Deadlines. Financial strain. Family matters. Social and peer pressure. Striving for success.  Not enough hours in the day. All spell S-T-R-E-S-S.

There are many options to choose from when handling stress. Some good, some bad. Substance abuse, over the counter medications, or a nightly stop at the corner bar are on the list; however, these options generate more harm than good and will only intensify stress levels with the added issues that come with such choices.

Instead, try a more natural approach and learn how to handle stress using one or more of these methods:

  • Meditation and/or prayer.  Set aside time for yourself every day, 20 minutes or so, to sit still, be quiet and breathe deeply. Find a place that is totally quiet and where there will be no interruptions. No phones or computers allowed. Calm your mind and replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Talk with God and be at peace
  • Get enough sleep at night. 7-8 hours are required to energize your body. Take a warm bath, drink hot decaffeinated tea, or read a book to relax before going to bed. Remove electronics from the bedroom (this includes the TV)
  • Exercise. Even a short, brisk walk will do wonders to diffuse a stressful day. If you’re a runner – run. Yoga will help you totally relax and stretch out tense muscles
  • Check out online. In today’s world of instant everything, we are connected 24/7. Take an electronic break. Turn it all off, no texting, tweeting, emailing, or instant messaging. Facebook will still be there in an hour and, honestly, no one will even notice you are not checking in. Let your calls go to voicemail, that is what it was created for

Being at peace with life’s stressors takes practice. But, peace is obtainable without the use of drugs or alcohol. Learning and practicing how to handle stress naturally will often prevent stress before it has a chance to start.

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