Deal with Stress One Step at a Time

by Cathy Clements, Nutritionists & Life Coach, NASM CNC, CPT, FNS, WFS

Stress! I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to limit stress in your life.

Wow, that was easy to say, but to actually do it is another story. We have so many things in our lives that cause stress, worry, concern — whatever we want to call it.

Some of us are great at tackling these things head on and, well, others like to avoid them until the feeling of being overwhelmed creeps in and takes over.

I do both. There are some issues I hit head on and others I let fester. It’s those festering ones that bring me down.

I will play games on my phone, watch television or, in some cases, eat foods that don’t benefit me. The games on my phone even say doctors want you to play the games to reduce stress! There are more destructive ways to deal with stress, as we all know.

With these distractions, in reality we are finding ways to avoid handling the issues. The stress continues to build in our body and manifests in different ways through weight gain, sickness, depression, disease.

Facing the issues that trigger us is definitely the best way to reduce any negative effects.

If we wait until feeling overwhelmed, it takes more concentration to handle the issue. I recommend sitting down and closing your eyes before taking a few deep breaths (about six at 4 seconds in and 4 seconds out).

Next, begin to write down all the things you can do to handle the situation. Prioritize them by what you can do today, right now.

Just do the first one on the list. The feeling of accomplishment and forward momentum is amazing and will carry you to the next item on the list.

The list doesn’t have to be monumental tasks to accomplish. In some instances, it can be to get up, take a shower, go for a walk, clean the dirty dishes or do a load of laundry. Just take the first step.

Once you are in forward motion, the next step gets easier. One step at a time to less stress and better health!