We are always under some form of stress so the secret is to find the right balance. Too little stress leads to boredom and too much stress leads to health problems.
A wake up call for me came when I suffered a heart attack two years ago. Although I had a healthy diet and was doing the right things, it snuck up on me. As I lay in the ICU recovering, I realized I had overcommitted and was trying to do too many things, leading to stress. I made the decision to pull back to a reasonable number of activities..
It’s important to practice letting go and taking a break. One of the big de-stress activities for me is exercise. I’m a lot less stressed if I can get out for a workout, followed by a hot shower. This resets my mental engine by giving me a break to enjoy the outdoors before I have to resume dealing with everyday problems.
Other important elements of dealing with stress for me include being around people I care about, laughing and focusing on the positive aspects of life.
The bottom line: stress is always there. I just need to use it as a positive force without letting it control me. I have to remember to take a deep breath, look at the scenery, then get back to the task at hand.