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Stress is one of the most common issues that bind everyone in this world, no matter their age, gender, race or background. Everybody is prone to stress and, however which way we try to avoid it, we are likely to experience some form of stress at one point in our lives, especially as we get older and have more concerns to face.

A lot of strategies and tools have come up to help us combat stress. Thinking positively is one. However, none of these strategies would really work to their fullest extent without spiritual assistance. That said, practical and spiritual solutions to stress management are also important to keeping us grounded.

Below are 7 spiritual solutions to practical stress management. While not all have worked for everyone who tried it, you will find that majority of them are helpful in your quest to reduce the stressors in your life. Each person's needs are unique. Therefore, there is no single way to combat stress.

- Do not hold grudges

Feeling hatred for somebody or something is similar to drinking a bottle of slow-killing poison. When we shut someone out of our lives, we are only making the process of coping and self-development difficult for ourselves.

While this does not mean that we should accept and just take in all the bad that others have done, it simply entails that we should learn to be forgiving in our hearts. It is up to us to release all the negative energy within, because it's the only way we can successfully move forward with genuine smiles on our faces.

- Stop and breathe

In this fast-paced world, we often forget that we do need to take a breather, sometimes. Stopping to appreciate what we have at present and how far we have come does not mean we are wasting time. Relax. Even a 5 minute break will already do the trick. In fact, simply stopping what we are doing for at least 30 seconds and taking the time to look around and bask in the environment already comes with big emotional and psychological rewards.

- Manage your reactions

If people are trying to bring you down, be on the alert mode without being defensive. Just be aware of what other people are saying or doing that are against you and take the time to come up with a neutral reply.

A response like 'I have no comment on that issue' is good. This immediately sends the message that you don't want to further aggravate the situation by soliciting a reaction. Negative people want to drag you along with their depressions and failures. Steer clear of these by keeping a straight face and controlling your responses. As the saying goes, nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.

- Understand, not suppress negative thoughts

Negative thoughts are inevitable. Thus, we can never really escape from them. The only way we can effectively manage negativity is to understand where its coming from and why it is there. From this, we will be able to rationalize why they are so and be able to handle them without breaking down.

- Refuse to give in to anger and stress

We may not realize it, but simply saying 'no' to our stressors is a very powerful move. It seems really obvious, right? Unfortunately, most of us forget the best remedies to major issues are the one that are actually the most simple.

- Tell yourself that there are a lot better things you need to focus your energies on

Instead of dwelling on the negative and listen to other people who are trying to bring you down, tell yourself "I've got better things to think of". You will feel better engaged in your own goals once you rid yourself of unnecessary worries.

- Avoid the negative

For instance, try not to hang out too much with a colleague who does nothing but complain about his pay all day. Where you position yourself has a lot of influence on how you feel. Therefore, steer clear of negative energy and always seek to involve yourself in positive and happy atmospheres.

Sometimes, you will find yourself unable to get out of negative environments. When this happens, try to work with yourself. If you have peace in your heart, anything external will be nothing compared to your inner will and strength.

To conclude, the best way to spiritually manage stress is to think positive. If you have a positive self-image and an equally positive view of the things around you, you will be fine. Don't listen to what other people are saying about how bad circumstances are for them. If something negative happens to you, the first thing you should do is try to make light of the situation and find out its brighter side. Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.

Christine P. Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of stress management. Her website provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about self improvement. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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