Top Ten Ways To Lower Stress

From the ongoing, regular stress that comes from living in our high-impact culture to specific life events that knock us for a loop, the impact of stress accumulates. Recognizing our stress "hot spots" is a critical first step to reducing stress. The following are daily ways to help you maintain balance or get back to well-being following a particularly stressful period.

1. Do something physical. Exercise, walk, play a game, dance, weed/garden.

2. Breathe. Deeply. Especially when you find yourself irritable or angry.

3. Retreat. Find a place-your bedroom, a park bench, your car-where you can be quiet and restful. Go there when you need to.

4. Watch what you eat. Don't over/under eat; drink water; eat fruits and veggies. Easy on the sugar, caffeine, fatty foods and alcohol.

5. Get it out. Talk to trusted friends or a counselor. Write in a journal. Pound a pillow.

6. Say no. Take care of yourself first or you'll have no well to draw from when helping others.

7. Smile/laugh. Force it at first, if necessary. It's impossible to stay negative or burdened with a grin on your face.

8. Change. Shift locations, activities, jobs, people you're with, beliefs.

9. Relax. Take a bath, nap or shower. Sit in the sun/shade. Get a massage. Do nothing.

10. Have fun. Don't forget to take time to play, be creative, do things that nourish your soul.

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