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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Seven Stress Strategies

 By Linda Winterton


Do you feel like our world moves faster and faster every day?
Have you ever woken up in the night with tightness in your chest or realizing that you've been clenching your teeth?
Are there times during the day when you believe that just one more thing going wrong might send you over the edge?
These are but a few signs of stress overload and rest assured you aren't alone. The statistics are overwhelming in themselves and over 80% of all visits to doctors are in one way or another related to stress. These might include high blood pressure, sudden weight increase/decrease, chest pains, or even signs of depression.
Below are the seven stress strategies to calm down, cheer up and stay strong.
  1. Reflect on the good things that you already have in your life. Hold an Attitude of Gratitude. Simplify your life rather than complicate it with 'things' that you don't need.
  2. When you feel stressed out or overwhelmed STOP whatever you are doing, and remember to breathe. When we are under stress our breathing is usually very shallow and less oxygen is available to the brain and organs, causing that tight feeling in the chest and abdomen. Breathe deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Even a few deep breaths will help to relax you so that you can relax and refocus.
  3. If you have recently lost a loved one or can't be with people that are close to you, acknowledge your feelings of sadness, grief or loss. Allow yourself to experience whatever emotions come up and accept it as part of the healing that you need to experience.
  4. Spend some time in nature (even if it's cold). Maintain a healthy exercise routine. There is plenty of information available about the powerful effect of endorphins on people's mental and emotional outlook.
  5. Stay centered and in the present - do not let any emotional stuff from the past (or worries about the future) rob you of your joy today. As Eckhart Tolle says, "Now is all there is".
  6. Reserve some quiet time for yourself no matter how busy your schedule. Allow time for rest. You deserve it!
  7. Play some quiet, relaxing (but uplifting) music. You might be amazed how a beautiful peace from Strauss or Vivaldi can lift the spirits. Not your style...many of the music classified as New Age is specially designed to promote positive feelings. Experiment and find something that resonates with you and discover for yourself how such a simple thing can shift your mood.
Here's a bonus tip to help you get the most enjoyment of the holiday season.
Set aside any family differences and allow everyone a peaceful life. Be the first to practice forgiveness and patience. You may be pleasantly surprised, at how others react to you.
Linda Winterton is a Health and Wellness coach as well as a Certified Hypnotist. She has recently expanded her practice in Midland, Ontario, Canada and is now available for tele-coaching/counseling via phone and Skype. Her specialty is assisting female professionals and solopreneurs to believe in themselves and live to their full potential.
You can follow Linda on Twitter.

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