Ways to Stop Stress Now
By Sally Hammond
said, "The only difference between a diamond and a lump of
coal is that the diamond had more pressure put on it." If that
were the case, we should all be shining brightly by now.
can motivate us to get things done that's the upside. The downside
can be really ugly. Stress, according to a recent study published
in the New England Journal of Medicine, can sometimes lead to physical
problems, such as high blood pressure, and accelerate some effects
of aging. And we all know stress may contribute to emotional upheaval
irritability, anger, even depression.
Here are seven
easy strategies one for each day of the week to help you meet stress
head-on and conquer it:
Yes! It's that simple. Breathe deeply, but don't hyperventilate.
Inhale as though you were sniffing a delightful scent. Then stre-e-e-tch
your arms high over your head as you slowly and completely exhale.
- Set boundaries.
Just like the stressed-out mom who sat in the playpen to keep
away from the children, you can erect some barriers. Decide what
you will do and when. Better still, decide what you won't do and
dare to say "no." Try to avoid anything, and anyone,
who wastes your time.
- Clarify your
goals. Decide exactly what needs to be done, and plan a smart
way of accomplishing each task. Oh, and give yourself a big tick
on the calendar every time you achieve even one of your goals,
no matter how small.
- Put yourself
first. That's right! If you aren't functioning at your peak, your
work and your relationships will suffer. Find time for yourself,
and try to do at least one relaxing thing each day: Take a bubble
bath, or read a chapter of a favorite book.
- Give yourself
a break. It's okay to goof off, cancel a lunch date, or miss a
deadline now and then. In six months or 10 years, who will remember?
- Get spiritual.
Get in touch with your spiritual values, and align your plans
and activities with them. For instance, read an inspiring book,
then figure out how to incorporate what you learned into your
- Take five.
Right now stop what you are doing to cherish the moment. Savor
whatever you're drinking or eating. Or go outside and smell the
air, the flowers and the trees. Feel the wind, sunshine or rain
on your face. Listen for tiny sounds. Take a moment every day
to marvel at the wonders all around you.