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Stress...It's EVERYWHERE! How do YOU Deal With it?

Re-posted from Michelle's Weebly blog

There are MANY causes for stress. Some of them are external...others are caused by our own minds when we internalize certain situations or see them as major obstacles that we must overcome. Our mindset has a lot to do with how much stress we have and how we deal with it. Every day issues, like home, bills, school, work, kids, driving here and there, etc. can cause many people to feel fried, at the end of their rope, and burned out by the end of a busy day. Here are some basic and practical, but important tips that can help you arm yourself against stress by being proactive: 1. Eat a balanced diet, preferably with small, frequent meals (5 x's/day) that include each of the food groups. 2. Get regular exercise every day or at least 3 x's per week. This can be gentle exercise, like walking or yoga. You can even sometimes be "sneaky" about working this into your day by taking the stairs instead of an elevator. 3. Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and other substances that can actually trigger a cycle that causes your body even more stress. 4. Get enough rest each night (7-8 hours, depending on your needs) and try to have a regular bedtime and morning routine each day. 5. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF EVERY,SINGLE DAY! It doesn't matter if you are a mom or dad or student or work overtime. This is the most important thing you can do to deal with stress and prevent it. Make "YOU TIME" every day, even if it is only for five or ten minutes. It doesn't matter if you read, have a bubble bath, meditate, or just go for a walk outside. Anything you enjoy doing will help! 6. Remember to breathe! Frequently when we are feeling stress or anxiety of any kind, we unconsciously hold our breath or begin to breathe in a more shallow way. This actually causes your body more stress, as you are supplying it with less oxygen when you hold your breath or breathe in a shallow way. If you start to feel stressed out or overwhelmed, pause for a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds before exhaling. Getting outside for a breath of fresh air can also help. 7. Drink plenty of good quality water. Keeping your body hydrated can help to prevent headaches and many illnesses that your immune system has to fight off. Drinking enough water (6-8 glasses per day, depending on your age, how active you are, and the temperature) can help to filter out and flush your system of toxins. Do you get bored with plain water? If so, try drinking decaf tea or other non-alcoholic clear fluids that don't contain sugar or caffeine, like apple juice. 8. Smile and find reasons to laugh as often as possible. It has been scientifically proven that when we smile, it elevates our mood and the level of endorphins (feel good chemicals) in the brain...even if it is a "fake" smile! Laughter, especially the deep, belly kind of laugh, is also endorphin raising and very cleansing for our internal organs. You may even find that by smiling and laughing more, you find it harder to take things as seriously...which will consequently reduce your stress level as an added bonus! Looking for a way to let go of some of your stress for a few minutes? Why not try the brief, free meditation on our main website? There is also a relaxing image gallery on the site. Here is the link: Not sure about how much stress you are feeling compared to what is considered a "healthy" level...or are you concerned about your stress level or the stress of someone you know and care about? Here is a link to a quick interactive self test that will tally your stress score for you immediately: If you find that you would like more advice about stress relief and prevention or that you want help or support, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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