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Six ways to manage stress
by jackie oneal
12/31/06
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6 Ways to Deal with the Stress in Every day situations:

We all experience it at one time or another; the enemy of our health: stress. The number one cause of most health problems today,yet we can overcome its effects, if we focus on some strategies. Letís explore 6 ways to deal with the stress in your life in a healthy and effective manner.

* Talk about the problems you are experiencing with friends, loved ones or a professional. Keeping everything bottled up will only create more problems later on. Join a support group with people experiencing similar problems.
* Exercise often. Go to the park and walk for 20-30 minutes either every day or every other day. Exercise relieves tension and produces a calming effect. Perhaps joining a gym with a friend would be more to your liking.
* Yoga exercises. Sit in a quiet room alone and begin breathing exercises. Choose a mantra which will help you to stay focused.
* Music does calm the savage beast. Listen to some classical or instrumental music. Ocean or nature sounds are a perfect way to release stress.
* Healthy meals can become an important factor in limiting your stress. Ensure you eat three meals a day, and make an effort to avoid too much caffeine and sugar.
* Sleep deprivation can cause stress. Go to bed early. Seven to eight hours sleep can make all the difference.

Coping with stress can be challenging. Every day you seem to be pulled in every direction, trying to accommodate others. The first priority is to take care of you. You are the thread which holds your family together. If you are stressed, you wonít be much good to anyone.

Give yourself a break every now and then. Buy a new outfit; go to a movie; do something youíve always wanted to do. Your family can take care of themselves for one day. Alone time is just as important to you as it is for everyone else. Think of yourself as a gas tank; eventually you will run out of fuel. Take time out each day for quiet reflection. Pray in silence. Read Scripture or spiritual books and get inspired. Breathe deeply.

Laughter is a wonderful release. Youíve probably noticed those times when youíve laughed so hard, you cried. This is probably due to the fact you havenít laughed in a while, and the tension released through laughter is the best cure-all method for dealing with stress-related issues.

Avoid stressful situations whenever possible. If you are a working mom, itís probably not the job but the people who are causing you the most stress. Take everything in stride.
If you canít finish a task, donít worry about it. If dinner doesnít turn out as you expected, improvise or order out. Don't get addicted to perfection, it's impossible to please everyone including ourselves. We are pilgrims in this world, and remember nothing on earth is permanent, and certainly not perfect!

Life is too short; and stress can reduce it further. Nothing is more important than your health or state of mind. Eleanor Roosevelt wisely said, ďNo one can make you a victim without your consent.Ē She was right; it is, after all, up to you.

Jackie O'Neal
http://www.nbbta.org/radio


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