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10 Tips to Help You Stress Less

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10 Tips to Stress Less Lev Dolgachov/PhotoSpin

Did you know that 54% of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their everyday lives? That may come as no surprise, but what you may not know is that stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, liver cirrhosis, and suicide.

We recently held an @EmpowHER Twitter chat focused on tips to #stressless. We invited Dr. Gail Gross to co-host and offer her expert opinion. Dr. Gross is a nationally recognized family and child development expert, author and lecturer. She is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior, and development issues.

Here are 10 tips from Dr. Gross to help you stress less:

  1. Learn to recognize stress. To have power over stress, you can learn to recognize, manage, and learn to avoid it.
  2. Sleep. Remember to get enough sleep to reduce stress. Lack of sleep affects your cognitive and mental health.
  3. Retreat to a quiet place. Practice progressive relaxation with meditation, breathing and listening to music.
  4. Exercise. Try walking or yoga. This kind of exercise helps take the edge off and slows the body.
  5. Journal. Writing is a patterning exercise that goes on for the brain, that gives you access to your own unconscious.
  6. Confront obligations. The anxiety we build up over the things we need to do can be released when we confront obligations.
  7. Learn balance. Balance is an important element in coping with commitment, obligations and responsibilities of our lives.
  8. Practice self-love. One of the most loving words you can use is "no." It requires a redefinition of the word "selfish." To take care of own's self is our primary responsibility.
  9. Communicate. If you're stressed, share your concerns with your partner or loved one. Communicate honestly and work through stress with someone who cares about you.
  10. Manage stress. Remember: it is not stress itself that is destructive, but the way we respond to it. Stress management is key.

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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.