5 Practical Tips to Reduce Stress

photo-2Stress is the body’s response to any stimulus that taxes our personal resources. It can appear, suddenly and unannounced, through a variety of symptoms:

  • Physiologically as headaches or an upset stomach
  • Emotionally by feeling frustrated or overwhelmed
  • Cognitively from memory loss or trouble concentrating
  • Behaviorally with changes in eating or sleep patterns

State of mind affects our wellbeing, and we’re all searching for some serenity in this frenetic world. Vacations ease tension, but they’re just too few and far between. So why not take a head trip as your relaxation destination:

Stay in the moment. Don’t beat yourself up for mistakes you’ve made. You’re human and no one is perfect. Worrying about the past or being afraid of the future keeps you stuck. Try something different-you deserve a second chance.

Take control of what’s within your reach. Have the wisdom to know the difference between what you can manage and what you cannot. And ask for help when you need it because you really don’t have to do it all alone.

Free yourself from negative feelings. Although you can’t necessarily change what happens to you, you can control how you handle it. Face uncertainty with an open mind and reframe negative feelings into neutral or, better even, positive ones.

Be grateful for what you have. And commit to give to those in need, there are so many. You can drive your elderly aunt to the market, babysit for friends having marriage problems, cook dinner at a homeless shelter.

Minimize emotional overload. Take care of yourself through exercise, nutrition and proper rest. Set aside time for what brings you pleasure. And counteract burnout by doing the things that relax and rejuvenate you.

My sanctuary is close to where I live. For years, I’ve walked the banks of the Venice canals, with gardens and wildlife that hold my interest. When my grandchildren were young, feeding the ducks was the best adventure.

Is fishing on a lake, hiking in the countryside, or meditating after yoga class that special place where you feel at peace? Try to discover the activity that helps you unwind and add it into your weekly schedule.

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