Life can be hard, so there will always be stress.

That is an objective fact.

So the idea of COMPLETELY getting rid of stress is unrealistic and, frankly, a bit crazy-making.

(I know because I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work.)

But there are two steps you can take to put yourself “in the zone” of mitigating the negative impact of stress in your life:

  1. Reduce your stress. Using whatever strategies and tools that you have at your disposal–perhaps even including my book THE ZEN TEACHER or ideas you find on this blog–you can reduce the amount of stress you have to deal with on a “global” level. From taking a nap to having a cup of tea before you go to bed to choosing NOT reading the comments on that political article, there are definite, concrete steps you can employ to reduce the stress that comes your way and wants to camp out on your sofa.
  2. Navigate your stress. Learning to navigate the stress can also help reduce the negative side effects of the prickly events that come along that cause you whatever stress, tension, and anxiety that you DO experience. This means that you need to learn, practice, and employ techniques, tools, and strategies to identify and cope with the stressors that you encounter. This may take the form of meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, yoga, or prayer–anything that helps you sail through the inevitable speed bumps of your life just a little more effortlessly and gracefully.

When you combine the two steps by applying tools like meditation and mindfulness and you reduce your obligations and then refuse to overextend your schedule and limit your obligations by setting personal and reasonable boundaries and margins based on your own personal value system, you will find that sweet spot–that balance between controlling stress and having your stress control you.

So remember:

Two simple steps. . .

Reduce stress where your stress where you can.

Learn to navigate (and by navigating it, sometimes dilute) the stress that remains.

It’s not one or the other.

It’s both.

And the great thing is:

You’ve got this. TZT