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6 WAYS TO MANAGE DAILY STRESS AND ANXIETY

By Stan Popovich

Talk about a stressful year! Beyond regular things that trigger stress and anxiety, we have been faced with a bundle of new fears and uncertainties. Although most of us are finding ways to cope, it is not easy to keep our feelings from getting the best of us. Here are six tips to help manage daily stresses and anxieties before they get out of control.

Take a short music break. | shutterstock.com
Take a short music break. | shutterstock.com

1. TAKE A BREAK
Sometimes, we get stressed out when everything hits all at once. When this happens, take a deep breath and find something to do for a few minutes to get your mind off of the problem. Take a walk, listen to music, read the newspaper, or do an activity that will give you a fresh perspective. This short break should help you get your bearings so you can think more clearly and feel more in control of the situation.

2. POCKET SOME POSITIVE STATEMENTS
Grab a small, pocket-sized journal and keep it within reach. When you come across an affirmation that touches you, make a note of it. Next time you feel anxious, reach for your journal, and read the inspirational writings. The positive and uplifting messages will help soothe your negative thoughts and reduce your anxiety.

3. LIGHTEN YOUR GRIP ON THE WORLD
You can’t predict the future, and everything is not up to you. While the consequences of a particular situation may seem real, there are usually other factors that you can’t foresee that also affect it. So when you start to worry about what’s coming next, take a few deep breaths and relax any physical tension you may be feeling.

4. CHALLENGE NEGATIVE THINKING
When you have a thought that makes you fearful or depressed, nip it in the bud. Calmly stop and ask yourself questions that will help you focus on the reality of the situation and not your thoughts. This way, you’ll be able to maintain objectivity and common sense and feel less stressed.

Write down affirmations that touch you in a journal.  | shutterstock.com
Write down affirmations that touch you in a journal. | shutterstock.com
Talk to a professional psychologist to help find ways to manage stress. | shutterstock.com
Talk to a professional psychologist to help find ways to manage stress. | shutterstock.com

5. TAKE BABY STEPS
When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with anxiety, divide the task into a series of smaller steps and then complete each of the smaller tasks one step at a time. Completing these smaller activities will make the stress more manageable and increase your chance of success.

6. TALK TO A PROFESSIONAL
There are many individuals who have been expertly trained in the field of psychology to help us find ways to manage fear and anxiety. Seek out someone whom you trust to provide sound advice and guidance. This same professional can also help you create an action plan for dealing with fears and anxieties in the future.

Managing your stress and anxiety takes practice. The more you practice, the better you will feel and the more you’ll get out of life.

Stan Popovich is the author of the popular fear management book, A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear. For more information, visit his website at managingfear.com.