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The best resource for managing stress is a fundamental faith that, beneath the apparent chaos, all is right with the world. Nurture such belief; it's a foundation on which you can build a stress-management strategy that will improve your life.
The impact of stress on your life is determined not so much by what happens to you as by how you respond to it. Observe your response to situations, and you'll learn how your reactions increase or reduce the stress in your life.
Some people rush from one thing to the next, so driven by ambition and the need to succeed that they've forgotten why they've filled their life with stress. Slow down. And pay attention. You may be missing the best part of living.
Some people catastrophize every bump along life's highway and anticipate the worst. Don't paralyze yourself by magnifying your fears of the unknown and the uncontrollable.
Some people believe life should be perfect and stress-free. This expectation only sets them up for more stress when life isn't. Take life on life's terms. Accept its ups and downs with grace and humor.
Stress is in the eye (and heart) of the beholder. By changing your attitude, you can relieve your stress even when outer circumstances don't change.
Some people think they should handle difficulties on their own. But if you have the wisdom to know what you need from others and the courage to ask for it, you'll ease your stress.
Giving yourself compassion and understanding lowers your stress level. No matter who else is on your side, you can be.
Excerpted from Stress Therapy by Tom McGrath, R. W. Alley. Copyright © 1997 Tom McGrath. Excerpted by permission of Abbey Press.
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