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Fight Stress with Healthy Habits

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Healthy habits can protect you from the destructive effects of stress. The following are positive habits that can be very helpful to develop.

1. Talk with family and friends. It is always helpful to have friendships. It can be healthy to call, or write your family and friends to share your feelings, thoughts, hopes and happy times.

2. Engage in some type of daily physical exercise. It is beneficial to have regular physical activity to help relieve mental and physical tension. It has been found that physically active adults have a lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning. Physical activity can also be a great source of pleasure. For example, try walking, biking, running, swimming or dancing.

3. Accept the things you cannot change. Try not to think of yourself as too old. You can always learn new things, work towards a goal, love and be helpful to others.

4. Remember to laugh. Laughter makes you feel good. Do not be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, or a funny movie, even when you are alone.

5. Give up bad habits. Too much alcohol, cigarettes, or caffeine can contribute to an increase in stress.

6. Try to slow down. Try to pace yourself. It can be helpful to plan ahead and allow enough time to get the most important done.

7. Get enough sleep. Try to get six to eight hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, physical activity may help improve the quality of sleep.

8. Get organized. Use “to do” lists to help you focus on your important tasks. Approach large tasks one step at a time.

9. Practice giving back. Volunteer your time or return a favor to a friend. When you help others it will help you.

10. Try not to worry. The world will not end if your kitchen isn’t cleaned. You may need to get it done, but today may not be the right time.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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