Stress is an inevitable part of life…and it comes in many forms. We experience stress physically, mentally and even, environmentally. And although some stress in life is normal, too much of it in our lives can take a tremendous toll on our health and well-being.
In the New Year, you are likely embarking on some type of transformation or change. In A Whole New You: Six Steps to Ignite Change for Your Best Life, I help readers address roadblocks they likely will face and how to be most aware of those stressors that limit and sabotage efforts to change. Three stressors, in particular, that I believe to be most limiting, include:
- Negative People: Surrounding yourself with negative people can diminish your ability to stay focused and excited about the changes you want to make. Further, if friends and family are naysayers and say things that undercut your ability to stay positive, they can have a huge sabotaging impact. Positive people who make you feel good, however, bring better energy into your life. Develop a support network you can depend on when you need advice or help. If you are currently surrounded by negative people, minimize the time you spend with them to diminish negativity in your life. You don’t have to cut them out of your life completely, just set clear boundaries and keep them at a healthy distance, even if it’s a friend or relative.
- Fear: Fear is a stress. The more energy we spend in avoiding what we fear, the less energy we have to actively pursue what we want. Many of us let our fear of the unknown impair our ability to be positive, to plan for the future, or to achieve the things that will bring us the most happiness. Although fear feels real, it often isn’t based in reality. Fear stems from what we imagine to be, often the worst-case scenario instead of the best, and this propels us into a state of anxiety and paralyzes us. The best way to avoid letting this stress impact you is to recognize your personal fears and address them.
- Getting Stuck in the Past: Just as the stress of the future impacts us, the stress of living in the past can as well. When we focus on the past, it limits our beliefs in what we can accomplish in the here and now and our ability to move forward. When we live life in the moment, however, we experience more positive thoughts and feelings, and are more likely to take on new challenges. Let go of past failures or restrictions and instead, learn from them. Use those lessons to move on and transform your life in the way you want.
Personal transformation takes a lot of work, but can be hugely rewarding. Addressing stressors that can sabotage your efforts to create the life you are excited to live will help you be successful. Remember to take care of your health too, as it is a natural way to manage stress. Don’t discount important healthy habits like eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep. All of these are important habits that help you naturally ward off the worst of stress.
Are any of these stressors creeping into your efforts to transform this New Year?
BIO: Brett Blumenthal is bestselling author of A Whole New You: Six Steps to Ignite Change for Your Best Life (Dec 2012) 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You (Jan 2012) and Get Real and STOP Dieting! (Dec 2010). She is founder of www.sheerbalance.com and contributes to Huffington Post, Yahoo!, GalTime, and Intent. She has been featured in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal and has appeared on NBC, FOX and CBS. Brett received her MBA and her bachelors degree from Cornell University. She is certified by WELCOA (Wellness Council of America) and AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America).