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By Personal Development Coach Peggy Sealfon

Stress is part of life. But chronic stress, anxiety and worry cause tensions that can shut down your ability to clearly perceive reality. Furthermore, those fears—if held over a long period--can ultimately cause illnesses as they compromise your immune system.

Instead of fear and panic, you can cultivate more calming behaviors. By doing so, you will have more energy and feel happier.  So here are 4 basic steps:

1. Be aware of any negative thoughts and stop them in their tracks. With all the complexities of life and the barrage of information, your mind might be spinning out of control at warp speed. It can be challenging to quiet debilitating thoughts like:  “I’m just not good enough, smart enough, thin enough…”  or “this will never work out” or “I can’t possibly get all of this done.” Focusing your attention on what might be wrong can block you from seeing what is right and prevent you from tapping into solutions. So as soon as you notice any concerns, shift your mind for a moment to think about something you enjoy.  Bring a happy image into your awareness for 30 seconds and it will help you release tensions quickly.

 

2. Monitor your sleep and make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours. Adequate rest is essential for proper functioning of body and mind. The average American adult is sleep deprived and suffers brain fog, confusion, and poor judgment.  Develop a consistent sleep routine to encourage healthy sleep patterns.

3. Avoid sugary foods. Sugar has no nutritional value and can actually contribute to stress and anxiety. The feel-good dopamines released from consuming sugar can change brain function, cause fatigue, shaking, tension and increase worry and fear. Research has shown that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine.  So if you’re hooked on sugar, you may find yourself less tolerant of everything. Sadly, sugars are hidden in many foods under disguises such high fructose corn syrup, Sucrose, Maltose, Dextrose, Glucose, Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Dextrin, Maltodextrin, and Corn syrup. Read labels and try avoiding sugars as much as possible. If you have a sweet tooth, use local honey or plain stevia which is from a natural plant.

4. Schedule quiet moments each day. As humans, we weren’t meant to be at high alert every minute of every day.  So I suggest you take what I call a “productivity pause” to be quiet for a few minutes. Give yourself permission to sit still. Close your eyes, take a few deep sighs, and let go of all thinking and doing for one to five minutes. A big exhalation actually signals the body to relax.

 

Check out my free audio 3MinutestoDestress.com. By taking brief mental pauses, you will refresh your mind and body in very productive ways.  It will help you think more clearly, feel more energized, function more effectively and ultimately reduce stress!

 

Peggy Sealfon is an internationally-renowned expert on dealing with stress and anxiety. A motivational speaker and author, she is a certified Life Coach with advanced training in ancient yogic techniques, mindfulness and spirituality as well as certifications in functional medicine, modern psychology, energy medicine and nutrition. Peggy develops effective protocols to help clients overcome issues of health, relationships, work, finances and life purpose. She is co-author of The Change—Insights Into Self Empowerment, one of the fastest-growing personal development book series in the world with Tony Robbins’ former mentor Jim Britt. Her best-selling book Escape From Anxiety—Supercharge Your Life With Powerful Strategies From A to Z is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble (at Waterside Shops) or EscapeFromAnxiety.com. She's based in Naples, FL.