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How to Deal With Stress

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2007 | Fitness

Dealing with stress is one of the most indispensable skills of modern life. The pace of life these days -- instant communication via the Internet and phone, and the speed people can get around -- is unprecedented, and it is not surprising that many people find it hard to keep up without burning out.

Here are my top techniques for dealing with stress:

1) Dont get stressed in the first place! This is the most effective way of dealing with stress; the problem is it is easy to say and often hard to do.

2) Take five minutes out of your busy day in the morning and afternoon to get away from your desk, and to switch your mind off.

3) Take exercise. Vigorous exercise like running or a competitive game of squash is the most effective way of blowing away some cobwebs, and handling stress. Even a twenty-minute walk with the dogs will help you relax, and forget about your worries.

4) Eat a varied diet. Make sure you eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and that your diet contains sufficient amounts of protein and carbohydrate for you activity level. If you are tired and hungry your level of stress will only increase. Also, don't be afraid to eat food you enjoy -- some cake and biscuits won't hurt, but don't get carried away! A little of what you fancy is a good motto.

5) Listen to music. Lying down and listening to jazz or classical music is a great way to relax. Of course, you may end up drifting off to sleep, but you cannot get more relaxed than that.

6) Playing a musical instrument is a more active way of enjoying music and relaxing. You may find learning and playing a musical instrument to be a more effective release than just listening to music.

7) Take up a new hobby. If you feel stressed you should try something different, and getting out of your rut in anyway will help. You can take up a new sport, take classes at your local college, or learn to knit. Any new activity will make life more enjoyable, and less stressful.

8) Make new friends. If you take up a new hobby, learn a musical instrument, or just change your daily routine you will come across new people and make new friends.

9) Keep a diary in which you cannot only record what happened during the day, but also your feelings about what happened. This can help to relieve any internal pressure you are feeling, and thus reduce stress. There are many tools you can use for this online like Google Calendars, or a personal blog. Of course you can write down your thoughts in a normal diary with a pen if you wish!

10) Watching TV or going to the movies can also help reduce stress. Don't end up watching TV all day, though, because this is not only one of the biggest wastes of people's time, but can be really stressful as well. Popular TV shows are filled with aggression and violence. This may be mostly verbal aggression, but watching this too much can negatively affect your life. This is not to say you cannot relax some of the time by watching TV -- just don't get carried away.

I hope these tips help you, and give you some ideas about dealing with stress. It may also help to imagine the worst thing that can happen, and if you can deal with that everything else becomes easier.

Life should be enjoyed - and there is so much in the world to enjoy. Don't worry, be happy!