November 11, 2009

Stress Less

There are many ways we can quiet the stress level in our lives. If we take the time to really tune in to ourselves and allow ourselves to listen to our inner voices we sometimes find that those voices have a lot to say! By listening to ourselves and keeping our stress levels in check we are giving ourselves a good dose of preventative medicine.

You could tweak your diet by increasing your intake of omega 3 fatty acids which will help keep the stress hormone cortisol in check. Extra B vitamins will help as well because they keep the nervous system functioning well. There are also benefits to adding extra vitamin C and E to your diet. Both vitamins C and E are antioxidants which protect from free radical damage and help to strengthen the immune system.

It is important to cut down on stimulants such as caffeine. Caffeine puts your body "on edge", so avoiding this excess stimulation will increase your chances of staying calm and slipping into a great nights sleep.

Practice an activity that shifts your focus from mind to body. When your focus is directed on a physical activity your mind has space to become quiet. Get active everyday, even if it's a walk after dinner, moving the body helps to open the spirit.

Remember to take on only what you can handle, be honest with yourself, and give yourself credit for what you do on a daily basis. Pat your self on the back when you complete important tasks, one job well done is better than many jobs done just ok. Also try to keep work at work and home at home if you feel overwhelmed in either place. If you have to, spend a little extra time finishing tasks or conversations where they start as opposed to carrying them with you. Finishing things where you started them will allow you to leave them in their proper place.

Make yourself the most important person in your daytimer, iphone or blackberry. Schedule time to do the things you like not just the things you have to do. Keeping a journal or writing down the next days tasks the night before a busy day will give you reassurance that you will accomplish what you'd like to. A journal is also a great place to vent if you need a non responsive, quiet sounding board. If being quiet isn't what you feel you need then let it out! Howl at the moon if it feels right, whatever way you decide to go about releasing your inner "Wild Thing" will be what's right for you. Letting your creative side shine is a wonderful way to get back to your roots. Dance, sing, paint. a hectic work day can be forgotten with a stroke of a brush against a canvas or a whirl around the living room.

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