Stress. Think about that word and picture in your mind what it means to you- driving home in heavy traffic, having a bad day at work or having to wait in a long line at the super market.

All of these scenarios are common every day stressors that most people think about when they hear the word ‘stress’. But, after hearing that word, have you ever pictured your family pet, Facebook or how you sometimes have a tendency to over eat at lunch time?

Whether you realize it or not, unseen stressors can tax your mind and body harder than the obvious ones.

When you come home after a tiring day and realize just how stressed you are, you can help take the edge off by relaxing in a warm bubble bath or reading a good book while sipping your favorite tea. These things help to relax your mind and body because you are actively aware of what has caused the stress and are actively thinking that the stress will dissolve after your relaxing activity. But, when you are exposed to stressors that you don’t conscientiously recognize, how can you begin to ease them?

The first step to identifying unseen stressors is simple. Set aside 1 week to write down everything that upsets or annoys you on a daily basis, no matter how small or insignificant you think they are. For example, if you constantly bump into the edge of the coffee table while heading through the living room, write that down. You will be amazed at how many small things there are that cause stress.

Once you have your list completed, it is time to go through it and eliminate as many of these unseen stressors as possible. Using the coffee table example again- if you constantly bump into the coffee table while heading through the living room, you may need to consider rearranging the furniture or purchasing a smaller table that is more suitable for your living space. Some things on your list may be beyond your power to control, such as noisy neighbors or a barking dog down the street. However, by eliminating all the stressors you can, you are giving your body and mind a smaller amount of stressful things to deal with.

One of the greatest unseen stressors that you would never consider to be a stressor is the beloved family pet. Whereas there are many studies that show the health benefits of owning a pet, there are also stressors that go along with pet ownership. For example, if Fluffy wakes you up every morning an hour before the alarm clock goes off to be let outside, then you are robbing your body of essential sleep. If you are so tired when you get home after a long day at work that taking Fluffy on a walk is more of a chore than an enjoyment, then you may need to consider obtaining a pet that doesn’t require as much physical attention.

Once you have eliminated as many of your listed stressors as possible, you will begin to feel a difference both physically and emotionally. There are so many stressors that are outside of your ability to control that there is no reason to not change the ones that you can control. Once your lifestyle and living environment is more in harmony and stressor free, the healthier and calmer you will feel.

Author's Bio: 

Reiki Master/ Teacher trained in the traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho style- Obtained April, 2004

Certified Holistic Stress Management Specialist- Obtained July, 2007

Career Diploma in Fitness and Nutrition- Obtained January, 2008

Currently studying to obtain a Holistic Practitioner degree

Fields of study: herbal medicine, aromatherapy, reiki, stress management, holistic health, fitness and nutrition