Managing Stress

Stress happens when we feel overwhelmed or frustrated.

When things are going well our lives can be a great time of joy, but we can also have times that seem to be filled with anxiety and stress. Certain days seem to raise our stress levels to a point of pure frustration, maybe even causing us to lash out in anger or say mean things.
We may feel great remorse, but at the same time wonder why we reach this point at all!
Stress can also cause us to turn to food, alcohol or sleep to sooth ourselves.
When stress hits us, how easy it is to turn to that tray of cookies or ice cream for moral support! But, that’s not healthy and we know it.
Plus, we get more stress after a binge realizing that we have undone some of the fitness and nutrition habits we have worked so hard for!

Writing down both our problems and potential solutions can be extremely therapeutic.
There is something magical about combining both our body when we write, and our minds as we think through the subject we are writing about.

Think about what triggers your stress

The first step in finding solutions is determining the causes of your stress.
After identifying these causes, you will be better able to start working on ways
to deal with them.

Sometimes it is as easy as staying away from the people who get on your nerves, or turning off the news.

The easiest solutions can add up to the biggest results; after all it is usually the small things that tip the scales and throw us into a state of anxiety.

If you can’t avoid the cause of your stress, then it is necessary to figure out ways to live with it.

You might join a group of people going through the same or similar situation as you are.
We are communal by nature and need to connect in a safe space to share our feelings!

You might consider beginning a regular practice of meditation, yoga or just going outside to enjoy nature.

Writing tip #1

1- Make a list of all the things you can think of that stress you out today.

2- Highlight the things that you can solve.

This will immediately give some relief, after all stress is mostly frustration about not having answers!

Give up those expectations.

Dropping the expectations of perfection will allow you to be prepared for when when things get out of whack.
We plan a lot of things to make our environment, our meals, our homes, and our personal appearance cheerful and beautiful.
Ultimately though, the things that stay with us are not generally all the minute details of our day to day lives, but more the feelings of fellowship and love shared between loved ones.
There are wonderful things to be found in almost every situation, so even when things don’t go exactly as planned,
let it go and spend your energy finding gratitude in what went right.
Go ahead and plan and plant and clean and dress cheerfully, but remember to enjoy all those beautiful moments!

Writing tip #2

Take a few minutes to write down all the reasons you love the activities you planned for today, or this week.
What pleasant things stand out in your memory when you think about the previous times you spent doing these things?

Find time to move.

It’s incredibly important to keep movement in your schedule, no matter how busy you may feel. Even if it’s just a walk after lunch or dinner – make it a habit to get moving; alone or with someone you enjoy being around to clear your mind, and refresh your body.
Be sure that you are getting time outside in nature, breathing in fresh air and burning off some calories by keeping your heart rate up.

Writing tip  #3

Write down all the pleasant feelings you experience being outside and enjoying a walk or jog. Close your eyes and really focus on the sensory experience, as if you are actually there!

Workout your mind

The brain needs exercise too. Instead of letting it harp on the negative things that cause you to stress-eat, give it something constructive to do. Take 10 to 20 minutes for yourself to read something relaxing, work on a crossword puzzle, sketch a picture or do something else that stimulates your mind in an enjoyable way. It will help you feel refreshed.

Writing tip #4

Write down some of your personal favorites when you need a stress time-out.
Whatever you can think of that takes your mind off the negative chatter.

Focus on healthy eating

When you focus on healthy eating on the days before and after indulgence days, it won’t be such a shock to your waistline.
Make sure you’re eating meals normally without skipping them. If you starve yourself all day, you will be more prone to stuffing yourself at dinner with things that will sabotage your goals.

Writing tip #5

What are your favorite healthy meals and snacks?
Write them down.
Make the decision to have them handy so you will be less likely to reach for junk food when things get a bit hectic.

Forgive yourself

No one is perfect. If you find you caved in at work and ate treats you promised yourself you wouldn’t, forgive yourself and move on.
Make the next thing you eat healthy and stay committed to your daily exercise..


Writing tip  #6

Have you ever found yourself thinking harsh thoughts towards yourself when you slip up on a commitment or fail to stay on track?
Write down those negative phrases you use regularly on yourself.
Now, write them down again, only pretend you are saying them to a very young child.
Can you change them up to be kinder, more encouraging and forgiving?
Cross off the harsh ones and highlight the ones that show you the love and respect you


Do the things you love

In the list below, highlight the things you will give yourself more of :
Add your own to the list as well.

Proper nutrition
Prayer time 
Enjoying nature
Light reading
Warm bubble baths
Deep breathing
Giving more hugs
Daily gratitude
Time to enjoy your favorite hobbies
Acts of kindness
Detaching from troublesome people
Good, sound sleep
Connecting with loved ones

Practice gratitude, while being realistic

We all have negative emotions that are appropriate reactions to the circumstances in our lives.

We should never repress our true feelings about anything!

Choosing to practice gratitude daily will gradually lessen the impact of both the small and the gargantuan events that are part of life.

We cannot wish them away or magically protect ourselves from them, they are simply part of the human experience. 

Make gratitude a habit on the days when it is easy!
This will make it easier during the difficult times to shift perspective.