The Stress-Free Way to Reduce Stress

Originally printed in Health & Wellness Update,
Smart Publications


Stress is a killer, and one of the major ways it kills is by increasing your body's load of free radicals. Free radicals cause oxidative stress in every tissue and organ in your body, including your brain and brain cells. And this, as you've seen, can lead to Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and general brain decline.

One very effective way of combating the effects of stress is with natural stress-relieving smart nutrients like magnolia extract, which brings powerful antioxidants into the fight against free radicals.

Another way to protect your body from the ravages of stress is reducing stress in your life and learning how to deal with it. Here are effecitve strategies that help to relieve stress.

Things to Avoid
1. Attempting to make everything in life stress-free. It can't be done and trying to do it leads to feelings of failure, and greater stress.
2. Focusing on every event and constantly reminding yourself to relax.
3. Regularly avoiding certain emotions like sadness.
4. Trying to find one answer like exercise, meditation, or vacations to relieve stress.

What Works
Take an enjoyable class or go to regular group practices. Regular breaks from your daily (and often stressful) routine gives something to forward to during stressful times. These classes could include some of the following activities that have been shown to have significant stess-relieving capacity:

• Yoga
• Tai Chi
• Meditation
• Dancing
• Bioenergetics Classes

Participate in occasional events that provide respite from your daily stress such as:

1. Retreats - religeous, healing, spiritual, or activity-oriented ones.
2. Vacations - be carehul, though, vacations can be a major source of stress if you allow them to be.

Daily Stress Reduction Tips

1. Add something beautiful to your life on a daily basis (for example, flowers).
2. Do some enjoyable activities whenever possible.
3. Walk, work, and eat at a relaxed pace.
4. Take a short break after meals to relax.
5. Take a short nap (15-20 minutes).
6. If possible, go outside at least once a day and notice the simple things such as the weather and scenery.
7. During the day, whenever you remember, notice any tensions in your body (jaw, neck, diaphram, shoulders). Breathe deeply and gently stretch and relax any tense areas.
8. If you notice your mind racing or worrying about the past or future, take a minute to breathe deeply and focus on some thing in the moment such as your breath, scenery, or birds.
9. Take a break during the workday to relax.
10. Wear comfortable and loose clothing when possible. Take off your shoes when you can.

Dealing with Tasks and Time Constraints

There are situations where time and work pressure is constant. These add significant stress to one's life. Often you cannot avoid these situations. The best way to deal with them is to recognize you cannot eliminate the stress they bring but that you can reduce it.

1. Develop a sensible work plan and write it down.
2. Split large projects and assignments into small, manageable pieces.
3. Write down what you can accomplish every day on a master schedule. Be reasonable. You're not Superman or Superwoman. It's better to plan too little than too much. When you accomplish more in one day than you scheduled, you have free time available to do something relaxing.
4. Every time you accomplish something on your To-Do list, cross it off-BIG. This leads to a sense of accomplishment that rewards you.
5.Set appropriate priorities for tasks and work acordingly. If you're the type of person who has to do everything perfectly, I can guarantee you won't accomplish much... except stressing yourself.
6. Schedule onto your To-Do list regular time for breaks.
7. Schedule into your master plan regular time to enjoy fun activities and to spend time with family and friends.
8. Realize that sometimes you have to put on a real push to get something done. Do not let these pushes back up against each other. If you finish a push on a big assignment, give yourself a break and do something special... even if it's just for a couple of hours rewards you.


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