Feeling Stressed???!!!??!!

This time of year, it is not unusual to feel that way.  The holidays were a blur with family, food, time off and holiday get togethers, and now we are back to work with a new year, new goals (disguised as resolutions which cause even more stress,) and the bills from the holiday gifts.  But what is stress, and how do we get it under control?  There are several steps we can take to get it under control. The first step is to breathe.  It seems so basic but it most often overlooked. When we get stressed, our hearts race and our breathing becomes shallow.  If you want to change it, breathe in deep and slow.  Now, on to step two, ask yourself a better question.  When we are stressed we tend to ask ourselves limiting questions like "how could I do something that stupid," or "why does this always happen to me?"  These questions just help amplify our anxiety.  So once we settle our breathing, ask an expanding question like "is this really true" or "is it really that?"  Under stress we tend to make our problems larger than they really are.  Are they really worth the energy you are wasting on worry?  Then the final step....ACT!  Once you identify what is truly causing the stress, do something to make it go away.  If you are stressed about your resolutions for example, such as trying to lose weight, figure out exactly how much you need to lose, how you are going to do it....and then MAKE IT HAPPEN!  Turn them into goals with specifics, timelines and action plans, and watch your stress melt away. 

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