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The Lake News Online
  • Guest column: A less frantic life

  • Whenever I tell people I teach stress management, they immediately respond with, "Oh, boy, can I use you."
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  • Whenever I tell people I teach stress management, they immediately respond with, "Oh, boy, can I use you."
    Our culture is feeling more and more like we're onboard a runaway train. Yes, life has gotten more complicated, but how many of us buy into the need to feel overwhelmed and frazzled? We often ignore the mental and physical signals that stress alerts us to in deference to keep going.
    Yes, I understand that there are situations that require our attention because if we didn't, we might not have shelter, food or clothing. But a lot of today's stress also comes from a compulsion to keep on keeping on simply because it's the thing to do.
    You may or may not pursue the following suggestions, but I'm going to share them anyway.
    1. Become a contrarian. Just because everyone around you is checking e-mails, texting, enrolling their children in a myriad of activities and rushing to a spin class, it doesn't mean you have to. Chose to take an hour to read, get a massage or have lunch with a friend.
    2. Understand that you don't have to know everything about everything. Just because the technology exists for you to know why your next-door neighbor has a migraine, it doesn't mean you have to spend an hour on Google researching it.
    3. Give it a rest. Your mind, body and spirit need a respite from the never-ending pings and rings. You can sit in traffic, or wait in line, without informing someone that that's what your doing. They might just need a rest from you.
    4. Volunteer. Go out and do something for someone else. Volunteering takes us away from ourselves. When we're stressed, it is often the result of thoughts that continually remind us of the problem. Volunteering is directly related to the old saying, "I cried because I had no shoes until I saw the man with no feet."
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