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The 3 Decisions You Make Every Day That Determine Your Level Of Anger, Stress & Overwhelm

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Woman overwhelmed and stressed with life

If there’s one thing that everyone collectively has in common, it is the stress and overwhelm we deal with on a daily basis. Everyone has problems, and everyone gets stressed — it’s a part of life. But how can you reprogram the way you think to help lower your stress?

You can’t magically eliminate your problems, but you can become aware of what you choose to focus on. 

There are three daily decisions that can change your perspective on life, and ultimately change how you feel. 

You might not always realize it, but you're constantly making decisions for yourself, and each decision you make impacts your day. If you choose to sleep an extra 15 minutes in the morning, for example, and you don't have time for breakfast, your lack of energy at work is a direct result of that decision. This cause-and-effect example is rudimentary in terms of basic decisions, but the concept remains true — you are responsible, through the many decisions you make for yourself, for many of the outcomes in your life.

In a TikTok video, Anthony Jay Robbins, American author, coach and speaker, explores this concept and explains that there are three decisions people unconsciously make every day that affect the level of anger, stress and overwhelm in their lives. 



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1. Whether you focus on what you have or what you don’t have

Oftentimes, people tend to fixate on what they lack in life. We all have goals of what we want and where we want to be — a successful job, financial stability, a caring partner — but it’s important to not lose sight of your growth and your blessings. 

“If you’re focused on what’s missing, that can make you grow. But if that’s what you focus on continuously, and you add one more pattern, it’ll create frustration, anger, sadness or even depression,” Robbins said. 

When you're constantly obsessing over what you're missing in life, you get stuck in a cycle of never feeling satisfied. This can hinder your life path and prevent you from growing out of toxic patterns. According to research, refocusing our attention from problems to solutions and actively practicing gratitude increases the surge of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin in the brain.

Simple daily gratitude exercises like keeping a gratitude journal, taking gratitude assessments and practicing gratitude meditation can help you shift your focus to abundance rather than lack.

Your words and thoughts have power. If you can take time in your daily routines to express thankfulness for everything you do have in life, you will begin to notice a change in the way you view your life. 

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2. Whether you focus on what you can or can’t control

It's easy to get consumed by the stressors you can't control in your life. But the truth is, if it's out of your control, why worry?

“If you go with a pattern of focusing on what you can’t control and what’s missing, the stress inside of you is always going to be there,” Robbins said.

Your mind shapes your reality, so only focusing on what you can't control will leave you feeling empty and helpless.

One step you can take to regain control of your thought patterns is to practice mindfulness — being present and self-aware in the moment. Another step you can take to relinquish the need to control every situation is to let go and trust the process. While it may be easier said than done, once you release that hold and allow yourself to trust it will work out, you will begin to experience clarity and find solutions. 

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3. Whether you focus on the past, present or future

It's natural and important to keep all three in mind. However, hyperfixating on the past and worrying about the future won't do you any good. Staying in the present moment allows you to focus on what you can be grateful for and what you do have control over. After all, you only ever experience the present moment. The past and future exist only in your mind. 

“If you’re focused on what I can control, what I already have that’s beautiful in my life, and what’s happening right now that’s beautiful or what I’m going to create, you’re not going to have that level of stress. You’ll still have problems, but you’re not going to have the anger, the sadness or the overwhelm," Robbins said. 

When you worry about all of your problems and anxieties at once, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed. Remember to zoom out of your life and take everything one step at a time. 



As cliché as it sounds, everything will always work out in time — if you let it. 

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Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers pop culture, lifestyle and spirituality topics.