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Failing to Plan Can Increase Stress

Plan, prioritize, believe

(HealthDay) -- Are things in your life going exactly as planned?

That's a trick question, according to an article from the Detroit Free Press. The problem is that most people don't plan at all. As a result, they react to life's events rather than respond proactively when something happens. That can increase stress and have a negative effect on your health.

The alternative is to plan, analyze your priorities, set goals and manage your time. Sound like a lot of work? Here are some tips to help you get started.

First, decide where it is you want to go, otherwise known as "planning backwards." If you don't know where you want to go, you can't plan how to get there. Then, break down your plan into chunks of time. Think years, months, weeks, days, today, the article says.

Don't expect the worst, but plan for it anyway. What will you do if you get knocked off track? What are your contingency plans? And, once you come up with a plan, revisit it. Once a year, take a day and think about your plans and goals. Every month, take at least two hours to think about what you are doing. Every week, take at least an hour to review your plans.

Finally, believe. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can adapt to changes. Believe that life is good.

Reducing stress in your life can help you stay on track. To find out more about how to relieve stress, you can read this information from About.com, or this from The Canadian Journal of Continuing Medical Education.

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