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10 Tips To Reduce Stress

1. Create a realistic plan for perceived stressful events ahead of time. Being prepared can take the edge off of stressful situations. For example, if you are doing some public speaking, either prepare an outline of your speech or write out your speech word for word. If you are traveling, print your itinerary ahead of time and leave plenty of time for rush-hour traffic.
2. Get plenty of rest. Getting enough sleep will allow you to be refreshed and focused on the situation at hand. Eight hours of sleep is optimal. If you have difficulty falling asleep, just count your breaths. This will calm your mind and you will be sleeping in no time.
3. Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to burn off stress related hormones in the body. Exercise will also increase your energy and endurance, which will help you to handle physical stress more easily.
4. Participate in some mindful activity like Qigong, meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi or prayer. Mindful activities allow your mind to take a break from the mental chatter and stress. They will help you to focus your mind, which will allow you to handle stressful situations easier.
5. Eat healthy well balanced meals daily. Never skip a meal. Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar. It is difficult to deal with normal situations, let along stressful situations when your blood sugar is low. Low blood sugar can make you confused, moody and weak. Eating three regular healthy meals a day with some snacks in between is best.
6. Cut down or eliminate all refined foods and beverages. Stay with natural and whole foods with minimal processing. Foods that are processed typically have all of the nutrients stripped away. Then the manufactures add salt and fat to make them taste better. Don't fall for this gimmick.
7. Engage in laughter as much as possible. Don't take life too seriously. Take a break and do something fun now and then. Watch a comedy with family and friends. Laughter activates healing and feel-good hormones in the body. These counteract the effects of stress.
8. Spend time with loved ones. Doing things with loved ones always makes you feel connected and loved. Sharing little moments as well as big planned events. Let them know you care. This will reduce the effects of stress.
9. Breath deeply into the abdomen. Abdominal breathing relaxes and energizes the body. It also massages the internal organs. Do this routinely to relax and prevent the effects of stress from building up in the body and mind.
10. Don't take on too many responsibilities. If you feel overwhelmed, say no. You must take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Learn to say no if you are already extended. Speaking your truth will keep you from running yourself into the ground. True loved ones and friends will respect you even more for being honest.
11. Here's a bonus tip. In the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer, “Have a mind that is open to everything and attached no where.” Let go of all expectations and judgments and just live in the moment. If your mind doesn't expect it to be stressful, then it won't be. Normal stress is typically a product of an overactive imagination based on fear. Let go and let God, as the saying goes.

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