Stress is a major contributor to bad health.
It contributes to all conditions from cancer to urinary frequency.
The question is, what do we do about it?
I used to give patients a handout with over twenty tips on how to manage stress and I no one read it, none-the-less followed my advice.
I then began to think, how can one really manage stress? I mean, no BS. If I can give the most important four tips for improving their stress tolerance what would they be?
After listening to my patients on what stresses them and paying closer attention to my own, here it is.
The 4 main methods for managing stress
- Stop catastrophizing. Fix the story in your head, meaning, don’t make life occurrences worse than what they are. Don’t make them better than what they are either. See things for what they are. Nine out of ten times it is not as bad as we make it be.
- If you can fix the problem, fix it. If you can’t, forget about it, or least trust it will be resolved. The issue may never resolve. And that’s OK. Meditation, prayer or reflection helps with the “trust” process.
- Diaphragmatic breathing – 5 times in the morning and five times at night. Breath as described below as needed throughout the day.
- Write your thoughts, concerns and “to do list” in a notebook, especially before bedtime. Your brain is made to think not to remember.
I might be at risk of oversimplifying how stress works and how to fix it but simplicity is the way to success in life and in managing stress as well.