Stress Busters – Practical  Ways  to Reduce Stress

stressExercise  Regularly. Exercise  aerobically  for  at  least  15  – 20  minutes  per  day.  This  is  probably  one  of  the  most   effective  ways  to  reduce  tension.

Eat  Well! Avoid  excessive  caffeine  or  other  stimulants  as  they  may  cause  anxiety.  Fresh  fruits  and  vegetables   are  often  recommended  to  reduce  stress.    Stressful  foods  can  include:  processed  foods,  artificial  sweeteners,   carbonated  drinks,  chocolate,  eggs,  fried  foods,  junk  foods,  pork,  red  meat,  sugar,  white  flour  products,  chips   and  similar  snacks,  foods  containing  preservatives  or  heavy  spices.

Get  Adequate  Sleep. Most  people  need  7-­‐9  hours  per  night.  Sleep  not  only  rests  your  body,  it  also  gives  your   brain  the  time  to  organize  the  material  you’ve  been  studying.

Laugh. Don’t  take  things  so  seriously.  When  we  laugh/smile,  blood  flow  to  the  brain  is  increased  and   endorphins  are  released.  In  turn,  the  level  of  stress  hormones  drops.  Studies  show  that  laughter  not  only   relieves  tension,  but  actually  improves  immune  function.

Be  Decisive. Indecision  prevents  you  from  taking  appropriate  actions,  thus,  intensifying  stress.

Be  Assertive. Openly  communicate  your  thoughts,  feelings,  etc.  with  others  even  when  there  are  differences.   Don’t  be  aggressive,  though.

Encourage  Yourself. If  you  are  inclined  to blame  yourself  for  problems  (even  when  they’re  not  your  fault),  you   may  be  guilty  of  negative  self-­‐talk,  which  is  a  great  stress  maker.  Accept  mishaps  as  routine  and  normal   occurrences  in  life  and  you’ll  have  a  higher  self-­‐ esteem  and  a  much  lower  stress  level.  Use  positive  self-­‐talk.

Slow  Down  and  Relax. Slow  down.  Don’t  rush.  Take  a  walk.  Getting  “away”  will  relax  you  and  allow  you  to  think   more  logically  when  you  return.

Reward  Yourself. When  you  accomplish  a  task,  even  a  small  one,  reward  yourself.  Surf  the  internet,  browse  a   book store,  go  to  a  movie.  Those  who  do  this  experience  a  boost  in  the  disease-­‐fighting  quality  of  their  immune   systems  for  several  days.

Nurture  Your  Spirituality. Religious  or  spiritual  beliefs  give  us  a  context  larger  than  ourselves,  which  can  put   things  into  perspective  when  we  are  stressed.

Don’t  Be  Afraid  to  Ask  For  Help. Seek  counselling/health  care  if:    you  suddenly  feel  panicked,  you  are  unable  to   work  because  of  anxiety,  self-­‐treatment  has  failed,  or  cause  of  anxiety  is  unknown.

Establish a  Routine. By  establishing  a  daily  routine,  you  can  save  time  and  prevent  stress. With  predictability,   you  can  be  assured  that  even  with  everyday  mishaps,  some  things  remain  constant.

Create  Lists. Have  a  daily  written  list  of  what  you  expect  to  accomplish  that  day.  Prioritize. It  will  help  you  think   more  realistically  about  your  schedule  and  time.  Once  you  cross  off  an  item  from  your  “TO-­‐DO”  list,  it  relieves   stress  by  removing  one  concern  from  your  mind.

Don’t  Procrastinate. It  lessens  productivity  and  quality,  compounds  stress,  and  may  cause  the  stressful  by-­‐ products  of  guilt,  anger  and  low  self-­‐esteem.  Remember:  the  worse  your  stress  gets,  the  greater  the  tendency  to   procrastinate!

Adapted  from:  Stress:  63  Ways  to  Relieve  Tension  and  Stay  Healthy,  People’s  Medical  Society,  1996.  11  Ways  You  can   Beat  Stress,  by  Christina  Frank.

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