Small continuous problems can lead to big trouble.
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Stress is in our lives. We must face the fact that we accept stress from our family, our boss, our business, our politics or the weather. There are other sources, but these are the primary ones.

We know we should manage stress daily. We don’t have the time, or we don’t know how. Here is the first of three quick, easy, and fast methods to remove stress – nearly instantly.

The first is to smile. You can’t have a negative and positive thought in your brain at the same time. Every thought we have creates chemicals. Positive thoughts create chemicals beneficial to the body. Negative thoughts flood the body with cortisol, dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

Adrenaline causes an increase in your heart rate, blood pressure, and energy supply. Cortisol increases blood glucose, alters your immune system, suppresses your digestive system, and a few other things.

We invite stress into our bodies. We take things personally. It is not easy for many of us to let things go. To not accept the stress from a person or situation is not our primary mode of operation. As such, stress builds up. Over time, it is not healthy.

Assume that you are late to your next appointment. You are at a traffic light that has a history of letting only four or five cars through during the green cycle. You are the fifth car in line. The traffic light turns green and nothing happens. You hear a car horn. Two cars get through the light. It is irritating.

At this point in time, smile. A negative thought will give you a frown. The smile forces the negativity from the brain and replaces it with a positive response from your facial muscles. The greater the smile, the better the reversal or suppression of the stress emotion.

This works with the small stresses in our lives as well as the major ones. A death in the family can create long-term residual stress. I have found that when I entertain a thought about a deceased loved one, instead of allowing that flood of emotion to overtake my body, I smile.

Over time, I replace the immediate negative stress of the thought with an abated or reduced level of emotion. It works, but it takes many attempts to be effective. When your boss, coworker, spouse, child or favorite sports team upsets you, smile!

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