America, you need to chill. These are dark and stressful times that we are facing. People are on edge, depressed and full of fear. This is not being overly stated, either. We all need to relax more in our great nation or we will get sick. Author Peter Schnall, of Unhealthy Work, wrote that over 50 percent of doctor office visits are for stress-related complaints, not due to physical ailments or disease. Yet, stress may fuel a a more chronic condition.

"About 75 percent of heart attacks in younger adults are from poor lifestyle choices and stress."
"Heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease, and accidents. Chronic stress can affect your brain, raise your blood pressure and reduce your immunity and ability to heal," he explained. 

Chronic stress is dangerous. No wonder young people are having heart attacks earlier in life. About 75 percent of heart attacks in younger adults are from poor lifestyle choices and stress. When you feel as though all is caving in, you need to reassess your lifestyle and what is making you freak out.

Let's face it, stress is not only pounding your mind, it is killing you. Here are the ways that you can take stress down a few notches.

You have no control.Everything from the weather, violence, divorce rates, murder rates and global poverty is out of your control.
Let's continue, shall we? You also have no control over your neighbor, bad mornings or the reason your hair won't do what you want. "If you inappropriately take on issues that are not your battle to fight. The healthy response is to take the time to evaluate what is truly within your control and what is not," said Dr. Crista Gambrell, who is a licensed professional counselor. There are always things you can do, so focus on that. If not, you need to force yourself to let go.

Stop focusing on flaws.Stop centering on your imperfections! No wonder you are in knots. If you can’t reach an entire goal, it’s not a bomb. If you make a mistake, oh well. List what you accomplished and take what you have acquired and remain out of the pit of condemnation. Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that we have a choice in choosing positive actions because they will dictate our satisfaction. "The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days," Tzu wrote. Make the decision to take the high road when it comes to your flaws.

Try to slow down.There is a reason that yoga and meditation works! It slows us down across the board. Mindfulness battles illness, distractions, anxiety and may ease depression. The American Psychological Association shared that research proves yoga is advantageous for people. Practicing yoga boosts the immune system, the memory, intuition, helps with fear—along with helping relationships.
This is not just limited to sitting still. Tai chi can also help you achieve these perks. It is about attaining focus and clarity to help bring the body and mind under control or into a healthy state. “Researchers theorize that mindfulness meditation promotes metacognitive awareness, decreases rumination via disengagement from perseverative cognitive activities and working memory. These cognitive gains, in turn, contribute to effective emotion-regulation strategies," the APA reported.

Develop better habits.What is the first thing you do when you are about to lose it? Instead of running to cigarettes or various foods, take a deep breath and visualize a beautiful and more peaceful scene. Another thing you can do is to take a walk, have a cup of tea or review a book of affirmations. Closing your eyes and reciting a prayer can also do wonders to regulate the mind and regulate your heartbeat. This can be a life changer for you. Try counting to 10 and aim to stop working to be perfect while you are trying this technique. You don't produce healthy habits overnight. "If you’ve tried to overcome your problems before and feel like you’ve failed, don’t give up on yourself. Most people who are successful changers have tried many times before they succeed, " Barbara Markway, Ph.D. shared on Psychology Today.

Avoid common stressors.We can't avoid all stress, but we can reduce some exposure. If you know one route is going to be a beast going to work, leave earlier or change directions.
Shop during off-peak hours, go to the gym and make appointments earlier to avoid the crowds. If you know that a person causes you to tense up, think of ways to avoid them or refuse to allow their attitude to reshape you. We all can do something to help alleviate stressors in life.

Try to laugh more.Oh my goodness, please have a laugh already. Your seriousness is making you more miserable and others, too. Watch a funny movie or make fun of life's idiosyncrasies. Think of a time when you laughed and allow it to marinate in your mind a little. "Look at your own life and try to appreciate the absurdity of what doesn't go exactly according to plan (the diets, the men, the buzz cut)," Oprah Magazine reported. To put things in perspective, are things really that detrimental?

Reduce caffeine intake.If you tend to be a high-strung person, reduce the amount of caffeine you are ingesting as this makes you edgy. Not only this, you can really crash and burnout. “Caffeine withdrawal is defined as a syndrome resulting from abrupt cessation or reduction in caffeine, following prolonged daily use,” the American Psychiatric Association explained in the DSM-5 manual. Caffeine can trigger panic attacks as well.

As you can clearly see, chilling out is pretty much a no-brainer. By taking out some of our bad habits and coming to the conclusion that this stress is not worth it--this is liberating. Give yourself ample time to implement changes and watch a new person bloom.

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