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By Tonya Jaggars

5 easy steps to taking your life back

Managing Stress

Do you feel pulled and stretched in 100 different ways? Have you lost your purpose in life? It is easy to over-extend yourself, leaving you with a feeling of hopelessness. There are five easy steps that can help get your life back on track.

Time management

Time is a precious commodity. Whether you are a soccer mom or the CEO of a huge corporation, stress can alter your mental health. It is important to implement time management practices to prevent you from overextending yourself. Consider purchasing a day planner or utilizing the calendar on your smart phone to help keep a visual reminder of commitments. This will allow you to manage your time more wisely.

Treat yourself

To be productive for others, you have to be kind to yourself. It is imperative that you allow yourself to have fun. If you enjoy a particular activity, such as golfing, reading or riding your bike, make the time for these activities. You will rejuvenate your mental health, thus reducing stress.

Exercise for the body and mind

People think that exercising is only for body health. However, studies have shown that it actually is good for your brain. Exercising releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body. You do not have to be an avid sports enthusiast to be active; simply take a walk. Many communities have walking trails that you can utilize.

If your work finds you sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, make sure that you get up and stretch or take a walk to the water fountain. Do not become a slave to the desk. In order to be productive, it is essential that you exercise your body as you are exercising your brain. Get active, get fit and reduce stress.

Learn how to say no

Many people become overstressed because they cannot say no to others. It is crucial to learn how to say no. If someone asks for your help, weigh the benefits of assisting the person. Ask yourself if you will benefit from helping. Is there a reason they need your help or are they just asking you because they do not want to do it themselves? It is easy to become overwhelmed by overextending yourself for others. Remember, you have a life too, and it is important that you do not allow others to take advantage of your kindness.

Maintain balance

A happy, productive life is achieved by reducing stress and making time for yourself. If your stress level is high, it not only affects you but others in your life. Learn what stressors affect you negatively and try to avoid those triggers. If avoidance is not possible, then put a limit on time spent dealing with the stressors. No one knows your limits better than you do.

In a today's fast paced society, it is very easy to feel that you have lost control of your life and become less productive. Two of the most important things you can do is learn how to manage your time and be good to yourself. While you may enjoy helping others, make sure that you are not giving up your happiness. Reducing your mental stress will allow for a happier, healthier, more productive life.

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