Psychotherapist Carole Klein shares her best tips on reducing stress in women's lives.
Stress is really something you don’t want to be afraid of, because it sometimes is very beneficial. I mean if you’re going to have to talk to someone seriously about an issue or a problem, you’re going to be under a little bit more stress but it might help you put your thoughts together well to present what you want to change in a more organized fashion. But other times when stress gets just too much or is over the hill for you, well then you have to start thinking of little easy ways in which you can reduce it.
And I use a formula that I developed about 20 years ago and it’s called the ‘learn’ formula. L–E-A-R-N, to learn to reduce your stress and the ‘L’ is for laughter and love of life. Getting in touch with the fact that there are many joyful things. I think it’s a spiritual glue that puts all the rest together because when you can see that life has things to appreciate, that you can have fun and enjoy life like a small child again doing playful things and that you can change your mood by changing your actions, and that you can just go through life with that smile on your face. It’s a choice, you feel better.
And then the ‘E’ is for exercise and exercise always reduces some of the depression in your life and the stress. It’s great and healthy for you. And then the ‘A’ of course is a major factor and it’s right in the middle of the word ‘learn’ which is very appropriate because it’s how we think about life that creates our stress and if we think about it in a stressful way, if we can’t get a handle on making concept changes, we’re going to feel a great deal of stress.
And then the ‘R’ is for relaxation. There are many kinds of relaxation, good healthy sleep, good deep breathing, letting the body relax, taking many vacations, just closing your eyes and being wherever you really want to be, begins to reduce the tension in your muscles. And then ‘N’ stands for nutrition because there are still certain foods that if you take them, sugar, caffeine or too many substances like alcohol to a greater degree, is going to cause a certain amount of stress in your body as well as too much salt.
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