As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. The same is true in regards to frustration, grief, anxiety, and even stress. Over-thinking about it can drive anyone over the edge!

And they say that people that are extremely proactive are already living on the edge!

Believe me, I know how it feels. Coping with life, carrying all your problems around can chip away at the joy and happiness you have. They say that stress is all in the mind, but that in an of itself doesn’t really help.

Thankfully, there are several ways to manage stress, and even reduce and eliminate it. So here are seven days to reduce your own stress level.

Day 1 – Acknowledge that stress is good.

Make stress your friend! I’ve yet to see a top athlete that isn’t somewhat stressed before a big game or competition. Use the stress you do have to push yourself that little bit harder when it counts most.

Day 2 – Avoid stress spreaders.

Avoid other people that live in a high state of stress. Stress can spread! Or, if you’re so motivated, teach them methods to reduce their own stress.

Day 3 – Learn from the best.

When people around are losing their heads over stress, who stays calm? What are those people doing differently? What is their attitude? Look around you at people you already know that manage stress well and see what they’re doing. You might even talk to them about it!

Day 4 – Practice deep breathing.

You can trick your body into relaxing by using deep breathing. Breathe in slowly while counting to seven, then breathe out while counting to eleven. Repeat the 7-11 breathing until your heart rate slows down and things start to feel more normal.

Day 5 – Recognize and stop stressful thoughts.

It’s possible to allow yourself to get overly stressed out just by letting stressful thoughts run rampant. Has your mind ever run wild about all the possibilities that aren’t even likely to happen? Why waste all that energy? If you need to think about what might go wrong, think about possible solutions instead. What will you do if that actually happens?

Day 6 – Know your trigger points.

Some people are stressed out by things like presentations, interviews, meetings, giving difficult feedback, or tight deadlines. What stresses you out? Make a list, and be specific. Knowing what causes you stress is powerful information, because once you’re specific, you can start making plans to reduce the stress. Do you need to learn new skills? Do you need extra resources? Do you need to switch to decaf?

Day 7 – Burn the candle at just one end.

Lack of sleep, poor diet, and no exercise can take a toll on your body and your mind. Don’t burn the candle at both ends! Be sure to take care of yourself physically.

So if you’re feeling stressed out and burnt out, take advantage of these seven days of stress-reducing tips.

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