This is more of a matter of when rather than are you now. I think everyone needs a toolbox of different ways to handle stress. We can’t always control what is happening around us, the only thing we can control is how we receive and process the information and how it affects us. Most illnesses are caused by stress whether it is internal stress or external stress so this is such an important topic. Here are three of my top stress busters…

Stress Buster #1 – Release journaling
I was never a big journal writer. Just the thought of sitting down and writing out who did what and who said what just did me in. Then, I was worried someone would read my notes so I would never really say what I felt which made the whole point of journaling mute. My whole attitude about journaling switched when I started journaling in a different way, so much that I now call it Release Journaling. Here is how you do it…. first, just grab any old piece of paper (I use leftover notebook paper). The point is don’t get a beautiful journal because you won’t want to use it in this way. Now, if you are having ANY issues (sad, angry, anxious, etc) just start writing about them. Don’t explain them, don’t analyze them- just write. You aren’t going to read this again. You aren’t going to worry about crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s. You are going to write with the sole purpose of getting out anything you are feeling onto that piece of paper. Often once you start writing your topic may shift to another area, just flow with it. Write fast and furious. Don’t stop and ponder every sentence. Just GET IT OUT! Once you are done then take this paper and go burn it or shred it. Right then. Don’t proof read it. Don’t keep it. Burning is better because as you see the smoke rise you can tell yourself that you are releasing all of these emotions into the universe. I just throw mine in the fireplace and light a match to it. If I can’t do that then shredding it is. I don’t save up and wait to write. If I am experiencing it, I try to write as soon as possible just to get all that negative energy out. Try this technique and let me know what you think!

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Stress Buster #2 – Meditation
Meditation was always so hard for me as my mind just never stops. As much as I wanted to sit and be still my mind was always planning, evaluating and on to the next thing. Now, if you can do this then go for it because it is fantastic stress buster. For those of us who are handicapped in that area then try my new favorite app – the INSIGHT TIMER. It is free and we all love free. This app has so many different types of meditations from a straight timer to music of all sorts to guided meditations literally on almost any topic. I have favorite ones that I have bookmarked and if I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get my mind to quit planning ahead I reach over and select one and this always gets me back to sleep. I try new ones often and have discovered that I enjoy a huge variety of types depending on what I need it for. The other great thing is that you can see how long they are before you even select it. Have an extra few minutes? You can find one to fit.

Stress Buster #3 – Exercise
Exercise looks different for so many people. The point is get up and do something! Sometimes a walk around the block listening to your favorite music does just the trick. Yoga of any type is always a welcome stress buster for me. Don’t forget about dancing or bowling, etc. Make it fun. Make is social. If you are having trouble being consistent then sign up for classes to keep you accountable. Nike was genius with their slogan of “just do it”. It really is that easy. I don’t have time is just an excuse of it is not important to me. No excuses! Make that time-you are worth it.