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Stand up for Yourself

The stress response is generally a fear response, and what we fear most is loss of control. So when your stomach is churning, take charge of something — anything — to remember your power and ability to cope.

  • Make a decision right now about a personal preference. It might be where you'll eat, what movie you'll see, the color of the new carpeting, or what time you'll set your alarm for tomorrow. Just do it.
  • Express an opinion that you have been keeping to yourself to keep the peace.
  • Say "no" to a request — just to practice your assertiveness.
  • Let someone know if they recently stepped on your toes, and establish boundaries for future interactions.
When you're all worked up, chances are that you can't control something. Get back at the helm even for a little while with something that's under your control, and you are likely to feel calmer and more able to ride out a squall.
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A series of "quick-lifts" excerpted from Recharge in Minutes, ©2003, by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.

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