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Tips to reduce stress

Updated on July 23, 2009

Headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, skin rashes, hair loss, racing heartbeat, back pain, and muscle aches can all be stress related. Over prolonged periods, stress can lead to hypertension, immune system disorders, psychosis and even death. Mood disorder is one more manifestation of stress.

We don’t wish to scare you unnecessarily. But psychiatrists do emphasize that mood disorder is a disease. In fact, it is the NO. 3 “killer disease” in the United States.

So, don’t take mood swings for granted. Here’s some tips to reduce stress..

Live life with a sense of purpose. Waking up each morning with a good reason to get up and a sense of purpose is crucial to stress management.

Laugh out loud. Humor is important because it helps us keep things in perspective and our feet on the ground. Laughing causes chemical changes in the body that elevate the sense of well-being.

Work out your trouble. Aerobic exercise can do a lot to the body and mind. It can induce a sense of well-being and tone down the stress response. You don’t need to run a marathon. 30-minutes periods of exercise each week, or three 10 minutes walking, stair climbing or muscle stretching segments daily is enough.

Cut down on coffee. More than five cups of coffee a day may be too much. This dietary stimulant can make you feel anxious even when you have no problem. That goes for soft drinks, too. Nicotine can do the same, so reduce or give up the cigarette habit.

Breathe, breathe. Breathing exercise can release muscle tension. Tighten certain groups of muscles as you inhale and then relax them as you exhale. Or, you can close your eyes, think of a place you’d want to visit, and imagine you’re there and try to picture what it looks, smells or feels like being there. Breathe slowly and play the scene on your mind for about five minutes. Listen to music, watch television or movie.

Get your finances in order. Shaky financial situations can create great strain. A lot of people get into these situations using credit cards. So, if you avoid the temptation to throw your purchases on plastic and overspent, you will probably ward off lots of problems and help control your stress levels.

Don’t try to have it all. You may not be able to have power, wealth, great beauty, a handsome lover and success along with a great family life. Trying to get it all is probably the biggest stressful dilemma in life. Decide what’s the most important to you and focus on that.

Accept that you can’t avoid stress all the time. Natural disasters do happen. Loved ones move on. So must you.

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      Brice 

      9 years ago

      Stress in all it forms is destructive. However, its ultimate effects depends on the person and his or her lifestyle. Some individuals just seem to be more vulnerable to stress. Your suggestions for dealing with stress are positive and helpful. I wish more people chose to deal with their stress in a way that was not destructive.

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