With the rapid pace of modern life, stress is a given. Unless you've reached nirvana and left the cares of the world behind, you're bound to get tense from time to time. Some things are universal stressors: ill health, financial problems, and traffic jams when you're already late. However, what bothers a Gemini (everyone else is so slow!) is quite different from what gets to a Virgo who's trying to fix everything, or a Cancer who's struggling to feel safe. What stresses you out the most, and what can you do about it?
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Aries (March 21 - April 19)
You count on your dynamic Ram energy to get you through the day, and feel vulnerable when it runs out. Especially when you're down or ill, you feel overwhelmed and stress about all the tasks you can't accomplish. You're used to playing Superman or Superwoman, and forget to take time off and be a lazy slug. Be religious about setting aside at least one full day a week to play or do nothing. Life will continue without you!
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
More than anything else, Taurus, you want to be seen as competent. That's why you take your time to do things right. When a difficult task looms, you fear you won't have enough time to do it properly and might mess it up. As a peacemaker, you also stress when you've hurt someone's feelings or can't resolve a dispute. Fall back on your infallible instincts and trust that your true worth and honesty will ultimately prevail.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
You don't suffer fools, Gemini. When the car in front of you pulls a bone-headed move in traffic, your stress-o-meter hits the roof. And, little things get to you -- like words being mispronounced or misspelled. You're apt to blow a gasket dealing with slow or stubborn people, where you feel like you're talking to a wall. You need regular activities that calm your overactive mind, like yoga or throwing pots in a ceramics class.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Feeling unsafe is a sure ticket to stress for you. The Crab puts up a front that makes you seem tougher than you really are, so others don't realize how deeply you're affected by criticism, angry outbursts or being ignored. You often swallow your feelings -- it's vital to let people know what you need instead of retreating into your shell and nursing a stress-related ulcer. Breathe into your belly: your true security lies there.
Leo (July 23 - August 22)
Any situation where you're not in control and don't know what to do is your stress trigger, Leo. A computer breakdown can send you from zero to freak-out in no time flat. Not being able to find something you've lost could also fry your circuits. Even falling in love can fill you with raging hormones and vulnerabilities that turn your kingly or queenly self into an insecure child. Let go and accept what is: you'll be much happier.
Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
You think too much, Virgo -- which accounts for your greatest stress. Just the thought of attempting something new and unfamiliar can tie you in knots, but once you're actually doing it, you're fine. Making lists will help. You also stress when someone you love is struggling or in pain. Rather than trying to fix things for others, utilize your powerful visualization skills to imagine a positive outcome -- then trust that all is well.
Libra (September 23 - October 22)
Not being treated fairly is very stressful for you, Libra. You'll spend hours weighing the pros and cons of confronting someone -- so much so, you can even make yourself sick! Rather than seething in silence or overreacting defensively, respond calmly in the moment. Keep it short and sweet and curb the long-winded speeches or accusations. You'll get better results once people know where you stand. An uncluttered environment will also keep you serene.
Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)
Others don't realize how sensitive you are, Scorpio, because you hide it well. Yours is a quiet strength -- so loud yelling and noise in general can quickly stress you out. You also feel tense and nervous when you don't get enough privacy. Deadlines are another source of stress for you: you'd rather take your time than rush to finish things. Be sure people know your needs and boundaries so you can negotiate what works for all.
Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)
You're all about movement, Sagittarius, so sitting in traffic is your own personal hell. You're also not big on formal events or business meetings where you have to act properly and "behave" according to corporate culture. Any situation that reins you in, like a partner pressuring you for a commitment or a boss demanding you punch in at a time clock, can trigger stress. Make sure you get enough time outdoors to feed your restless spirit so you won't feel so constrained.
Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
You demand a lot from yourself, Capricorn. And, you feel pressured when you fail to live up to your high expectations. You can end up going over the "what ifs" or "if onlys" of life 'til you're all lathered up, asking questions that can't be answered or longing for what you can't have. The remedy is to live in the moment, the only place where joy can be found. And, be sure there's plenty of time to relax in your hectic day.
Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
Though "live and let live" is your motto, Aquarius, you really like to have your way. You get frustrated when you can't justify doing what you want without a good reason. Nor can you abide people who try to bend your will to theirs. Already high-strung, you become stressed by the pressures of time, and often feel there's not enough of it. Yet ironically, by slowing down you'll actually get more done and feel more relaxed.
Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
You're a very private person, Pisces, so public speaking or other situations in which you feel exposed can be stressful. Subtlety is your strong suit; you feel unnerved by loud music and crass people. And, you get nervous or even sick because you don't know how to shield yourself from invasions. Adopt the attitude "This too shall pass," and be sure you're getting plenty of time alone to process your emotions and clear your slate.