Most people are finding it harder and harder to achieve their stress management goals as the pace of life quickens.

Is your stress management taking a back seat to the responsibilities of your daily life?

One of the major keys to making stress your friend is to move your stress management goals into the front seat and be proactive in creating some ‘me time’ for yourself every day.

How you start your day and end your day are key factors in how you manage your stress and how your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies respond to assist you in keeping your life in balance.

Sleeping, eating and exercise are key elements to health-life balance and a mindset of making stress your friend and using it as a positive and supportive force in your life can bring about major change in your well-being.

My mentor and great friend Duane Alley in his inspirational book…7 Minute Secrets to a Successful Life & Career (it’s a very engaging read and a life changer!) His start your day steps are…
1. When you wake up, keep your eyes closed and SMILE! We know this starts the flow of ‘happy’ stress hormones immediately.
2. Keep smiling and STRETCH a little. Remember what cat and dogs do on waking after sleeping.
3. While you are stretching say out loud- THANK YOU!
4. LEAVE YOUR PHONE OFF!! Duane suggests for the first hour of every day. This task alone would be a massive challenge for many people.
5. Have a nice drink of good quality room temperature water.

Starting your day in this way creates balance where your ‘happy’ hormones are in control of your body.

My suggestion to ending your day is in a similar way to bring you back to a state where your cortisol (harmful) hormone level will start to drop as you move to the rest and recovery phase of your 24 hour cycle.

1. Have a nice drink of good quality room temperature water.
2. TURN YOUR PHONE OFF!! Preferably park it in another room for the night.
3. Say out loud- THANK YOU! Your gratitude moment, as the higher your gratitude the lower your stress levels.
4. Read a short positive mindset story to fertilize the mind with good stuff.
5. Smile as you drop off to sleep

Your stress management is now in the front seat with you as you move to a much more balanced and enjoyable lifestyle.

By Dr John Hinwood
for the Stress to Strength team

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