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  • To Reduce Stress & Pain, Check These 7 Areas of Your Life

    create balance in your life

    Everybody wants less stress and less pain in their life and I know you’re no different. The problem is that we have so much stress and so many different aches and pains that it can be difficult to know where to begin. I find it’s easiest if you break things down into small, doable chunks. So in that vein, I’ve broken life down into 7 areas*, and broken each area down into smaller areas. *I first ran into this idea in a class I took through the University of Minnesota, called Preventing Chronic Pain: A Human Systems Approach, where they referred to it as the 7 realms.

    An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

    Obviously, you want to address your existing sources of chronic stress and pain, but preventing further stress and pain is just as important. The beauty of this 7 realms approach is that it will help you do both. Just take a look at each area of life and see where you can make improvements.

    Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with the number of improvements you may need or want to make, or with how long it may take to effect change in your life, just choose one and get started. It’s probably best to start with one that you feel is a real priority to give you the incentive you may need to stick with it. Alternatively, you can choose one that you’re sure you’ll be able to easily achieve, thereby giving yourself positive reinforcement.

    Check out these seven areas to see where you have the most imbalance or need for improvement:

    • Body – anything you do or don’t do on a regular basis with your body, including your posture, ergonomics, maintaining flexibility, holding tension, physical health conditions, and even genetics.
    • Lifestyle – includes how well you sleep, your diet, activity level, medications, repetitive movement/strain, high risk behaviors, and the pace of your life.
    • Emotions – is primarily concerned with your overall emotional state and which emotions tend to dominate.
    • Society – includes how you are treated by and how you treat the people and relationships in your life, whether they be personal or professional; no matter how close or distant you might be emotionally.
    • Spirit – is more than just your spiritual or religious belief; it also includes your purpose or direction in life, self-esteem (or lack thereof), and level of optimism/pessimism.
    • Mind – is a large category and includes resiliency (or lack of), self-control, willingness to accept responsibility, willingness and/or ability to understand the whole problem, realistic  (or not) expectations, and whether you use active or passive coping skills.
    • Environment – includes any environment you’re in, be it the great outdoors, home, workplace, restaurant, etc. and its cleanliness, orderliness, and safety.

    Do you notice a pattern of one or two areas having the most imbalances? Once you see a pattern in one area of your life, you can take the time to delve deeper on your own, or with the help of a professional who’ll be a bit more objective about you/your behavior than you can be.

    These really only scratch the surface, but they’re somewhere to start. I’ll be delving deeper into each area in the coming weeks, so stay tuned and subscribe to the blog if you don’t already, to make sure you don’t miss any of them.