Coping with Stress

Now that we've discussed alot of ways we encounter stress and how it can affect your health and fitness levels, let's talk about some ways to cope and possibly even overcome stress itself.

• Focus on one thing at a time - Often times, we try to pile too much onto our plate, and instead of getting anything done we end up focusing all of our energy on worrying on the amount of tasks we have in front of us. Instead, just pick one thing, focus your energy on on that, and get it done. Getting that first thing crossed off on your to do list will get the ball rolling towards succeeding in alleviating that stress.

Let off some steam - Just like a volcano, when enough pressure builds up inside of us, we have the tendency to erupt in a self-destructing fashion, like lashing out at loved ones, angry outbursts, or withdrawing from others. Prevent the build of that pressure by letting off some steam at the gym. Working out in general is a stress reducer, and what better way to focus some of that pent up energy than to use it to fuel yourself while lifting.

• Laugh - Laughter is the best medicine. That saying didn't come out of nowhere, it's based on a bit of truth. When we get bogged down by the negativity of a stressful life, sometimes a bit of laughter is all we need to put things into perspective and change our mood. Watch a funny movie or surround yourself with light hearted people and just see the stresses of everyday life start to disappear.

Meditate - Let go of all the negativity racing around in your heart and your mind and try to find peace with yourself. If you're able to do that, it's like shaking an Etch-A-Sketch and starting over from scratch. With a clean slate, you'll be able to focus on resolving the sources of your stress instead being crippled by the effects of it.

Focus on fixing what you can control - Sometimes instead of focusing energy on ourselves and the situations we're in, we try to change everything around us. That often leads to disappointment and a feeling of helplessness when the outcomes aren't what we had hoped for. Remember, the only person you have full control over is yourself, and the only situation you have control over is your own. Once you can gain full control of your own life and the choices you make, you'll be able to deal with stressful situations in a much healthier way.