Alright, for those of you that this might help… here is how I'm managing my stress and anxiety from day to day.

1. I remind myself that I only control my reactions to things and not the things themselves. So, anything that happens, I try to respond appropriately without trying to control the events.

2. Events or Thoughts that threaten to swallow me up. I declare those to be too big for me to worry about and hand them over to God. Granted, I don't go to church or follow a specific falth. God exists, I accept that, and I accept that there are things in my life that God must handle for me.

3. When I forget 1, 2, and become all stressed out. I sit down, put on my headphones, and listen. It might be some relaxing music, hypnosis, or hard rock.

3a. Hard rock? Yes. When someone pisses me off enough that I want to put their head through a wall, Hard rock. Specifically, Break Stuff by L.B. I find that playing it loud in the car while singing it with as much anger as I can project is just what the doctor ordered.

4. Feeling blue? I have trained my brain to detect a dropping mood and take action. If it's simply the blues, I put on my shoes and go for a 2 mile walk around town. If it's a sunny day, that is usually all it takes.

5. Depression trying to come back? My brain picks up on the signs and takes action. (A) I have a standing promise that any majorly negative mood…I contact one of my friends. It's an easy promise to keep, considering if I don't keep it I'll have two women pissed at me…I don't need that. The second part to the promise, I trust the suggestions of the friend I contact. They might see something happening that I am unaware of. (B) Sunny day, I'm out there walking before I even realize that my mood is dropping so low. (C) Music, Music, Music…Starting with some "Everybody Knows" by Cohen to get my attention and gradually increasing the tempo to lighten the mood. (D) If the depression is "Why me" related…I counter by going out and helping someone else. (E) If possible, I visit a friend with kids. Not only does my friend help, but watching how silly the young kids are helps too.

All of these techniques…All of the training…Things still get to me. However, if I can identify what the source is…I can usually defuse it before it can harm me. If it does get close enough to harm me, a friend checks in with me because of that promise.

If this helps some of you, please leave a comment. If you techniques that work for you, please share them.

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