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10 simple secrets to deal with stress


Recent research shows that nearly 50% of Americans have reported an increase in their stress levels over the last year, with up to a third of these people reporting that their average stress level is extreme. Money and the economy have been reported as the main sources of stress. So what can you do to decrease your stress level?

1.  Actively decide you must do something about your stress. De-stressing is an active task, it is not passive. Don't just think about this. Do something about this right now! This is the first step to de-stressing.

2.  Get your number 1 stress out of the way by facing it and getting over it. If you try to avoid it, it will come back and bite you on your back. Instead, if you face it head on, this will get you to move in the right direction.

3.  Find a friend or a family member who will be your sounding board. It could be someone who will just listen, or someone to vent, or just to get a different point of view.

4.  Surround yourself with supportive positive people. If they are interesting, non-judgmental and full of life, you are less likely to dwell on negative thoughts.

5.  Create a community, reach out to new friends or deepen your relationship with your current friends so that you have a supportive community who will nourish you in mind and spirit. Let go of relationships that drain you.

6.  Learn to say 'no' to obligations, tasks and requests. Get yourself out of things, even ones to which you have already committed that don't help you personally or professionally. And you don't have to explain why you have said 'no' - a true friend would understand.

7.  Have a regular routine. It can something as simple as taking a walk to your favourite park at the same time each evening. There is a school of thought that consistent rituals and routines have a calming effect.

8.  Take up meditation. Try the simple 'count to 9' technique.

9.  Live the moment now. If you are doing something, don't think about all the other things you should be doing, things you haven't done yet, things you have done but perhaps not to your satisfaction. When you are with people, really be there with them. Listen to everything they have to say. Do not daydream or think of something else while pretending to be listening.

10.  Listening to music, exercising, being in nature and other activities can all alleviate stress. Choose one that interests you.

Read more:   Quiz: Are You Stressed? ...

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