The A through S of Stress Relief

Much as we might like to believe it, no one lives a stress-free life. It's just that some guys are better at handling it than others. What are their secrets? I don't know them all, but I can take you as far as the letter S:

  • Adopt a positive attitude toward the past. Mistakes happen, and your attitude is the only thing about the past you can change.
  • Break from the routine. There's a reason why they call it "the grind."
  • Control the phone. The phone can be a empowering tool or a nuisance that interrupts every thought. Consider using an answering machine when you don't want to talk.
  • Decaffeinate. Each cup of coffee cranks you up to fully experience stress.
  • Exercise. It's documented to relieve stress and help prevent depression.
  • Find new friends...and keep the old. When you're not the center of your life, stress won't be either.
  • Get a checkup. The stress you feel about seeing the doctor can be only be relieved by doing it.
  • Have a schedule. Plan your work, your play, and your relaxation, so you'll be sure to find time for all three.
  • Improve your communication skills. Learn to say what you think and to really listen when others speak. Communication relieves stress.
  • Just say no—when it's appropriate If you're the kind who always says yes, learn when it's time to decline.
  • Keep a smile on your face. Research has shown that a smile—even if it's pasted on—starts you on the way to being happy.
  • Learn new skills. The antidote to worry about losing your job is to make yourself all the more valuable.
  • Manage your weight. Stress can lead to overeating, and being overweight is stressful. Don't eat for relief.
  • Negotiate your work environment. Stress can come from noise, an uncomfortable chair, or poor lighting. Ask for improvements.
  • Operate openly. If you get angry, say so—before you can't express it rationally.
  • Pet your pet. Sometimes we need a nonjudgemental friend.
  • Quit the booze. The stress relief is only temporary, and temper control suffers.
  • Relax. Meditation techniques are proven stress-relievers.
  • Seek spirituality. Whatever your preference, a spiritual community provides understanding, forgiveness, and hope.

I'm confident that you can fill out the rest of the alphabet. And by the time you get there, I bet you'll wonder where the stress went.

 

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