Your stress may be self inflicted~ take a break and give back once in awhile.

Whenever I tell people I teach stress management they immediately respond with “Oh boy, can I use you”. Our culture is feeling more and more like we’re on board a runaway train. Yes life has gotten more complicated, but how many of us buy into the need to feel overwhelmed and frazzled? We often ignore the mental and physical signals that stress alerts us to in deference to keep going. Yes, I understand that there are situations that require our attention because if we didn’t, we might not have shelter, food, or clothing. But a lot of today’s stress also comes from a compulsion to keep on, keeping on simply because it’s the thing to do. That may sound nuts, but it’s rare to meet someone today who doesn’t have a story around how stressed out they are.

     You may or may not pursue the following suggestions, but I’m going to share them anyway. They might just make your life feel less frantic. 1. Become a contrarian. Just because everyone around you is checking e-mails, texting, enrolling their children in a myriad of activities, and rushing to a spin class, doesn’t mean you have to. Chose to take an hour to read, get a massage, or have lunch with a friend.

     2. Understand that you don’t have to know everything about everything. Just because the technology exists for you to know why your next door neighbor has a migraine, doesn’t mean you have to spend an hour on goggle researching it. 3. Give it a rest. Your mind, body and spirit need a respite from the never ending, pings, and rings. You can sit in traffic, or wait in line, without informing someone that that’s what your doing. They might just need a rest from you. 4. Volunteer. Go out and do something for someone else. Volunteering takes us away from ourselves. When we’re stressed, it is often the result of thoughts that continually remind us of the problem. Volunteering is directly related to the old saying “ I cried because I had no shoes until I saw the man with no feet”?  5. Get help if you need it. Sometimes we simply need to reach out to a professional who can help us regain perspective. Going over and over the same stuff with people you know, only gives you the same outcomes. After a while they may even start to run away when they see you coming. 6. Think with your heart. Many of us stay in our heads all day long. Remember we are also heart and soul. Take time to open your heart so that you can give and receive generosity from those around you. It will most certainly lift your spirits!

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, ‘Get a Life’.

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