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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How a Stress Management Expert Treats Chronic Stress

Many of us are chronically stressed. I was stressed myself for a number of years, and like many people, I coped by masking my stress-related symptoms. If I had a tension headache, I took a pill. If I had insomnia, I took a sleeping pill or drank a glass of wine. Without knowing the cause of my problems, I would just ignore them until they went away.



As I explained last month, the trouble with treating your symptoms and not addressing the source of the problem is that you are masking your symptoms. It's roughly the equivalent of disabling a warning light on the dashboard of your car rather than fixing the problem that is causing the warning light to flash. If you do this, it may work on a temporary basis, but the stress will continue to come back. But the good news is that there are a lot of medically approved, integrative approaches to solving your stress-related health problems.



Exercise, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are just a few of the ways that I manage my stress now. And while I still experience stress and occasional moodiness, I never get headaches anymore. I rarely if ever take ibuprofen anymore. I take no prescription medicines at all. I have had only one cold in over two years. I've thrown away my "precious" bottle of cough medicine with codeine in it. My chronic pain is mostly gone.



I worry a LOT less. My anger is under control. I NEVER need sleeping pills -- although I still occasionally have trouble sleeping. But I meditate now until I fall back to sleep. I fly all over the country. I haven't had a bout of depression in over five years now (even though I had at least two major bouts prior to that) I take no anti-depressants and I actually enjoy driving over really LONG bridges.



How do I do it? Take a look.



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While all this may sound miraculous, or ironic, given my field of expertise, I'm not exaggerating the degree of the problem or the extent of the solution. I'm not saying that I now a live a life that is stress free. Far from it, I often still get stressed and still have stressful days, and feel anxious from time to time. But given what I do for a living I have found a natural coping strategy for every stress-related problem listed above.



I still have plenty of stress, but I don't suffer from stress-related disorders. Years after starting StressStop.com, my company which is wholly dedicated to helping people learn how to manage stress, I finally started to realize I was the one who needed to get help. That's when I started on these healthier choices for coping with stress. And in choosing this healthier path to follow, I feel a bit like Robert Frost who said in his famous poem THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED: "I chose the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

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