Stress

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10 tips to reduce stress Auremar/PhotoSpin
By. Dr. Theo Friedman
  1. Work up a sweat It doesn't matter if you run a mile, walk around your neighborhood, or do some yoga. Getting your body moving is one of the best ways to relieve stress. When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good chemicals that ease your tension. Exercise also provides you with time to be alone with your thoughts or to spend time with friends.
  2. Take some "me" time Just 30 minutes away from family and work obligations can decrease your built-up stress. You can do something like soak in a long bath, read a book, draw, paint, knit, crochet, sing, play an instrument, build something, or relax in the park!
  3. Spend time with your friends When you feel very stressed, it is important to take time out to talk to people that care about you. Research has shown that close friends can help you live longer—and healthier.
  4. Write down your feelings Writing about your worries can help you understand and cope with the pressures in your life. It can also be quiet stress-free time to spend alone.
  5. Sleep 7 to 9 hours every night Sleep is important to reduce and prevent stress, irritation, and depression. When we're stressed out and overworked, we often sleep less. We may put off our bedtime to do chores or more work. We may stay up to watch TV or play video games, trying to relax. However, sleep is the best way to relax.
  6. Take breaks Pay attention when you start to feel stressed, and remember that it is a signal to take a break from whatever is stressing you out. If you don't have a chance to do so right away, then promise yourself a nice soothing bath or quiet walk as soon as possible. Just the thought that your stressful event will be over soon is often enough to help you begin to feel better.
  7. Don’t get stressed out by other people Stress is like the common cold. You can catch it from others! Have you ever noticed that some people seem to want you to be as stressed out as they are? It is important to excuse yourself from conversations that stress you out.
  8. Learn from people that are good at managing stress Ask someone who is cool under fire for their secrets!
  9. Remember to breathe! People can feel stress if they forget to breathe, or they are breathing only in their chests (shallow breathing). Chest breathing can raise anxiety levels. Breathing all the way down to your belly (deep breathing) helps you relax. Count to ten while breathing in and again while breathing out.
  10. Interrupt stressful thoughts When you start feeling stressed, do something to distract yourself! Take deep breaths, do some stretching, go for a walk, take a hot shower/bath, read, dance or sing!
Reducing your stress levels even a little bit can make a big difference. So start now!

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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