Chapter 9: How to Manage Stress

On the journey to getting back your health, you’re going to face a lot of tough situations. If you haven’t already, you will feel stressed. You’ll feel tired. And you’ll wonder why you tried to start a healthy lifestyle. Take a few minutes to reflect on your own life. I want you to think about all of the times you’ve been stressed. What did it feel like? Did you think about giving up?

As simple as this sounds, there are only two ways to manage stress. You can avoid it. Or you can deal with it once you feel it. I’m going to start by giving you some pointers on how to prevent stress. Then give you some tips on how to manage it, if you can’t avoid it.

There are a number of ways to prevent stress. Some of them are:

  • Practice saying “no.” Only say “yes” when it is something that is important to you.
  • Share some of your work with others. Health is a team effort. Never take on more than you can chew in your social life or at work.
  • Set goals you can reach. Nothing feels better than reaching a goal. And nothing feels worse than failing. Start slow, so that you can build up.
  • Control your time. Make schedules and get organized.
  • Brainstorm options to avoid difficult problems. Then make a plan for what you will do to avoid stress.
  • Plan ahead. Think about situations before they happen. What will you do to prevent or work around it?
  • Keep things in perspective. Think of all of the good things in your life. Remember why you decided to live healthier.
  • Reach out to people. Find someone who can give you a shoulder to cry on. Talking helps.
  • Be physically active. Moving your body will help you forget the world. And your problems.

If you can’t avoid stress, you have to find a way to manage it. Admittedly, there isn’t much you can do at this point. But these 3 tips work wonders.

  • Move your muscles. Get loose. Get active.
  • Pamper yourself. You deserve it. Take 10 minutes for yourself. Relax.
  • Take a full, deep breath. Count to five. Then let go of your breath slowly. Let the muscles in your face, arms, legs, and body go completely loose.

You’ve come this far. Let’s move on to the next chapter, Chapter 10: Quitting Smoking.

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