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What is the one thing that can cause headaches, fatigue, screw over your sex life, destroy sleep, zap your motivation and other whammies? No, it’s not your Mother in-law, its not your X, its stress.

Stress is something that affects all of us at some point. While there is a thing as good stress, I am talking about the one that we know all too well about. That stomach turning stress. The stress that has some of us frozen in place and others who develop anxiety.

Even though stress is a very real thing, many of us live with it, thinking it’s no big deal, and not realizing all the effects it is having. You could also be like I was, and deny being stressed while feeling the effects of it. Either way, you can only go so long before things start to explode.

Tic Tic Boom

Stress can send you flying down the road to depression. If stress goes bottled up, unchanneled or otherwise left to build, you could find yourself turning to alcohol, food and other addictions. It does not need to be this way. It does not need to go this far.

I allowed myself to bottle up stress for years. I never wanted to even consciously acknowledge the stress. I just brushed it off. I did not allow myself to have an outlet. It resulted in edgier and depressive moods, social hibernation, and anxiety. Once depression takes hold, then everything else goes off the rails, and it’s a hot mess. Once I decided to take a new approach, then things changed. All it took was some well place triple Ds.

1. Dump it!

The first thing you can do is dump it. Get the stressor off your chest. First, you must acknowledge that you are stressed or you deal with stress. Once you do, then you need to find an outlet for it.

It took me quite some time to really deal with my own stress. I finally got tired of suppressing feelings, then having some little thing happen and set me off. I had to channel those intense feelings.

As I have spoken about before, one way you can dump those stress toxins is to keep a journal. That is a surefire way to have a safe space to just put everything down, and release the energy, knowing nobody will see it. I was able to release things I did not feel comfortable saying, and it helped to bring some calm and centeredness to my moods.

You could also talk to a friend or somebody you trust. Many people want another person to bounce things off of, or just to hold that safe space while they move through their feelings. If you had a bad day, dump it! Reach out, call up, and write down. Reaching out does not make you weak, a punk, a snowflake, or a crybaby. You are taking action to defend your freedom.

2. Discharge it!

There are many ways you can discharge stress from your system. Along with venting your feelings, you can also release stress energy by meditation. Relaxation and meditation could be what you need. The act of meditation returns us to our center, and refocuses our mind. When you have had a stressful day at the office, or your partner and you had some words, its time to go within.

Once I turned on some meditation music or Tibetan Bowls, it moved all the hurt and stressed feelings through and out of my system. The same therapeutic discharge can happen by getting a great massage.

You may be the type to hit the gym. Exercise is a great way of releasing stress. Discharging your day on some weights could be the thing that sets it right. Exercise has enormous benefits around discharging stress. It helps with sleep and refocuses your mind, which, of course, lowers stress.

3. Define it!

This last “D” can be the toughest one. In order to help destress, is to define stress in your own terms. Take a look at the things that stress you out. As a Confidence Coach, I firmly understand that the way we look at things is the way we react to things. Does your stress come from money? How can you see your financial situation differently? Could relationships be the stressor? How can you relate to your partners differently?

Many times, what we get stressed about is all in the mind. This is not to say that you should not be concerned if your company is downsizing due to the invasion of robots, but it can mean that you get an opportunity to follow a different path.

However you deal with stress, however you dump it, or discharge it, please do not let it just sit there. If you let stress manifest, you get no sleep, no sex, no motivation, but more and more stress. You could become stressed that you are stressed. Dump it! Discharge it! Define it!
Face challenges, focus on strengths!