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Ways to Relieve Stress

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Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor.. Has 24 years experience.

tip: # 1

find your rhythm each day.some days you're out of sync with yourself. for example your brain is lagging behind your body, so you become clumsy, clutzy, blundering into things before you've had a chance to think about them. sometimes it's the opposite: you're way ahead mentally but you just can't rally yourself to the task physically. or maybe your mood is way out of whack with that of the group or situation you're dealing with. let it go no further. stop. call a timeout with yourself. get a fix on where you're amiss. then consciously make adjustments. slow down or speed up to get your body in sync with your mind. alter your temperament so it falls into the orbit of the

prevailing mood. this may take an initial thrust of effort, but it can put you on the right track for the rest of the day.

tip # 2

empathize. develop the habit of putting yourself in another person's situation. no, don't just picture it, feel it. use a parallel situation in your own life, like actors do, to conjure up the poignancy of emotion another person might be experiencing. when you do this, you'll see more clearly why people act the way they do. and even if you don't agree with those actions, you'll understand them a lot better. you'll ease some of the tension and indignation you may be feeling, and be more willing to lend help rather than just disapprove. attitudes and relationships can improve dramatically when you

attempt to see things from another's point of view.

tip #3

have a night out with the guys...or girls. spending free time with the family understandably is a top priority. but every now and then it's smart stress

management to indulge in a boys night out or a girls night out. you relax and unwind in different ways when you socialize with members of the same sex. you can talk more openly than you do in mixed company. you can loosen up, laugh and be less formal. there are numerous excuses for getting together: sports, card games, book discussions, eating out...or for no other reason than to enjoy each other's company. and don't wait for it to happen. be the instigator. today, with email, it's really easy to set these things up. both you and your partner should encourage each other to do this on a regular basis. you need it.

tip #4

don't take sides when it doesn't concern you. stay neutral, if you can, in office politics, family squabbles and interpersonal bickering. it'll save you a

world of unnecessary aggravation and trouble. people try to recruit allies for even their most petty disputes, and will eagerly drag you into the fray to help fight their battles. don't let them. rise above it. listen attentively and objectively to both sides, offer your suggestions, but stay on the sidelines. you've got your own issues to worry about, without having to take on everyone else's.

tip #5

read ingredient and nutrition labels. just because it's a brand name, comes in glitzy packaging, and people gush over it in commercials doesn't make it wholesome or nutritious. thankfully, laws require companies to come clean and list ingredients and nutrition information on their products. don't ignore it. it's far more revealing than their advertising. find out how much sugar they're laying on you and your family. (the amounts contained in many foods and beverages will floor you.) note the number of calories -- and grams of protein, fat and carbohydrates -- you're consuming. and if you have to be a chemistry

major to understand a label, maybe you should pass on it altogether. get serious about what you're putting into your body.

tip #6

encourage work-related stress management.if you employ or supervise people, you may think that their working constantly under stress means you're getting your money's worth. but oh how shortsighted that is! chronic work-related stress leads to absenteeism, illness, higher health insurance premiums, job dissatisfaction, mistakes, accidents, tense relationships, and high turnover. people work better, longer, happier, and more productively when allowed to work in a less stressful environment. is it any wonder that some of the most successful companies are those that offer stress reduction programs, exercise classes, workout facilities, company outings, and other morale-boosting perks? get smart. promote a stress-free workplace. it's good

business.

tip #7

be aware of your surroundings. if your mind is miles away from where you are and what you're doing at the moment, -- whether driving, shopping or just being out and about -- your detachment can be a risk to you. these are the times when wallets are left on store counters, highway exits are missed, appointments are forgotten, and people become targets for pickpockets...or worse. having too much on your plate, and your mind, divides your attention and makes you prone to mishaps and mistakes -- which will leave you even more unhinged. learn to push your distractions aside and concentrate on giving each activity in its turn the presence of mind it demands.

tip #8

beware of one-sided relationships. whether a friend or lover, when it's all give and no take, one person gets saddled with all the responsibilities, all the maintenance of the relationship. if that's you, it means you're carrying the burden for both of you. and not only is it unfair, it's unduly stressful. examine your relationships closely, as you may not even be aware it's happening. but if you detect a pattern where you are always the one being leaned on, making the plans, picking up the tab, or stepping in to help the other -- with

little or no giveback or gratitude -- a change is in order. maybe it's confronting the issue directly, seeking counseling or severing ties altogether. it's one thing to help someone, quite another to be used insensitively.

tip #9

don't let rushing be your default response. we're so often pressured and hurried, rushing has become a way of life. even when there's no need for it!

always operating in crisis mode puts tremendous stress on your nerves and immune system -- creating excess levels of harmful stress hormones and free radicals that contribute to disease and aging. break this destructive habit. when there's no reason to rush, don't. condition yourself to do things in a sure, composed manner. you'll be more efficient, make fewer mistakes, stay a lot healthier, and live longer.

tip #10

set aside time for each other. are you too busy to be a husband? wife? lover? relationships often get shortchanged in the hubbub of daily life. in fact, they're usually first to get tossed aside, often to make room for the most insignificant things. that's taking each other too much for granted. you risk letting your intimacy fade and your relationship wither. keep both well nourished. set aside a chunk of time each week to spend together, just the two of you. make it inviolable, mandatory, and go out and have a good time.

strong relationships stay strong by building in essential time for each other. why shortchange yourself?

tip #11

enjoy the stress-reducing effects of mind travel. physically removing yourself from a stressful environment with a night out, weekend away or a vacation itself is the ideal escape. but when that isn't possible, indulge in a stress-releasing mind trip. close your eyes and imagine someplace you'd truly love to be: beach, mountains, woods, resort, island...any visualized setting that calms you down. try not to force it or focus too hard, but take a more relaxed daydream approach, letting the details fill themselves in. as your stress eases, you'll see how effective the power of suggestion can be. when your mind travels, there are no budget restrictions, reservations to make, passports required, or tickets to purchase. go where you want, whenever you want and do what you wish. it works.

tip #12

try to be positive for an entire day. for one day, experience what it would be like to banish negativity from your entire life. every time bad feelings, lack of confidence and discouragement start to creep in, quash them with positive thoughts and actions. rather than bemoan your fate, turn mishaps into opportunities, mistakes into learning experiences. there's a positive aspect to every situation, and it's up to you to find it. and the way you react will have a major impact on making things better or worse. today -- all day -- replace

negative thoughts and attitudes with confidence and optimism. why make yourself crazy?

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tip # 13

don't let others leave you in limbo.

there are people you know who keep changing plans on you. or whose inability to decide on something is holding you up. or who aren't giving you the whole story. and it's usually for their own benefit, with little regard for yours. it's nice to be accommodating. to a point. but when another's vacillating is hanging you up, stressing you out...it's time to get firm. have no qualms about saying "i've got to move on this." "i need an answer." or "i have to know, one way or the other." it will jolt them into an awareness that you have needs, too. and help them get off the dime. don't be a patsy for

another's indecision. why make yourself crazy?

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