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Taming Trouble - Four Easy Ways to Contain Stress and Anxiety

by Ananga Sivyer

Life doesn't always go as planned. Stuff happens, and things can soon build into the proverbial mountains from molehills if we let them. Here are some pointers for keeping buoyant in the face of adversity.

1. Get Some Perspective

When problems occur, be specific about them. Speak with someone you know can help you be calm and objective, or take a few minutes to write your thoughts in a journal; anything to get them outside your head for some objective review can really help.

2. Put Negative Events in Quarantine

Keep them separate and don't let them spread. Negative events can be highly contagious! They have the ability to turn everything around them negative too, given half the chance. Don't let them. Put them in isolation and make sure they stay there.

Here's an example: Sally had some friends over for dinner; she spent ages planning, shopping and cooking. The meal was great, and everyone was happy and impressed with her efforts, but when it came to serving dessert, she dropped it all over the table splat!

Here's where quarantining comes in very handy. The dessert incident could have ruined everything, but why should it? Everything else had been fine. Is it appropriate to let one incident get retrospective power over everything that had happened before?

Sally was disappointed and upset for a moment, then she shrugged and said, "Grab a spoon!" and everyone ate the desert from the table right where it had landed. The mess got cleaned up and everyone had fun.

3. Play with Time

Will it matter in a week, a month, or a year? If not, let it go, why wait to feel better about it. If you can do it then, why not do it now?

4. Don't Let it Get Personal

Whenever you can don't let it be about you. If two drivers honk their horns at you on the way to work, it doesn't necessarily mean you are a bad driver, and it certainly doesn't have to be a bad omen for your day unless you let it. Keep in mind all your smooth and honk free journeys and let them balance things out for you.

The Dangers of Drama

There's a Chinese proverb that says: "You can't prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."

When we allow the little things to mushroom and unfold into a drama, we are inviting unnecessary stress and emotional suffering for ourselves, and for those around us.

Keeping problems contained and in perspective saves us from getting stressed and helps us find solutions from a calm and clear point of view.

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