Develop positive attitudes and living habits to reduce anger, anxiety, depression, frustration, and stress. Habits precede attitude so start with positive actions and become rigorous in carrying them out until they become habits. Get up early in the morning without fail. Make your bed when you get up in the morning, without fail. Take a shower in the morning, without fail. Eat breakfast, without fail. Leave early for work, without fail. Meditate for ten minutes every day, without fail. Exercise for half an hour every day, without fail. You get the idea. Reducing stress is about living your values and values are reflected in every action you take or don’t take. It all starts with developing habits that reflect a positive attitude toward every moment of your life.
Still worried? Pretend you are calm for long enough, and you will eventually be calm. The hard work is in continuing to be calm when everything around you tells you not to be. Take time to identify which of your stressors are irritations that can be managed through simple stress reduction techniques. Identify which stressors are the results of relationship choices and require a life change, such as ending a high-risk friendship or finding a different peer group through new activities. Identify which of your stressors result from the two big choices you made; where you live and the work you do. Make an action plan for change.
If you find yourself stressed, breathe deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth, slowly three times. Try this right now and while you are slowly breathing in and out, know you can make changes in your life. You already have evidence of it. You’re reading this book and starting a new life. Know you’ve changed. You’ve stopped using drugs and alcohol. Close your book and take a break. There is the rest of the day and the rest of your life. You can do this.