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Facing Extinction

What are some of the major sources of stress? According to the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory report, the top 10 sources of stress include the loss of a spouse, divorce or separation from a relationship, going to jail, loss of a close relative, significant illness or injury, getting married, losing a job, restoration of a marriage, and retirement.

I'm sure few will dispute the ever-present reality of stressors in their lives. It is something that has always been and always will be. From diapers to depends, all of us are currently dealing with stress.

So, does stress necessarily have to be a bad thing? In a word, NO! Stress can help us focus, concentrate, and perform when faced with new and challenging situations. Some people have even asserted that operating in a stressful environment allows them to function at peak efficiency.

However, for far too many people, when failing to manage it properly, have allowed stress to contribute to many physical ailments that range from tension headaches to heart attacks. Some doctors even estimate that nearly 75% of all medical complaints are stress-related.

So, what steps can you take to capitalize on the benefits of stress without becoming the victim of stress?

  1. Identify the areas of your life that are the greatest source of your stress.

  2. Find out why certain things affect you the way they do.

  3. Discover the difference between effective and ineffective coping strategies.

  4. Take time to identify the really important areas of your life.

  5. Learn to prioritize your life and routines to help avoid unnecessary stress.

  6. Establish realistic expectations for yourself and for others.

  7. Eliminate the concept of being perfect at everything.

  8. Learn to say “NO”.

  9. Be honest in your communications with yourself and with others.

  10. Eat healthier and exercise more.

Decide to stop taking things into your tomorrow that you did not like or appreciate today. Once the clock strikes midnight, whatever you left behind yesterday is in the past. Nothing that you can do will erase yesterday’s tape. Accept responsibility for your mistakes and make better decisions today to keep living forward.

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