes sense. Eating healthy provides your body with necessary energy and the building blocks for an overall more efficient you. A good combination of fruits, veggies and lean protein like fish and chicken is the best way to go. Might not be a surprise to discover that this one helps most with mild to moderate stomach discomfort, one common cause for stress.
5. Family time is good time. It’s a good idea to try and eat at least one meal a day with your family (or with friends if you’re single). Human beings are social creatures and social interaction builds positivity, thus helping to eliminate stress.
6. De-bottle that anger and frustration. We all know this leads to stress. Most likely, it’s going to come out at some point or another, and when it does, especially after being stuffed for so long, it’s like dropping a nuke. Learn to express negative feelings and to voice your concerns to someone close. It really takes the steam out of things.
7. Priorities, priorities. Determine what in your life requires the most attention and what doesn’t. Figure out what you can let slide and what you can drop completely. Focus your energy on things that are most important.
8. Get a routine going. Research has shown that most people work well under set routines. Getting one going in your life could mean eliminating stress over worrying about what’s coming up next.
9. Don’t let interruptions get to you. Many people allow their rituals to get so stuck that they can’t function properly if they’re interrupted. Pull some slack there so you can adapt to changing conditions.
10. Know when it’s quitting time. Don’t let employers, friends, lovers, family members, anyone treat you badly. Decide how much of yourself you’re willing to put into your relationships and establish hard lines. If those lines are crossed, walk away.
11. Don’t forget yourself. If you begin to notice you’re feeling stressed, find out why. Maybe you should see a doctor. Figure out if the life you’re leading is a fulfilling one.
12. Love. It’s what makes the world go ‘round. Going back to that important aspect of human life: sociability. Build relationships. Share yourself, your feelings, your personality. Simply put, just feel.