Stress seems to be affecting everyone lately, more so than ever. Knowing what causes stress in the first place is the first step to reducing the amount of stress in your life. Here are some tips to combat stress and feel happier.

So what is the real cause of stress - it isn't what you think it is.

Most people are lead to believe that outside sources are the real cause of the stress in their lives. Their workplace, their spouse, their finances, or even their neighbors. We like to think that if our job was easier, our spouse wouldn't nag so much, our children would do their homework - THEN our lives would be stress free.

Luckily, these outward situations and circumstances are NOT the cause of our stress.

Yes, luckily. If the real cause of our stress what created by our surrounding environment it would mean that we had no control over the stress in our lives and we would be doomed to live with stress until things changed around us.

Luckily for us, we do have control over our stress and we can reduce, and even eliminate, our stress levels by understanding that we are the cause of our own stress.

Yes, we are.

The title of this article is "The Real Cause Of Stress - It Isn't What You Think" - when actually it IS what you think that causes stress.

Stress is a result of how we perceive the situations and circumstances around us, not the circumstances themselves. And it is how we perceive these situations and circumstances that will reduce our stress.

When we are lying awake at night because we are worried and stressed about finances - what is the real cause of the stress? Not the finances themselves but our minds and our thoughts about our finances.

We spend our time creating worse possible scenarios in our minds, think the worst, perceive doom and gloom, which only causes us to feel stressed.

Stress is actually just an emotion, it isn't a real thing you can hold or throw or give away. And we have the ability to change our emotions - including the feeling of stress.

The next time time you find yourself feeling stressed, stop and focus on what you were thinking about that caused you to feel stressed.

Then, mentally step back from the thoughts and decide to find a new way of looking at the situation you feel bad about. You could try to create alternate endings that are positive, or let your imagination create silly outcomes, or simply decide that you are will to be perfectly fine with whatever happens.

This simply act of changing how you think about something will provide almost instant relief and dramatically reduce your stress level.

So the next time you are worried about your finances, realize that it is only your thoughts that are focused on not having enough, and find a way to change how your see the situation. Maybe a bonus check will arrive, maybe you will win the lottery, maybe you will receive a reward for finding a lost dog. Who knows what can happen, so play with your thoughts until you find one that allows you to feel better.

Practice 'thinking on purpose' and not only will your stress level reduce, you will begin to feel happier, and the situations and circumstances around you will begin to change and improve all on their own.

Author's Bio: 

Karen Walker is a mindset and money coach, speaker, author, and trainer, who teaches attraction business & marketing strategies to conscious entrepreneurs who want to make 6-7 figures while working less & having fun! For free tips and resources on transforming your business, visit: Activate Abundance