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Reduce Your Stress Levels

Follow the tips that will help you manage and reduce your stress levels.

Get More Sleep

A lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress. Unfortunately though, stress also interrupts our sleep as thoughts keep whirling through our heads, stopping us from relaxing enough to fall asleep. Avoid caffeine during the evening, as well as excessive alcohol if you know that this leads to disturbed sleep. Stop doing any mentally demanding work several hours before going to bed so that you give your brain time to calm down. Try taking a warm bath or reading a calming, undemanding book for a few minutes to relax your body, tire your eyes and help you forget about the things that worry you. You should also aim to go to bed at roughly the same time each day so that your mind and body get used to a predictable bedtime routine.

Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, and Nicotine.

Avoid, or at least reduce your consumption of, nicotine and all drinks containing caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are stimulants and so will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it. Swap caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for water, herbal teas, or diluted natural fruit juices and aim to keep yourself hydrated as this will enable your body to cope better with stress.

The Key Physical Activity

Stressful situations increase the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body. Stress in the modern age is rarely remedied by a fight or flight response, and so physical exercise can be used as a surrogate to metabolize the excessive stress hormones and restore your body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state. When you feel stressed and tense, go for a brisk walk in fresh air. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine on a regular basis, either before or after work, or at lunchtime. Regular physical activity will also improve the quality of your sleep.

Necessary Relaxation Techniques

Each day, try to relax with a stress reduction technique, try a few and see what works best for you. One very simple technique is to focus on a word or phrase that has a positive meaning to you. Words such as "calm" "love" and "peace" work well, or you could think of a self-affirming mantra such as “I deserve calm in my life” or “Grant me serenity”. Focus on your chosen word or phrase; if you find your mind has wandered or you become aware of intrusive thoughts entering your mind, simply disregard them and return your focus to the chosen word or phrase. If you find yourself becoming tense again later, simply silently repeat your word or phrase. Don't worry if you find it difficult to relax at first. Relaxation is a skill that needs to be learned and will improve with practice. Find more at: http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/stress-tips.html

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