The number one cause of chronic illness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, failed marriages and unhappiness is stress. Relieve stress and you are more than half-way to a healing. Relieving stress is not difficult, it just takes practice.

1 – Breathe. Every day, whenever you think about it, breathe more deeply. Expanding your lungs and diaphragm when you breathe stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system causing an automatic physical relaxation.

2 – Ask yourself if you are about to die. If not, focus on being okay in this moment. This relieves the fight or flight response and reduces the cortisol levels in your body causing you to stand down from trying to keep you safe from death. This allows oxygen and blood to move more freely in the brain and heart, allowing you to think and feel more clearly.

3 – Look for one thing you can do at this moment to alleviate the stress, anything from taking a walk to making that call you’ve been avoiding. This shows you that you can do something, you are neither powerless nor hopeless. Keep doing one simple thing at a time, every day, to show yourself that you can move through whatever it is.

4 – Count all the things in your life that are working, and all the times in the past when things worked out, and every time you were supported, and each surprising thing that happen to make things better along the way. Focusing on these things reminds you that there is more good than bad in your life. Everyday work to trust this truth a little bit more.

5 – Remind yourself that you are not alone. You have yourself, people who love you, and the whole of Life supporting you. You are capable and intelligent enough to make good decisions that align with the Life you want to live. Stay the course. You will wake up one day and realize that you are nowhere near as stressed as you were before.