There's a lot of excitement about this new year. The economy seems to be shifting in a positive direction, and a new year always seems to bring with it the promise of a blank slate and tons of possibilities. What no-one is really talking about is the stress (even if it's good stress) that goes along with it. Having some rock-solid, stress-busting, fabulous tools in your toolbox that can help are just what you need!

Coach's Awareness: Here are 10 top "negative" stressors: having a sick family member, cash flow (or lack of it), your own health, children, work, personal safety, the state of the world, terrorism/natural disasters, intimate relationships, and discrimination. They can make you feel like this:

There are positive stressors, too. These are the ones you choose, like getting married, having a child, moving, or starting a business.  These are supposed to, but don't always, make you feel like this:

Stress is simply the tension you feel when your mind is focusing on something and there's some uncertainty involved. Stress is a natural part of being alive. It comes along with setting goals, going places and doing things. The challenge, as I see it, is to manage stress and even maximize it! Here are some of the stress minimizers and maximizers I use on a regular basis:
  • Exercise. I simultaneously get my blood flowing and release negative stress 5-6 times a week. No need to train for your first Ironman, just throw on some shoes and go for a walk. 
  • Listen & Learn. While you're walking, add your iPod with some invigorating tunes. For you super-achiever, Type-A folks, listen to an audiobook or even your favorite motivational speaker. Moving your body while simultaneously stimulating your mind is a pretty great way to spend part of your day.
  • Meditate. Go to YouTube, iTunes, or do a Google search to find a 3-5 minute meditation. Very simply, meditation gives you a few minutes to go within, be mindful, and take deep breaths. When you're not breathing deeply, you might be overeating, over-sleeping, or just going crazy. I do a 26-minute meditation each and every night before bedtime. It's up to you whether it's a few minutes or an hour, but, very simply, it works.
  • Laugh. Laughing releases stress and not many things feel better than a good belly laugh. Find reasons to laugh, even if you search for them on YouTube (to get started, search for "funniest cat video"). In my search for eliminating stress, I found this.
  • Drink some water and eat a healthy snack.
  • Get "it" all out of your head and on paper. "It" being every single thing you need to do, or think you need to do ... all of the things that are taking up your very valuable mental real estate. Next, divide the list into these categories: do, delegate, delay or dump. What's left on the actual to do list are the items you prioritize, attach time to and calendar. When I focus on all of the things I'm excited about doing, I forget about the stress. You will, too.
  • STOP. When all else fails, lock yourself in your office, your bedroom or even get a hotel room. Give yourself permission to stop moving and doing until you can get some semblance of peacefulness. You have permission (if you need it) to not do anything else until you're good and ready. Yes, the world will wait.
Stress - you've got it, you're going to keep having it. Choose now to deal with it in a way that actually makes life much more enjoyable for you and those around you. You'll be glad you did!

~To Your Success, Honorée

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