Friday, June 1, 2018

Stress Less, Live More by Tytannie Harris, LCSW

Hearing about or experiencing gun violence, police brutality, racial injustices, microaggressions, foreclosures, and unemployment are only a few of the things that drain us daily. These events can be very traumatic and may cause fear, sadness, guilt, grief, and stress. Unfortunately, these are things we have little to no control over. Stress is the reaction to life challenges and obstacles. A stress-free life is impossible and as long as you’re breathing, it’s inevitable. However, there are things that we can control. A lot of the stress in our lives is unnecessary and self-induced. Let’s be honest, some of us thrive on it. We don’t feel as accomplished if we’re not busy 24/7. If we relax for too long, then we feel as if we’re not doing enough. However, life is so much more than constant movement and engagement. There are several things we can do to decrease the level of stress such as slowing down, saying no, stopping procrastination, eradicating toxic people, exercise/healthy eating, and being grateful.

Before we can decrease our level of stress, we must first identify what our stressors are. What people, places, and things contribute to the stress in your life? Are you overcommitting? Do you need to take time to unplug? Get off the hamster wheel of life and slow down. Sometimes it is ok to say “no” and remove some responsibilities and obligations from your plate. In addition, we must stop procrastinating. That book you wanted to write? There’s no better time to start than NOW. That trip you’ve always wanted to take? Just take it. You’ll be glad you did.

We all have certain people in our lives that drain us whether it’s a family member, friend, or coworker. These folks are toxic and instead of confronting them or trying to change them, sometimes it’s best to just eliminate them or disengage from the drama. Don’t give them real estate in your mind. It’ll be better for your mental health.

I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times. Exercise eliminates and aids in reducing stress. Well, I’m going to say it again – exercise! It can be relaxing, allows quiet time and helps you get in shape. When you look good, you feel good. So, whether it’s going to the gym, walking on the lake, yoga class or meal prepping on Sundays, being in shape allows you to handle the stressors in your life.

Lastly, be grateful. Having gratitude and putting positive energy into the universe will greatly eliminate the stressors in your life. I know that life can sometimes get tough, but take a moment and reflect on what you have and the people in your life. At the end of the day, tomorrow is promised to no one, but today is. Seize the moment and claim your best life!

Tytannie Harris is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Life Coach. She is the owner of TMH Behavioral Services, P.C., a group private practice located in Chicago, IL. Find out more about Tytannie at 

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