Yes, stress is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make an effort to reduce the amount of stress in our lives for our quality of life and quality of health (both mentally and physically). Here are three common sources of stress and some suggestions to help reduce or remove them entirely from your life.
1. Financial stress. Not only is the United States government in tremendous debt, but the average American is in more debt than at any time in history. We seem to be more interested in the monthly payment than the total payment and that is a recipe for disaster. The old proverb says, “The debtor is slave to the lender,” and we certainly feel that in our lives as so much each month goes to make a payment on debt. It hurts our relationships, our sleep, our health due to worry, and takes away from our future financial well being.
So saying we need to avoid debt, though true, is overly simplistic. But taking action to reduce debt can give peace of mind, less bickering in relationships, and actually eliminate the problem with time. Financial experts suggest starting with your smallest debt and adding what you can to pay it off sooner. Get aggressive to pay it off and then, once it is paid off, apply that same amount as extra on your next smallest debt. Then, once that is paid off, apply that total amount as extra on your next smallest debt and keep going until you get to the largest debt. Debt elimination won’t happy overnight, but you can put yourself in a much better position often in months and within a three to five years you’ll be in a different world comparatively speaking. Making some movement toward debt elimination can help you tremendously in terms of reducing stress.
2. Physical Pain and Immobility. These two areas feed on each other. You hurt so you move less and then that in itself reduces your ability to move. If your pain is in your back, stretching other parts of your body and then slowly working to your back can work wonders. Chiropractors recommend stretching your hamstrings and calf muscles to reduce the pull on your back from your legs. While you should make an appointment with your chiropractor to determine the root cause, stretching can greatly reduce or even eliminate your back pain and make you much more mobile. A good place to start is to gently stretch each hamstring and calf muscle for 15 seconds, 5 times each per day. Twice daily is best. Many people report significant reduction in pain within the first 2 or 3 days!
3. Relationships. So much stress can come from unhealthy relationships. Stress can be there when the relationship is together and that is why it is important to place importance on nurturing your relationship. If you are married, dedicate yourself to making your home a scream-free zone. If your marriage is in danger of divorce, make it a top priority to save your marriage. Research has shown that being married can make us healthier and emotionally more stable – even in less than perfect marriages. But strong marriages even help us more so find professional help if you need it to make your relationship with your spouse as strong as possible. Another source of stress is before we are married and are dating someone seriously. The stressor is the anxiety of a breakup while trying to figure out how to get your ex back. Often times the emotional despair of a breakup can prevent you from thinking logically and rationally. Speak to a professional coach on getting your ex back or consider if this person was best for you. Sometimes people have to go through less than ideal partners to find the right one who will stick with them through thick and thin. That is the type of person you are looking for to marry and sometimes being dumped can be a blessing in disguise.
We should constantly be working to reduce stress but we should also be working on our reaction to it. Breathing exercises, prayer, laughter, time with friends, petting your dog, taking walks, and even medication in rare instances can be powerful ways to prevent stress from affecting you in unhealthy ways. Take your peace seriously by taking action to reduce your stress.
Written by Marie Wellmond