Thursday, May 6, 2010

Some simple ways to de-stress

• Try mindfulness. Simple mindfulness techniques can help you stay calm under pressure, and regular practice can keep your overall stress levels low. Many hospitals and health centers offer classes in mindfulness meditation. One recent study found that U.S. marines benefited from mindfulness training before being deployed.

• Spend time outdoors. Research shows that spending time in nature is a, well, natural stress buster. So find ways to spend time outside every day. Bring your dog with you, or a friend's—spending time with animals reduces stress, among other benefits.

• Treat yourself to a hand massage. In a study done in 2008, a five-minute hand rub was effective at lowering stress levels. You can teach a friend or partner how (and offer to return the favor when they need it). Or do it for yourself if there's no one around to lend a hand.

• Control workplace stress. Learn how to manage workplace stress and ease the burden when you have to bring work home with you.

• Customize your to-do list. No need to only list chores, meetings, and deadlines in your calendar or daily planner. Include enjoyable things as well. This has the added benefit of giving you more to cross off—voilà, a greater sense of accomplishment. For example: “Check my favorite travel blog to plan this year's vacation,” or “Watch that basketball game at 3:00."

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