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10 Super Stress Busters
Don't panic! You can beat stress
How are you feeling? Cool as a cucumber, or frantic and stressed out? If stress is overwhelming you and sapping all your energy, life gets just that much harder and any extra challenges, such as weight loss, start to seem impossible. Learning how to minimise and manage stress is a key to success, not just in weight loss, but in life.
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1. Learn to say "no"
Be realistic in your expectations, and make sure others are too - you may be taking on more responsibility than you can or should handle. And remember to say "no" to yourself as well as others; if you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, don’t do things you don’t have to.
2. Be an underachiever
Shed the "superman/woman" urge. No one is perfect, so don't expect perfection from yourself or others. Ask yourself: What really needs to be done? How much can I do? Is the deadline realistic? What adjustments can I make?
3. Jump to it!
Twenty to thirty minutes of physical activity on a regular basis is a great way to manage stress. It’s also good for weight control, for blood pressure, for heart health, for peace of mind, for enjoyment, and for perspective.
4. Alter your perceptions
One of the best ways to manage stress is to rethink your perceptions. You may not be able to control a situation, but you do have control of your point of view.
5. Limit changes
Once you identify the changes that induce stress for you, you can make decisions to limit the number of changes you allow in your life. Of course, you cannot simply quit your job, postpone your move, or permanently avoid everything in your life that has a high stress potential. But you can have some control over how many of these events happen at any one time. You can learn to prioritise for the sake of your sanity. Get used to asking yourself questions about your immediate and distant future: What can I rearrange? What is not a priority? What can I say "no" to? What is really important to me this weekend?
That doesn’t have to mean twisting your knees and ankles at obscure angles and humming to yourself. You can use meditation time to listen to music, lie flat on the floor and stare at the ceiling, do a stretching routine, sit on a park bench, or take in an ocean view; whatever helps you to go to “another place” or simply think of nothing at all. Just 10-20 minutes of quiet reflection may bring relief from chronic stress as well as increase your tolerance to it.
If you think about it, the word "recreation" says a lot. When you garden or fish or walk or paint for recreation you are, in a sense, re-creating yourself by renewing your body and mind.
8. Drink and eat to your health
Good nutrition makes a big difference to stress levels.
Observe how different foods and beverages affect your stress levels.
9. Baby steps, baby steps
For people under tension or stress, an ordinary work load can sometimes seem unbearable. The best way to cope with this feeling of being overwhelmed is to take one task at a time. Pick the most urgent task and work on it first. Once you accomplish that task, choose the next one. The positive feeling of "crossing off" work is very satisfying and can help motivate you to keep going. Learn to identify events that leave you mentally drained and pace yourself extra carefully on those ones.
10. Manage conflict
By determining what you really value and what is really worth battling over, you can limit the amount of conflict in your life. Avoid certain situations that lead to conflict. Limit the amount of interaction you have with people who battle with you. Examine conflicting drives and determine which one should prevail. You cannot expect a perfect world without conflict, but you can make a decision to limit the amount of self-inflicted turmoil in your life.
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Last updated: December 14th, 2007
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