Are you feeling pummeled by some sort of stress every which way you turn? Perhaps your significant other recently lost his or her job. Maybe you are the primary caretaker of an elderly parent. Possibly your car refuses to start when you need to leave for an important appointment. Regardless of the specific situation, a natural reaction to stress overload is to allow bad habits to creep into your day.

Mistake #1 - Skipping Your Workout

When you experience stress, your body releases chemical hormones to prepare you for a flight-or-fight response. Exercising during stressful times burns off those chemicals, removing them out of your bloodstream. Simultaneously, exercise causes your body to release endorphins, our body’s natural mood-elevating chemicals.

When you feel too overburdened to exercise, that’s a clear signal that physical activity is essential to your well being. If you have a normal exercise routine, do not vary from it in times of stress. If you have not yet established a schedule, do not procrastinate even one day longer! You will benefit now from even small chunks of activity. Call a neighbor and go for a walk around the block. Get out of your office cubicle and go up and down some stairs. Reacquaint yourself with your treadmill or gym.

Mistake #2 - Seeing the Glass Half Empty

Create a daily practice where you list things you are grateful for. On a great day, the list flows easily. Finding things after a stressful, horrid day can be much more challenging. I admit to occasionally writing that I'm grateful that a bad day has finally ended. Persevere with your list even if you do not feel like doing it; the result can be a much improved perspective or outlook. Use a special blank book devoted to your daily list. Rereading it when you feel the lack in your life can remind you of how abundant your life really is.

Mistake #3 - Believing You Will Lose When You Snooze

A midday rest actually provides a very positive impact on your body, especially when you are feeling stressed. A nap triggers your body to produce hormones that balance the stress-generated cortisol your body produced. Since stress often causes sleep issues, even a 30-minute nap helps counter the effects of sleep loss. Find a quiet place to rest in the afternoon rather than reaching for a cup of coffee and feel more alert with a sharper mind.

Author's Bio: 

Do you want to learn easy ways to reduce the stress in your life and reduce the impact of stress on your body? I'd like to invite you to get Susan's FREE report "Manage Stress Now - 25 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Stress" at

By Susan J Parker, who helps her clients eliminate the root causes of stress and pain.