My book Stress Pandemic outlines a back to basics approach to complete wellness. Through 9 Natural Steps our lifestyle solution is designed to rectify the unhealthy lifestyle factors in your life. By addressing these you are arming yourself to survive the Stress Pandemic, and in doing so you will learn to master stress and live well, truly well.
Step 1 is called “Take Charge.”
I believe that the key to beating stress lies in making the conscious and simple decision to do so. It is the decision to take charge of your life and reclaim your power that opens the way to change. All the other steps follow naturally from this point. The beginning of change for the better in your life is the awareness that something must change. This awareness that stress exists and is taking a toll on your life leads to the next logical step, which is deciding what to do about it. You must accept that it is the “old” you that is a cause of the stress in your life. Therefore, it is necessary to be proactive about changing your life, allowing yourself to change, and breaking destructive habits. Only you can do this.
One of the most important things about stress lies in understanding that you are not helpless. Don’t play a victim of stress but instead take charge! The first step lies in your recognizing that in order to get better, you have to change. And in order to change you must be willing to let go of the “old you.” The world is constantly changing and so too are you. Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress levels will remain outside your control.
The road to mastering stress starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may be worried about bills or work deadlines but perhaps your avoidance or procrastination, rather than the actual paying of bills or job demands, is what creates added stress in your life.
A few key tips on how to Take Charge and master your stress:
Know that you deserve well-being and balance.
Accept the need for change—recognize that the “old you” has caused stress.
Be willing to make changes in your life.
Make time each day to put the lifestyle solution into practice
Renew your commitment every time you fall.
You have to identify your unhealthy and destructive habits before you can begin to change for the better. Following the lifestyle solution requires perseverance, commitment and self-awareness. You must take the time to be true to yourself; you are worth it! Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life simply by nurturing yourself. If you make time for fun and relaxation in your life, you’ll be in a better place to manage both existing and incoming stress.
By understanding that stress is the result of your reaction to challenges in your life, you can begin to follow the remaining eight steps of the lifestyle solution. These steps can be implemented to undo destructive habits and strengthen the mind and body. The new, healthy, and balanced life that you are building is its own reward.