It’s easier said than done, but you need to relax. Most of the time, we unconsciously put ourselves under extreme amounts of stress, and the next thing we know we have a huge zit before a first date or we’re laying in bed with a 102-degree fever while everyone else lounges on the beach with a cocktail in hand (clearly I am not speaking from experience). Most of the time stress can be controlled, so quit being a worrywart and start fresh.

Think you yourself can't stress less, because your life is just too crazy? We have answers for all of your excuses...

But... I have a lot going on at work. According to a 2007 study, the average worker does nearly an extra day's work in overtime each week. It may seem like you’re being productive and getting a lot done, but your job is doing a job on your mental and physical stress. Try not to take on as much, while still maintaining your drive toward that corner office.

But... I’m fighting with my significant other. Ugh, do NOT let someone else run your life. Love isn’t supposed to be easy -- Pat Benatar called it a battlefield once -- but you shouldn’t stress about minor disagreements. If a fight isn’t being blown out of proportion and seems legitimate, you may want to give your honey some time to cool off and let yourself do the same. Things will work out -- maybe not in the way you planned them to, but in the way they should be.

But... my bills are racking up. Money is one of the main causes of stress. While it really does make the world go ‘round, it’s time we stop stressing about what we don’t have and focus on what we do have. Even if you feel like you have $600 in credit card bills piling up ON TOP of car insurance and heating, don’t let it take over your life. Just try your best to pay bills on time, and don’t spend money on things you don't need.

But... I’m sick. You can get sick from everything nowadays, but mental and physical stress can hugely contribute to colds or other health problems. Being stuck in bed makes you feel like your life is at a standstill, but look on the (only) bright side: Getting sick gives you an unconscious excuse to watch TV, veg out and maybe even lose some weight. It may seem boring, but being sick is your body telling you to chill out. So do exactly that.

But... I’m on a diet and not losing weight. Rule number one: Do NOT "diet." Instead, make a gradual life change toward better choices. If you suddenly cut 1,000 calories and work out two hours a day, your body will go into complete shock and the “physical or emotional distress [will] increase the intake of food high in fat [or] sugar.” In this case, slow and steady wins the race; after all, you want a permanent weight loss -- not a temporary one. So don't fret: You will get your success story. In the meantime, try some yoga to calm your mind and relax your body.

But... I have family issues. We all get obstacles thrown at us; how we react to and interpret them is what shapes us for the future. It’s OK to get upset over serious matters, but stressing over family life can lead to ill health -- not to mention anger and trust issues. Vent to your friends if you need to, but don’t let the problems take you down an unhealthy path.

We all know stress is inevitable, but there are ways to control it. Don’t live your life as a worrywart when there is so much to be happy for. As the saying goes, we're never given more than we can handle -- so let your stressors become your teachers. And then relax.


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