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    In my mind too much stress is one of the main things that can make sobriety seem intolerable. Boredom, at face value sounds like the polar opposite of stress but boredom and monotony seem to be very stressful in their own right. Ever notice that when you’re doing something interesting time seems to fly yet when you’re bored it seems to stop. If you want to experience boring, try running on a treadmill, the electronic readout never seems to move!

    Anticipation of a stressful situation can also be a stressor. It’s interesting that physical, mental and emotional stress all produce cortisol the stress hormone which is both catabolic and immunosuppressive. Because stress is a part of life you can’t avoid it but you can reduce it to managable levels. Nothing seems to be written in stone as far as stress reduction goes as one persons stressor can be anothers form of relaxation and vice versa. It all seems to be in how our cpu (brain) processes the never ending flow of data that is life.

    The following are some perception/mental things that I posted in a different thread so I’ll just copy and paste those : Something that ties in nicely with this topic is learning to be open minded and non judgmental. You do this by bringing into your conscious awareness each day that you will look at everything with an open mind and not attach a right or wrong label to it unless it’s necessary.

    If you don’t judge every thought and accept that it’s “just a thought” you will take the emotional charge out of it and your mind will be less cluttered up with all the excess baggage. In the course of an average day try to look at how many things you pass judgement on that have no real importance in your life.

    Let go of the past as best you can and accept the fact that you can not change it. Refuse to rejudge your past decisions as you can not undo them. Keep your focus in the present, be there and watch the moments unfold with childlike awe. Unclutter your mind.

    If you practice these things on a daily basis you will develop a more quiet mind. The chatter and racing thoughts will subside. It takes some effort but it does work.

    Regular exercise is probably one of the most important things in leading a balanced life. If I go any length of time without some form of exercise I can really notice the inner tension build. As everyone has their favorite form of exercise I won’t belabor the point.

    Having pets is another major de-stressor for me. Your dogs and cats think that you’re God, what could be more uplifting than that! Petting a purring cat is priceless, just having your pets there to greet you when you come home really takes the edge off a rough day. Using the can opener and having them all gather around to check out what God is up to is also priceless.

    Setting unrealistic goals and expectations can cause a lot of stress if things don’t go as planned. Sobriety isn’t all peaches and cream, life will still come at you full throttle. Learning to roll with the flow and acceptance again and again is what works for me.

    How do you guys de-stress, any thoughts?

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