Manage Stress Before Stress Manages You

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You know the drill.  You get up early, make breakfast for the kids, pack their lunches, rush them out to meet the school bus…and forget your coffee as you race out the door to sit in traffic on the way to the office.  Nine million cars race along highways designed for less than half that number yet your boss cannot understand how you can possibly be late.

Is it any wonder you feel stressed before you can finish a single cup of coffee?

It does not matter whether you work in an office or at home, for yourself or for a tyrant, stress is the one constant in all our days.  Too often, we let ourselves fall into the pattern of accepting this as though we can do nothing to change it.  That quite simply is not true, but you have to be willing to take control of your life.

You have to accept that you CAN be happy anytime you choose.

Happiness is a state of mind; stress is a state of being.  Personally, I’m a believer of “mind over matter” so if I want to diffuse my stress then there is no reason why I would be unable to do so.  While everyone is different and there is no “one size fits all” method to banishing stress, here are a few suggestions to help de-stress your life:

  • Go for a walk.  The exercise will be good for your body and the change of scenery will be good for your mind.  Even if you can only walk around in your office building, the benefits are still worth the strange looks from your coworkers.
  • Play on the floor.  It does not matter if you’re 15 or 55, there is something about getting down on the floor to play with either a pet or a child that makes people smile.  If there are no children or small animals around then you’re still welcome to scamper around on the floor, though that may be more fun for those around.
  • Start a round.  Start singing “Row, row, row your boat” while you wait in line at that crowded store, just to see how many people will join in on the song.  If spontaneous song with strangers can’t make you happy then something could be seriously wrong with you.

In all seriousness, too many people fail to realize stress can be deadly until it’s almost too late.  I was one of those people.  In the words of Fight Club’s Tyler Durden, “Let that which does not matter truly slide” and give yourself permission to be happy.  Fighting in the basement of a bar is optional…just remember rule number one is not to talk about it.

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