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Balanced – Not Deprived – Living

Stress is one of the most pervasive afflictions in today’s world. It often begins as a little “thing” and snowballs into a chronic condition – if we don’t find healthy and natural ways to diminish the daily drain.

Stress – Stop Feeding the Gremlin

A misconception about stress is that it relates to a person’s occupation. While it’s true, occupational stress is a hazard to health, but stress isn’t limited to a workspace nor does it discriminate against certain people. In short, stress affects everyone – we just respond to what stresses us in different ways. The key to combatting this gremlin is to starve it – not feed it.

So, how do we starve the stress monster? It starts by shifting the focus from what’s stressing us to what’s blessing us. It’s a daily practice and commitment because it is easy to get caught up in the small annoyances and big derailments we all experience. Here are my top 10 tips for shifting the focus.

  1. Take active breaks during the day. This doesn’t mean a separate workout, this just means – stop what you’re doing, breathe, walk or stretch.
  2. Meditate for 10 minutes a day. Doing so before bed can promote better sleep.
  3. Practice gratitude. You don’t need a special journal to do this. This can come in the form of a handwritten note to yourself, a quiet observation, a prayer, or a post on social media.
  4. Seek joy. Whatever brings you joy – a place, a space, a book, a person – honor it and spend time enjoying the present.
  5. Invest in a diffuser. Enjoy calming scents like lavender and uplifting aromas of spearmint, peppermint, and orange.
  6. Start the day with a prayer or a mantra. Find something that inspires you.
  7. Pursue your passion. Take time examining what sets your soul on fire – is it writing? Reading? Teaching? Creating? Whatever it is – do it. And, continue to do it. 
  8. Learn something new. Learning transcends beyond the classroom. This not only creates an enjoyable experience, it keeps the mind sharp.
  9. Practice yoga. Yoga is an outstanding way to build both physical and mental strength.
  10. Be proactive instead of reactive. When we react to stress, we fuel it. Act with the intention to solve the problem or understand the issue rather than take a defensive stance.

Be well, friends.

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