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Under stress, people can say and do things they would otherwise not. Sometimes even things they regret. The issue is not that they have no filter or are uncaring, but rather that they’ve reached an unhealthy capacity (emotional limit) due to stress. The energy needed to “tame” their emotions, and not react to things that may frustrate or upset them, is at a low.

Like a car low on gas, it’s important to refuel in order to find the energy you need to keep going in a positive direction emotionally. Nobody likes “blowing up” or “flipping out” on the people they love, it’s embarrassing and hurts our relationships. So what can you do if you find yourself in such a place?

Breathe — When you find yourself at capacity, find a calm, quiet place for a few minutes and practice deep breathing. It will help you relax and does wonders for stress tension.

Pray, meditate, qigong or yoga - Take a moment to talk to God and release the burden of whatever weight you are carrying to Him. Express gratitude for the relationships in your life. If you are not religious, take five minutes to be silent, and meditate on a few things you are grateful for. Gratitude does wonders for the heart.

Exercise - Sometimes you just need to work it out. Start an exercise routine so your body can release endorphins, your brain's "feel-good” neurotransmitters. These endorphins are also known as the body’s natural pain killers. If you feel better physically, you will be able to handle stress better when it sneaks up on you.

Sleep — If you find you are simply cranky and cloudy, chances are you may be sleep deprived. Try going to bed at an earlier time, and seek to get at least eight hours of sleep. The more rested your body feels, the more capacity you’ll have when it comes to managing the stress sneaking up on you.

Do Something Fun — Laughter and fun are essential ingredients to growing healthy relationships. Shared activities have a way of creating the right kind of atmosphere for both.

Animals - are the greatest de-stressors. Spending time and playing with animals is one of the best ways to build our happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine. I call my cat my stress relief. As soon as I think of her, nothing else matters. I love dogs too but they are way too energetic for me. I personally find that animals actually have a way to build my vitamin d levels too but I have not got to the bottom of how. But I will.

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