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Top 7 Ways To Reduce Stress at Work and at Home

By Wan Ibrahim

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Stress bombards us every day from all directions. Maybe itís sitting in the midst of highway gridlock when you are already late for an important appointment. Or how about the bill you forgot to pay? It could be a phone call from the school complaining about your childís behavior.

These are just the annoying little stress triggers that we handle every day. What about the larger issues? Retirement, moving, divorce or, heaven forbid, the death of a loved one or friend can come out of the blue and here comes the stress, launching you into treading murky waters one more time.

The impression is that the feelings of stress come from outside sources when, in reality, it happens inside of us.

Stress put you at risk for heart attack, stroke, insomnia, backache, headache, irritable bowel syndrome, sports injuries and infertility.

Stress can trigger serious illness like Graves' and fibromyalgia. Stress even makes us more susceptible to the common cold.

Here are 7 keys to stress reduction to help you open the door to a more relaxing life. Choose those best suited for you.

  1. Breathe deeply. Relax your muscles, expanding your stomach and chest. Exhale slowly. Repeat several times.

    Follow your breath as it flows in and out. Do not try to control it. This is a good way to relax in the midst of any activity. This technique allows you to find a breathing pattern that is natural and relaxing to you.

  2. Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise, such as walking and swimming, produces brain chemicals that uplift your mood and mental well being. Exercise also improves sleep and gives you time to think and focus on other things. Beware of compulsive exercise, however.

  3. Eat healthy foods. You should never skip meals. Take time out for lunch no matter how busy you are.

  4. Donít let others get you down. Choose positive friends who are not worriers. Friends who constantly put you down or talk gloomily about life will increase your anxiety.

  5. Be optimistic. Count your blessings, especially when everything seems to go wrong. Believe that most people are doing the best that they can.

  6. Plan your time wisely. And realistically. For example, donít schedule back-to-back meetings with tight travel time. Remember to leave room for unanticipated events - both negative and positive. Be flexible about rearranging your agenda.

  7. Strive for your dreams. Plan ahead to meet your most cherished goals in life.

    Knowing that you are striving toward your dreams relieves frustrations that mount when you feel stuck in a rut of endless responsibilities that seem to lead nowhere.

Wan Ibrahim Yusoff is the Editor of Healthy 4Life eNewsletter.

Article Submitted On: January 30, 2006