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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

April 21, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--It surrounds us all.  At home, driving, work, in stores, school, the news, everywhere you go it’s there. It’s this thing called “stress.”  Like water, it find its way into every level and area in our life. Unfortunately it’s very unhealthy reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. It’s been reported to cause heart disease, ulcers, headaches, obesity, depression, anxiety, and accelerates aging to name a few. "It can exacerbate just about any health condition you can think of."

Don’t despair, you may be surprised by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate! First, learn how to say “no.”  Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.  Avoid people who stress you out.  If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship. If traffic gets you uptight, give yourself more time. 

If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. Be open minded and compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress.  You can practice breathing, yoga or other relaxation techniques.

The next time you feel stressed, here are a few stress relief tips you can try. Breathe deeply. Just a few minutes of deep breathing can calm you and tame the physiologic stress response. You can calm yourself by bringing yourself back to the present moment. Keep your problems in perspective. It might seem Pollyannaish, but the next time you're feeling stressed out, think about the things for which you're grateful.

We get stressed when we focus so much on a specific problem that we lose perspective. Visit:

I wish I could cover all your stressors and provide remedies, but I’m actually better at putting fires out.  So for additional stress reduction information visit: or contact a licensed qualified therapist.

Remember, relax… life is short -  Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.