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Recently, I was treating a patient for his unhealthy eating and smoking habits, when he acknowledged that stress and anxiety at home and work were actually the core problems.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard clients utter realizations like: “I know I’ve been battling with stress for awhile, but only now do I really understood the huge effect it’s having on my overall life.”

Stress can manifest in various forms if it goes unchecked, including panic attacks, eating problems and insomnia. It’s important to understand from where it comes and deal with it head on.

These techniques helped my client gain control and they just might relieve your stress too:

Step 1: Let It Go

It’s good to know which battles to fight and which ones to surrender. In general, you will have a more relaxed and happier life if you let go of issues that are not useful, such as negative emotions, experiences and people.

Step 2: Ask Yourself: What do you love doing?

Try and do as many different things as possible that you enjoy like horseback riding, swimming, yoga or painting. You obviously can’t do all of these activities all of the time, but use your spare moments wisely to feel that you’re enjoying yourself. Also, enjoy the moment—you don’t always have to be doing something.

Step 3: Nurture Yourself

Nurture yourself throughout your life. Don’t beat yourself up. If things aren’t going well, think about how to make them better, but don’t concentrate on berating yourself.

Step 4: Release Negative Emotions & Thoughts

Don’t hold onto negative emotions for too long. Guilt, jealousy and anger drain you of your energy and demotivate you.

Step 5: Prioritize

Be realistic about your time and prioritize daily tasks. Ask yourself: What do you really need to do and what do you want to do? Focus on one thing at time and don’t spread yourself too thin, as you’re likely to end up doing nothing as a result.

Step 6: Know Your Stress Levels

Make yourself aware of your stress triggers and when you’re entering into different levels of stress. Develop your own strategies to combat stress and stay in control of it. Remember: stress is just a response to stimulus and events that come your way. You can control how you filter and deal with them.

Step 7: Appreciate What You Have

Take time to remember what you’ve done so far in your life and what you have achieved. You shouldn’t always be thinking about the next thing.

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