The Culprit

by ahthompson

Hello, all. Been a minutes since I blogged–busy as usual. But with some urging (i.e. harassment) from my dear friend, Julia from the group FIIF Getting Serious About Losing Weight, I’m here and I’m blogging!

I’ve talked about the culprit for my overeating several times–so by now, you know that it’s stress. I can continue to blame stress, I can talk about stress, I can describe in great detail what stress is and what my personal stressors are, OR I can do something about the stress. As of recent, I’ve decided to de-stress my life as much as I possibly can. While there are some things in our lives that we cannot control, there are others that we can. Today, I want to discuss how we can reduce stress by changing some things in our lives. Even small changes can make a huge difference. 


  • Surround yourself with positive things and people–shun the negative

If someone, anyone in your life is bringing you down, making you feel bad about yourself, constantly bringing up your past, shooting down your ideas, mocking and ridiculing you–get away from them! I don’t care if they are a relative or your best friend. You have got to make your own well-being a priority. I know that some people are put into our lives so that we can be a positive influence to them. But we cannot let people steal our joy from us. If someone if doing that to you, cut your losses and leave them alone. Sometimes we have to let the wrong people go in order for the right people to enter our lives.

I also suggest that you read positive and uplifting books or articles. Listen to positive podcasts (Joel Osteen is a favorite of mine). Follow positive people on Facebook and Twitter. Listen to positive/inspirational music every morning to start your day. Keep a gratitude journal and focus on the good things in your life. Pray often.Pray and believe that you deserve better than a life full of stress.

  • Mind your own business.

Don’t spend your time wrapped up in someone else’s problems. Of course I’m not telling you not to help someone in need. If they reach out for help, then by all means, please help them. But don’t let their problems take over YOUR life. Help them, pray for them, be there for them, but don’t lose yourself for them.

  • Follow your instincts

Following your instincts can keep you out of a lot of trouble and away from a lot of stress. I believe that our instincts are really the voice of God and that heeding that voice is very important. If your instincts tell you not to trust someone–don’t trust them!! If your instincts tell you not to let your child go to a certain place, or not to let someone in your house, listen!! We are so afraid of hurting other people’s feelings that we are sacrificing our own comfort and happiness. We need to stop that!

  • If your job is stressing you out–find another one.

I know what you’re thinking. “It’s not that easy.” “It took me a long time to find this one.” “I can’t just quit my job!” I hear you, I really do. And I’m not telling you to throw all caution to the wind and quit your job. But if your job is stressing you out, giving you headaches, and running your blood pressure up, and you have to pray your way out of bed every morning, the people you work with are messy, your boss is a tyrant, and you count the seconds from Monday to Friday, you need to at least begin exploring other options. Pray about it and them formulate a plan. At least start LOOKING for another job instead of constantly complaining about the one you have. Believe me, if God gave you that one, He is more than capable of giving you another one and a better one, at that.

  • If you are a parent, read the following carefully:

If your children are grown  STOP TRYING TO RAISE THEM. They are adults now. Good or bad–your job to raise them is over. Let them live their lives and make their own choices. Let them make their own mistakes–didn’t you make yours without anyone else’s help? Experience is the best teacher. If they ask for your advice, give it to them, but don’t have a stroke when they don’t use it. Let them live their lives and you go right ahead and live yours. 

If your children are underage, lead them, guide them, set boundaries, chastise them, understand them, and love them. But understand that they are not you. They are individuals. :Let them develop into their own person. Don’t make them your whole life. One day, they will leave, and you may not be able to cope if you haven’t carved a life out for yourself.

  • If you can’t pay for it, don’t get it.

Trying to keep up with the Joneses is just a useless and crazy form of stress. Personally, I couldn’t care less how big someone’s house is or what they drive, because I know that having those things comes with a price that I’m most likely unwilling and unable to pay. Do I like nice things? Of course. Am I willing to work 10 jobs and kill myself to get them? Um, no. They’ll come when they come, but I’m not going to over-extend myself to get them.

I am a home nurse and I visit very sick elderly people on a daily basis. These people have worked hard all of their lives and many of them have nice homes and cars and you know what? They are living in one room–lying in a hospital bed that’s sitting in the middle of their living room, because they are too sick to move around their own homes. They can’t even drive those nice cars. They have worn their bodies out trying to have things that they can no longer enjoy. Their children are estranged from them because they never had time for them–because they worked so much to have these wonderful things that now mean nothing to them. 

I’m not telling you to sell all of your worldly possessions and live in a tent. But I am telling you that focusing on the things that really matter can greatly decrease your stress level. Set goals for yourself and try to reach them at a reasonable pace. Take the unreasonable pressure of yourself.


I am following my own advice. I’m changing some things in my life. I’m taking the stress off of myself where and when I can. Will you do the same? 

Please share more de-stressing ideas in the comments section. We all need all of the help we can get!!