Let Some of the Pressure Out of Your Life

By Bill Hodges

©2003 Hodges Seminars International

It has been fashionable for some time now to worry about the environment and the effect that discharged chemicals are having on our bodies. But even more deadly than toxins released routinely into the air is a killer that can be found in almost every home or business. Itís called stress.

Stress is one of the most deadly forces we have to deal with in our modern life. Pressures continue to mount and sooner or later, we fall victim to what I like to call overinflation. We swell up and implode. Well, we donít actually burst, but we do become easy prey to a variety of illnesses that can make us feel like we are coming apart. Here are some ways to let some of the pressure go from your life.

1) Look carefully at what is causing the stress in your life and determine how you can avoid the situation for at least a period of time. Avoidance is not always the best route but it will give you a breathing space. Take a trip, even if itís just for a couple of hours at the mall or a walk in the park. Better yet, go somewhere you have always wanted to go. When you return, the problem may still be there, but you will be renewed and refreshed in spirit and better able to handle it.

2) Realize that other people are not more perfect than you are and that many are not as good. Look at the expectations you have for the people you are dealing with. See whether your expectations for them are too high, or if you are asking them to live up to a standard to which they havenít agreed.

3) Build a time to relax into every day. Even a job you enjoy can get you down if you put too much into it. Iíve had a lot of people tell me, "I really love my work." Then in several years, Iíve seen them suffering from burnout, because they put too much of their lives into a single track. Diversify your interests. Make time to have fun.

4) Pressure is bottled up energy. Look for ways to put the energy to use. Within limits, physical activity is an excellent pressure reducer. Seek out chores or tasks that need to be done and require that you expend some energy. Upon completing the task, you will have benefited in two waysóyou will have received exercise and you will have a sense of accomplishment for the task you have completed. Each in its own way will reduce stress.

5) Make up your mind to have a great day. That may sound somewhat flippant but, believe it or not, your attitude toward what you expect the day to be has a tremendous effect on how it actually turns out.

Stress is a killer. But if you take the pressure out of it, you can live a longer and happier life.

Bill Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.

Web site: http://www.BillHodges.com

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