3 ways to Cut Down on Stress

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By David Joel Miller.

Trim away the worries and live a healthier life.

Want a reduced stress diet? Try trimming out some of the stress. Just as weight loss programs tell you to trim the fat out of your diet there are three ways to trim excess stress out of your life.

1. Cut off the future

Learn to be mindful and stay in the present. Yes, of course, you should make plans for the future and take the steps needed to get there, but stressing over things that may or may not happen adds a lot of stress to your diet for events you haven’t even tasted yet.

Worrying that you may not get what you want can add a lot of stress to your life today when what you should really be doing is the required work to get where you are going. Stressing over the uncertainty of the future can keep you from enjoying the taste of the present.

2. Cut down on the past

A steady diet of regrets and recriminations about the past can keep you stressed out and unable to live in the present.

The work of grieving over losses and letting go of guilt and shame may require seeing a therapist or counselor. Make the effort to process those old hurts and let them go.

Many of us have resentments towards people who have harmed or wronged us in the past. Holding onto those old wounds keeps us living in the stress of events that have long since ended.

Let the past live in the past and spend your time having the best possible present to enjoy your low-stress diet.

3. Stop trying to eat other people’s dinner – worrying about problems others need to solve

That you care about others is wonderful, but if you are finding your life overrun by stressors then you need to send some of them back where they came from.

You can’t solve problems for others and the more you stress yourself out over their issues the fewer resources you have for your life in the here and now.

If you chose to worry and stress there will always be negative news from around the globe twenty-four-seven. Some people believe that worrying and stressing over what might happen somehow keeps the safe from an unwanted future. It doesn’t work that way.

Prepare for the worst but live in the now. Limit your worrying to the things that you really may be able to influence and practice your acceptance for those things that are out of your control.

Is a reduced stress diet for you?

Try one for a while and see if you are not healthier and happier. If reduced stress does not work for you then you can always go back to worrying about the problems that are out of your control.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


2 thoughts on “3 ways to Cut Down on Stress

  1. I was notorious for wanting to fix everyone’s problems! Thankfully through therapy I’ve learned to stop that. Letting go with the past I still struggle with! Thankfully I have a good psychiatrist.
    Paula x


  2. Pingback: Have another helping of stress. Stress can be good for you. | counselorssoapbox

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