Feeling a bit frazzled and out of sorts? Welcome to the club!

As it turns out, being worried about being stressed is a legitimate concern.

Of all the toxins in the world, stress might be one of the most damaging. If untreated, it can lead to chronic inflammation, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Yikes!

It’s no surprise that so many of us are on the verge of burnout and/or exhaustion. Whether it comes from our daily deluge of politics, illness, family demands, deadlines or bills, stress is part of our everyday life.

Data suggests that we should all learn to meditate, exercise, and journal our way to the outer limits of our anxiety. All great ideas, but not often followed.

Since there are no chill pills (technically), I’m here to administer some good old common sense from an average Joe. Uh, I mean, an average Mitch.

Conversation, good music, dogs(!!), hobbies, and quiet are fabulously attainable ways to deal with what is making us crazy. The great thing is none of these require a big slice of time or effort. Sit down with your spouse, best friend or close family member and talk it out. Get ideas, reassurances, and support. It helps not to carry a burden alone.

Music soothes the soul, calms the mind and can increase creativity. Blast those songs that take you to the place you need to be. There’s nothing quite like cranking up music from your favorite group on your mobile phone, putting on head phones and singing along.

Dogs (and of course cats too) should be in every household. They are awesome conduits to all that is good, calm and loving. And I love that they can’t talk back.

Hobbies can be extremely therapeutic. Like photography, working jig-saw puzzles, reading, dancing, writing? If you love doing it, you can be sure it will help to lower the stress and clear the cobwebs away.

I see a lot of people taking a break from social media for a few days, and they admit to being less stressed. I’m serious; try turning everything off. Go for a walk, no headphones, no conversation. Like the classic Beatles song … let it be. You might be shocked at how clarity finds its way in a sea of quiet.

I’m no PhD, nor do I have any other initials after my name. But I do know a thing or two about stress, and I’m hoping I helped you beat it, if even for a day.

If all those ideas fail, I’m told that chocolate chip ice cream or a nice bottle of wine could also help you decompress. Just pace yourself … no judgement!

What is the main stress culprit in your life?

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