Photo courtesy of DiscoveryHealth.com.

In a world that now has a pill for just about everything that you can think of, we pay surprisingly little attention to the effects of stress on the body. An overwhelming number of Americans suffer from anxiety and stress-related disorders, the presence of which being a contributing factor to the increasing rates of heart disease as well.

Of course, there is a multi-billion dollar market out there when it comes to helping people feel a little more at ease, whether it comes in the form of pills, alcohol, narcotics, massage, acupuncture, yoga, day spas, television or sex. Hell, the country is more than a few steps along the road to the complete nationwide legalization of marijuana, a drug that is prized for its ability to put people at ease.

The most valuable thing to do, however, is to look at your lifestyle, especially when it comes down to anxiety. Chances are, you’re guilty of one of these these sneaky stressors:

1. Comparing yourself to others.
2. Mismanaging your resources (money, time, relationships).
3. Not exercising (I know, but who has time?)

I limit this list to three because if you’re anything like me, you love to compare yourself to a list and find ways to pick your life apart. Stop it. Stop it now. These three things are the greatest source of unhappiness in life.

You are you and the sooner you stop hoping that you’ll wake up and be someone else, the happier you’ll be. Yes, you’re fucked up and lazy and have ass pimples. Someone will do you anyway.

While everything great in life comes from expanding yourself beyond your comfort zone, much of unhappiness comes from that as well. If your experiences are for the sake of looking good or avoiding looking bad, you will be extremely stressed and extremely unhappy.

And maintaining your physical well-being is crucial to your happiness. Self-improvement (not only physical) is a reminder that you believe in your potential enough to invest in it and make yourself a priority. The saying goes, “if Mama’s not happy, no one’s happy.” You can’t bless others with what you don’t have yourself.

Do one of these things make sense in your life? If not, what is the greatest stressor in your life, and how do you want to alleviate it?