Suggestions for Stress Reduction

SUGGESTIONS FOR STRESS REDUCTION
1. Learn to Relax
Make a conscious effort to relax your mind and body. Practice at home allowing yourself adequate time. Pick a quiet place, sit or lie comfortable and close your eyes. Practicing relaxation techniques will allow you to be more relaxed in stressful situations.

Music: Listen to soothing music; allow mind and body to float along with the melody. Picture yourself in a peaceful environment. (paradise)

Muscle relaxation: Become conscious of a muscle group. Tense the muscles momentarily for awareness and identification, then allow them to relax. Concentrate on that feeling of relaxation in a muscle. (Limb heaviness)

Breathing Relaxation: Become conscious of your breathing. When exhaling think, I breathe out tension, "when inhaling, think "I breathe in calm".

Set aside times for relaxation. Use these techniques during stressful situations. Find a private spot, sit and relax. Recall the relaxed feelings you attained during practice sessions at home.
2. Budget your time and energies
What are the most important things to do today? Make a list in order of importance and attack accordingly. Take on no more or less than you can handle. Learn to pace yourself and word steadily. Working in sudden bursts of frantic activity is both energy wasting and very stressful. Bringing some order into a chaotic schedule gives your body a chance to prepare for the demands you're going to make on it. Get to know which time of day works best for doing certain tasks.

3. Turn your house into a home.
Your environment should support you, not stress you. Organize your personal space, be it bedroom or study, so that it works for you. After a day of full of exposure to environment beyond your control, the office, school, subway or congested streets, you need a private space that soothes and nurtures. Make your space comfortable, quietly inviting, and fill it with things that are meaningful to you. Throw out all clutter, clothes you haven't worn for a year, pile of papers, and magazines. Decorate for comfort, good chairs, reading lamps, someplace to put your feet up. Organize your closets and drawers so that they work for you. Tearing a room apart at the last minute trying to find a missing sock or scarf is unnecessarily stressful.
4. Change your way of looking at things.
When you change your perception of an event from negative to positive, you can reduce a lot of stress. Take a second look and see if it's possible to assess and event from a positive viewpoint. For example, instead of churning about a fight with your spouse(stressful), re-label and tell yourself you've expressed your feelings honestly and cleared the air (un-stressful). Learn to put problems into a broader perspective. Step outside the situation and ask yourself, is this really important? Will it matter 50 years from now?
5. Build up your strength.
Exercise regularly and often - dealing with stress calls for physical stamina. Besides, exercise is one of the best ways to release tension. It can relax you, lift your spirits, and increase your energy. Eat regularly balanced meals and be sure to get enough sleep. Fatigue can seriously reduce your ability to cope with stress.
6. Learn how to relax.
Whether it's meditation, yoga, behavior modification, biofeedback, or catnaps, learn one technique that works for you. Twenty minutes of relaxation daily can be a great boost to your health and make for clear thinking, better decision-making and increased energy. Take a mini-break two or three minutes out of a busy schedule. Breath deeply, do some stretches, walk around, or even daydream.
7. Express your anger.
Learn how to fight fairly. It can clear the air and relieve a lot of stress. But be sure the issue is worth fighting for, don't hassle over every little thing. Choose your words very carefully but don't be afraid to express yoursefl. Hiding unexpressed anger uses up a lot of energy and lead to all sorts of physical and emotional problems. Remember that people who never fight are likely to feel just as much stress as those who do.
8. Learn the art of mini-escape.
When pressures begin to mount too high, give yourself some breathing space and retreat. Take time out for a walk, see a movie, read a book, go away for a weekend to relax and re-energize yourself. Frequently, when you put some distance between yourself and a problem, you not only relieve stress but gain perspective and insight that can help you solve your dilemma.
9. Talk out your problems.
Seek out a trusted friend or counselor. You'll be surprised at how it lightens your burden, how much stress just disappears. Problems appear to be much worse when kept to yourself, and talking frequently points the way toward a solution. If your problems are really out of hand, try to get some professional help.
10. Develop a supportive network of caring people around you.
It's medical fact that people who maintain close supportive relationships with others, live longer, healthier, more stress free lives. Giving and receiving love and care are basic needs for all of us.