The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tip #20: Relieve Your Stress and Live Happier

Growing up, my favorite show was Boy Meets World and my favorite quote from that show was "Life sucks, get a helmet." Today, I'll give you a helmet and I hope you choose to use it.

Every now and again, life does prove to suck. Getting healthy isn't just about being in a healthy weight range; it's also about your mental health, which can be tested sometimes by the things you see, the people you meet, and the day's events. I've been so stressed lately and today was just the icing on the very, very bitter cake. My friend got into a publication that I'd been working for a long time to get into, but never did. The worst part was that she hardly had to work to get it. It's hard sometimes to see your hard work get passed over. It makes me feel like I'm just not good enough and I know I'm not the only one to feel this way.

A few years ago, when something like this would happen, I'd nearly breakdown. I'd cut myself off from human contact, get massive headaches, and spend a few hours in the bathroom crying and feeling sorry for myself. Needless to say, this is not a healthy way to deal with things. More recently, I've found a few tips and tricks to get me through the day and keep me sane.

First, analyze who you surround yourself with a bit. My friend who was published is one of my best friends who I spend a lot of time with, but she's not my only friend. I went out with friends for lunch this afternoon and, after listening and trying to help them with a few of their own problems, I told them about the publication. They reminded me that I'm young yet and I have plenty of time to get published and, although they were very simpathetic, they helped me to laugh it off. When I first got the news, I felt like it was the end of the world, but by the end of lunch, I'd nearly forgotten it.

Second, take some time to let go of stress at the end of the day. In order to get rid of my headaches, a doctor suggested that I try meditation. At the end of every day, I sit on my bed and close my eyes in silent darkness. I picture the most relaxing place that I can think of, with the greatest and happiest people I know. I like to think of sitting in an inner tube, floating down a creek. It works for me because I took the suggestion of something that I read a long time ago: picture all the things you worry about and watch them float away. It's like casting away your problems from your mind, leaving only the things that make you happy.

Third, remember that everyone isn't perfect. Think of the things that you like about yourself, the things that are unique and make you, you. I know it's a bit of a cliche, but try to remember to write down these things. You can do this whenever you want, but just try to remember to do it. Seeing these things in writing will help you remember them and your mind will remind you of them next time you feel low.

Health isn't always physical; it's mental too. Stress can ruin your day and mess with your head, so it's important to try to relieve stress every day. A little stress is a good thing; it keeps you trying to work to your maximum potential. However, if you have too much stress, you'll overwork yourself. Keep yourself balanced and you can live a happier, healthier life.

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