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Reminders to stress less

Recently, I was substituting at a school I have been at many times.  One of the teachers saw me and came in with a big grin on their face.  She said, “Pam!  I wanted to show you this.”  She then showed me a tattoo on her wrist, very small, plain and simple that said, “just breathe.”  She then told me that it was her anti-anxiety reminder.  I told her how excited I was that she had found a way to center herself and remember to stress less and choose joy.  We high fived and we both went about our day.

Now, I am not saying everyone needs to go out and get a tattoo.  In fact, I don’t have any.  Not because I am against people having tattoos, but because I avoid needles whenever possible.  Can’t have a tattoo if you don’t do needles.  Grin.  If tattoos are your thing and that can help you remember to not let the stressors of the day get to you, then go for it.

I will say that I was pleased this co-worker wanted to show me that she had found a way to remind herself to stay calm.  It means she has been paying attention to the things I say, write, or share on social media.  It’s always nice to know you’ve been heard and the things you say are making a positive difference in the lives of others.

How about you? Do you have certain things that you do, or visual clues that you use, to help you remember to stress less?

I have a small heart shaped memory plaque in my car that says, “I am with you always.”  This is my reminder that Jesus is always with me. It allows me to remain peaceful in the moments that I could let myself get frustrated at other drivers.

There are many things people can do to remind themselves to stay calm in stressful situations. 

  • Post a sticky note on your bathroom mirror with a calming, encouraging phrase
  • Put motivational magnets on your refrigerator
  • Have a calming picture as your cellphone wall paper
  • Set alarm reminders through the day to take a minute to listen to some calming music, meditate, or pray
  • Track your stress with a health monitor (Fitbit, Garmin, etc.)  When it’s getting high, use your stress management techniques to relax a bit.

A certain level of stress can be a good motivator, but too much is not good for our health.  Purposefully finding ways to remind yourself to stress less and find joy can be extremely helpful in maintaining a healthy, positive mindset.

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