It’s been observed by Lili Tomlin’s partner and joke writer, Jane Wagner, “Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.” When it comes to the reality of stress, we need to be in touch with it, otherwise, it’ll kill us.
Whether you live in one of the top 10 stressed out cities in America or not, you know how stress can leave you at best frazzled, and at worst, quite ill.
Yes I know you are dying to know the ten cities so let’s get that out of the way:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- Riverside/San Bernadino
- New Orleans
75 percent of health-care costs are due to chronic illness and these illnesses are driven by more often by stress and poor lifestyle choices. Add the damage to your nervous system, your musculoskeletal system, your respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal and reproductive systems and you can see that it’d be far better to prevent than to manage stress.
Stress costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion a year. How can you reduce your stress? Take in more bread. Nope, not the stuff you eat. The B.R.E.A.D. model is a tool I want to share with you for preventing, or at least reducing, stress. This originated with Stress Management for Executives: Stress Management Tips.
We have two avenues to deal with stress, psychological and physiological. Let’s follow the acronym for “breads” or the breads model and see how it applies to each avenue of stress.
1. B – your beliefs and your breathing
Your beliefs and your breathing are both essential to grab hold of stress. What you think can prevent it, and how you breath rhythmically and deeply, can help calm you down.
2. R – your relationships and your relaxation
Your relationships and your relaxation methods can help diminish stress. Those who have someone they can call at 4:00 a.m. to tell their woes to will likely live longer and healthier than those who don’t. And those who know the value of regular breaks, vacations, unplugging, will also find life far less stressful.
3. E – your education and your exercise
Your education and your exercise have impact on your stress level. Keep learning, stretching your brain and your body.
4. A – your attitude and your activity regimen
Your attitude and your activity regimen can weaken the grip that stress may have on you. Optimists and active folks who use “non-exercise activity” daily deal with pressure far better than sedentary pessimists.
5. D – your determination and diet
Your determination and diet which go hand in hand, will help diffuse stress. Those who are stress resilient are committed to their plans and don’t have the word quit in their lexicon. That helps with their healthy lifestyle choices, especially eating well.
6. S – your serenity and your sleep
Your serenity and your sleep to which we say, “Ahhh.” Practice meditation, inner mindfulness and calming the mind along with creating paths to restorative sleep will further arm you against the ravages of stress
So there you have it. Eat this bread, not the other bread, and stress may be a thing of the past, or at least play a far smaller role in life than it did. As for me, I believe the link is what you think in everything—think right and stress doesn’t ever appear. Sure, hassles in life occur. But thinking rationally, using these tools, will prevent hassles from becoming horrors.