Tuesday, December 07, 2010
When you're at the end of your rope, try one of these expert-approved tension-tamers.
1. TALK IT OUT. Sharing your feelings and concerns with a partner, work colleagues, clergy or mental-health professional provides a release and a fresh perspective.
2. TAKE UP A HOBBY. Whether it's as simple as planting flowers in a window box or as ambitious as woodworking, a hobby you truly enjoy helps dial down job-related stress.
3. TRY YOGA. In a recent study, hatha yoga (a gentle form of exercise that uses body postures and deep breathing) helped people recover from stress.
4. BREATHE! Inhale slowly through the nose then exhale slowly out the mouth as you say a relaxing word (like ca-a-a-lm). Pause, then repeat up to 15 times.
5. SAY NO. Some stressors are self-created-like overpromising at work or overcommitting your social life. Learn to identify them and back off.
6. TURN OFF YOUR CELLPHONE. Even just 10 minutes of "me time" each day can refresh your mental outlook and slow down your body's stress response.
7. EAT RIGHT. Aim for at least 2 servings of fruit and three of veggies per day. One banana, for instance, is loaded with vitamin B6 to help the body create mood-boosting serotonin.
8. RELAX YOUR NECK AND SHOULDERS. Drop your head to one side, gently roll it around in a wide circle; repeat 3-5 times, then reverse directions. Repeat 5 times.
9. VISUALIZE PEACE. Spend 5 minutes imagining a peaceful scene such as a warm beach or a quiet spot in the woods. What do you see, hear, smell, feel, taste?
10. WALK! People who get the CDC's recommended 150 minutes of brisk activity every week see improved mental health.