Everyday living is stressful enough without adding to the load.  Between work, family life, and any crises that may come our way, we are inundated with any number of stressful situations on a regular basis.  In times like these, it helps to have a reservoir of stress-busting tips to help give you perspective so that you can focus on the important things rather than getting caught up in a whirlwind. Today's blog offers some basic tips for reducing stress that you can use in any situation and any location.  So, take a moment and write down these helpful hints and start enjoying your life to its fullest in West Columbia, SC.

Alleviate Stress

1. List the things that cause you stress. Change the way you think about these stressors by putting a positive spin on them.
2. Practice being optimistic.
Assume that things will turn out fine and they probably will.

3. Reframe things in the context of a larger positive plan.  This negative event is just a tiny part of one big, positive experience. Don't let it get in the way.
4. Recognize that troubles are temporary.  Everyone has a bad day now and then, and that's normal.  Don't turn your temporary trouble into a permanent problem.
5. Don't blame yourself needlessly.
6. Put things into perspective.
7. Let go of what you can’t control; take control of what you can. Trying to control things outside of your sphere of influence can only lead to disaster.  Focus on your personal responsibilities.
8. Look over your list of commitments. Highlight the unavoidable responsibilities. Eliminate the voluntary ones that don’t fulfill you. Learn to say no to excess commitments.
9. Perfectionism only leads to stress.
10. Know your limits physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Set boundaries with other people—and yourself.
11. Get organized, but don’t overwhelm yourself with the task.  Take small steps here and there and, before you know it, your task will be accomplished.
12. When faced with a large task, break it down into smaller tasks. Prioritze tasks and deal with the most important or most unpleasant issue first.
13. Make leisure activities and hobbies a priority in your life. Enjoyment of life prolongs life and reduces stress. Have a sense of humor.
14. Just 20 minutes a day of walking will add years to your life and condition your body for maximum enjoyment of life and reduction of stress.
15. Avoid sugary snacks, smoking, alcohol, drugs, overeating and caffeine.
16. Use the Food Pyramid to guide you in your eating. Plenty of fruits and vegetables are necessary for optimum health.
17. Know your sleep requirements. Make sure that you get as much as you need nightly. Retiring and rising at the same hour every day (not sleeping in on weekends) reduces sleep disturbances which can lead to stress.
18. Make time for relaxation. This can mean doing absolutely nothing. Learning to relax can include many techniques including meditation, prayer and deep breathing.
19. During the day, take regular breaks. Most experts recommend a ten-minute rest every hour.
20. Find time to be alone for a little while each day. Learning to commune with yourself, to listen to your body and your inner voice, or to just take some "you" time can vastly improve your life.
21. Talk to a friend or family member (but not one who stresses you out!).  Friends and family are often the only people who aren't afraid to tell us about our true selves. 
22. Physical contact with loved ones reduces stress. Get or give a hug, hold hands with your spouse, cuddle on the couch, even stroking a pet helps.
23. Social interaction is important!!  Don't keep yourself hidden away in your house.  Go out for coffee or take an opportunity to window shop.  Whatever you enjoy, just get out of the house.



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