Managing Your Stress (Part Four)

Today is the final day of this series about stress and I wanted to end on a high note.  I hope to assist you with ways to help alleviate your stress. Please remember that, although stress is all around us, stress can be managed and there are quite a few things that you can do to manage your stress.  Hopefully one of these things can assist you on your quest to alleviate your stress.

1. Journaling.  Get some of those thoughts out of your head and on paper. Journaling can also help you notice patterns in your behavior and can help you with your self-reflection.

2. Exercising. Stress can be relieved through exercise because exercising produces endorphins which reduce your stress levels. Regular exercise can go a long way in your efforts to manage your stress.

3. Laughing.  Have you ever had a good, deep belly laugh that pulled you out of a bad mood? Laughter can take your mind off of your stressor while easing a lot of muscle tension.

4. Meditation.  Meditation allows you to get to such a deep place of relaxation that you are able to sort through all of your jumbled thoughts. Your anxiety may be eased if you are able to sort your thoughts and tackle them one at a time and not all at once.

5. Eat healthily. Eating foods high in nutrients can help improve your mood and energy which can reduce stress. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C, as well as some herbal supplements, can help to reduce stress.

6. Reading.  Reading allows you to escape your reality and enter someone else’s reality. This allows you to take your mind off of the things that are stressing you out and allow you to relax.  This temporary escape from your reality can keep you from being overwhelmed.

7. Slowing down your thoughts.  This may sound simple but it is one of the hardest things to do. Slowing down my thoughts has helped me greatly. Stress can sometimes come from the feeling of being overwhelmed and having to figure out everything at once. Slowing down your thoughts allows you to focus on one thing at a time.

8. Breathing deeply. Breathing deep breaths when stress threatens to overwhelm you helps to relax your body and relieve tensions. It also helps you with being able to clear your mind to the point where you can put your stressors in perspective.

9. Therapy.  If the stress that you are trying to manage feels that it is unmanageable, please consider getting help from a therapist. Excessive stress can be an indicator of other mental illnesses that need to be addressed by a professional.

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Please remember if the stress is so overwhelming that you just feel like nothing you do is helpful, please see a professional. Comment if there are some things that you have done to alleviate stress that was not included on this list.

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Mid Week Reflection: Feelings Are Not Facts

Feelings are defined as an emotional state or reaction.  They can describe how you may be feeling at a certain time but they do not always have to dictate your reality.  We sometimes struggle with our emotions being confused as facts.  For example, feeling a little down that you did not get selected for a position at work does not translate to you being an employee whose work is not valued.  Feeling like a failure for not being successful at a new diet does not make you a failure.  You have to be careful not to let your feelings take hold in your spirit to the point where you begin to really believe what you are thinking. Beware of allowing your feelings to determine how you see yourself and the way you begin think about yourself and your worth. Separating feelings from facts is vital to our self-esteem and our overall outlook on life. We have to practice positive self-talk to convince ourselves that the negative thoughts and feelings that we have taken as fact are not true. This has to be done on a daily basis to ensure that you do not succumb to feelings which can often be misleading. What feelings have you taken as facts lately? What positive self-talk will you utilize to prevent yourself from accepting those feelings as facts?

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Mid Week Reflection: Acknowledge Your Potential

Some of us have things in our past that we wish we could change.  We have made decisions that altered the course of our lives and may have put ourselves in difficult positions as a result of those decisions.  You may be feeling that you should be further along in life than you are right now.  You may be feeling that you have spent so much time just trying to make it day to day that you have not tapped into your true potential – that thing that really defines you.  We sometimes become prisoners of our current circumstances.  We do not realize the joy that comes from reaching the fullness of what you have to offer the world in the form of your talents and your worth.  We even sometimes believe that where we have been is so terrible that we do not deserve to experience the joy of reaching our full potential.  These thoughts are what holds us back.  Dare to turn your back on what and who you were and step into your full potential. Change your mindset and step boldly into your purpose. What would you be doing now if you were not so busy looking at your past?

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Mid Week Reflection: Make “One Day” Today

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Have you ever had so many wonderful thoughts about all of the wonderful things you wanted to do but never actually did them?  Everything is going to be done “one day”, “someday”, or “one of these days”.  One day I am going to write a book. Someday I am going to make myself a priority.  One of these days I am going to start eating better.  If this is you, do not feel bad because this is me and several others also.  The problem with “one day” is that the days pass and you end up looking back and realizing that you have been saying the same thing for months, if not years.  I encourage you to just start.  Start today!  Whatever that thing is that you are itching to do but just waiting on the right time, start now. You may be wondering if it is really just that simple and the answer is yes. We sometimes overthink things by believing that the timing has to be just right or that certain things must be done before we can begin. But that is not true. Just start. Once you start you will find that a lot of things will just fall into place. Find one thing that you have been putting off and start today with baby steps or start by jumping in headfirst – but just start.  What will you start today?

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#SelfReflectionSunday

Providing you with an opportunity to reflect, think, and to get to know yourself a little better.

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What would you have accomplished by now if fear or uncertainty was not holding you back?

I would probably be further along with my writing if I had not been afraid to put my work out there for others to read.

Feel free to answer this question in the comments below or just think about it.

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#SelfReflectionSunday

Providing you with an opportunity to reflect, think, and to get to know yourself a little better.

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What do you love most about yourself?

What I love most about myself is that I am still pursuing my dreams after several set-backs, stops, and stalls, I still have desire to write and make a name for myself as an author and blogger.

Feel free to answer this question in the comments below or just think about it.

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Mid Week Reflection: Think Positive Thoughts

Have you ever had a great idea and talked yourself out of going for it?  The negative thoughts of doubt and uncertainty are louder than the positive thoughts that would encourage you to keep striving for your goal.  For some reason, it is easier for some of us to listen to the discouraging thoughts and not to the thoughts that tell us that we can achieve our goal or dream. Controlling our thoughts is not easy but it is necessary to keep ourselves encouraged so that we can continue to move forward with achieving our goals.  Just as we watch the words that come out of our mouth, we must watch the thoughts that we allow to take hold in our minds. We must begin to push back against our negative thoughts.  We have to learn to challenge these thoughts.  If you begin to have thoughts that you are not strong enough to reach your goal, you counter it with the thought that you are strong and that you will reach your goal.  If you begin to have thoughts that you are not worthy enough to even dream as big as you dare to dream, counter it with the thought that you are as good and as talented as those who are already where you want to be.  I challenge you to counter those thoughts that bring you down into positive thoughts.  When you begin to think more positive thoughts will you begin to see more positive results.  What thoughts will you challenge today?

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Mid Week Reflection: Surround Yourself with Positive People

Have you ever witnessed two people hang around each other for so long that they begin to act like each other? They pick up each other’s mannerisms, habits, and even each other’s tones. It happens when you spend a considerable amount of time with somebody. So if you understand that you take on the characteristics of those who you spend a great deal of your time with, doesn’t it make sense that you should want to spend your time with the people who want the absolute best for you? The Debbie Downers of the world that only seek to rain on your parade can affect you just as much as the people who want to see you do well. Their negativity, doubt, and lack of confidence in you and your ability to reach your dreams will eventually affect you if you are not careful.  You may begin to lack confidence in yourself and water down your dreams because of their inability to see your full potential.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you as much, if not more, as you believe in yourself.  Surround yourself with people who will continue to cheer you on during those times where you may feel discouraged and unsure of yourself.  Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and challenge you to be your very best.  You will go further when your circle consists of those who genuinely want to see you succeed.  Their positivity will rub off on you and sustain you through the tough days. Think about those that are the closest to you.  Do they cheer you on or do they doubt you?  Are they encouraging or are your setbacks proof to them that you need to abandon your dreams?  I challenge you to evaluate your inner circle and make sure that those around you are positive, supportive and push you to be the best you can be.

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#SelfReflectionSunday

Providing you with an opportunity to reflect, think, and to get to know yourself a little better.

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Name one goal you want to accomplish this week?

The one thing I want to accomplish this week is to simple – I want to try a new recipe this week (I have a personal goal to cook more :).

Feel free to answer this question in the comments below or just think about it.

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Mid Week Reflection: Live Your Dreams, Not Your Fears

This is many of us. This was me up until not very long ago, if I am being honest. If you would have asked me if I was living my dreams, I would have told you I was.  In reality, I was living my fears. I was writing but I was sticking my writings in a drawer for fear that people would not like them. I talked about my blog until I was blue in the face, but I would never start it. I had lists of topics I want to write about, but they sat in my notebook. I was going through the motions but that was all I was doing.   Living your dreams requires you to take the steps toward the things that you desire. Living your dreams means being productive and taking tangible steps toward achieving your goals. It requires you to dig deep and move past fears and inhibitions to achieve your goals. Imagine how much further you would be if you lived your wildest dreams as opposed to your darkest fears. What are you going to do today to move from living your fears to living your dreams?