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'Transform Stress' guide:
6 tips! And a weekly gentle reminder.

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I'm sure my stress level would go down if I could get rid of my family and quit my job – but that's not possible. I'm stuck with my family and I need the income from my job. Now what?

A message from inside that something's wrong should be interpreted as legitimate. Your inner self won't lie to you. If you're getting a trouble signal, pay attention. Take it every bit as seriously as you would the "low fuel" indicator on the dashboard of your car.

When something's really, persistently wrong, you need to stop what you're doing and find the answer to these two questions:

  1. "What's really going on here? What's the real problem?"
  2. "What can I do to influence it for the better?"

You already know that things probably won't go well if you try to force the people and circumstances around you into serving your personal desires above their own self-interest. Fortunately, you have at least two other options.

Option #1. Change yourself. You always have lots more influence over yourself that you do over others, so the easiest way to make your life go better is to change yourself. Now, don't get all excited and think I want you to compromise your principles. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Actually, what I suggest is that you raise your standards. Let me explain.

Usually, the source of your problem isn't the other guy anyway. It's some kind of "turf war" between you. Clear up your end of the problem, and the problem's gone. You may be surprised to find that even your arch-enemies either come around or get lost when you take this approach. To learn more about this option, read our free health guide Transform Stress Into Power.

Option #2. You may need to get out of a situation you've outgrown. If so, the means will be available to you to accomplish what you need. Look around. Look hard. Stop telling yourself that what you really need for your health and well-being is impossible to obtain. It's not. If you think it is, you're reflecting a type of limited thinking that suppresses your aliveness — not the truth.

You will benefit from an objective outside opinion — from someone who doesn't have your built-in biases. Read, join a support group, take a class, or find a coach. You need input from someone to help you identify resources and ways of thinking that your limited perspective may overlook.

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