GOT STRESS? Stress defined: a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation. Stress is responsible for all kinds of ailments. Every day we are forced to make choices to our stressful situations. Deadlines, worries, what-ifs, the oughts, the pressures, the people. We all have these daily stressors in common; the difference between people that successfully deal with stress and those who do not is their REACTION TO THE STRESS. The way we react to stress is habitual. So how do we change our reaction to stress so we can live in the present? First, notice what is happening in your body and mind. Secondly, draw a circle on a piece of paper. Write on the inside of the circle everything you can control or influence. Write on the outside of the circle everything you cannot. Its okay to care about the things outside the circle, but to worry about them is unproductive. You can only control your own emotions in regards to a situation. Sometimes seeing it on paper helps. Thirdly, take some deep breaths and think about the things on the inner circle. Breath deep and ponder things that relax you and bring you joy. Fourth, ask yourself questions to refocus your mind. Is this how I want to feel? What's the next best step I can take? How is my reaction preventing me from seeing solutions? What can I control here? You get to choose what's controlling your life! What techniques have helped you decrease stress?