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Seven Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Stress

Our world is awash with a wave tension that seems to infect every single one of us. Have you driven down the street lately, only to find someone abusing you because you are not doing 30 kilometers over the speed limit? Have you been cursed by a beggar because you have not given them a cigarette? Have you been robbed lately, simply because the person robbing you wanted your LCD projector? Have you parked your car in the local supermarket car park only to find that someone has pushed a trolley down the side of your car? Did the boss come in this morning and yell at you because he did not get enough sleep last night? Has a customer rung you and called you all the names under the sun simply because you did not respond to an email within 5 minutes of sending it?

Answer Yes to any of those?

Well my answer is yes to every single one of those questions and that was my day yesterday. Whether you like it or not the world is not a fair place and it many cases it is not a nice one either and it seems to be getting worse.

Why? Simply put, our lives are getting faster and we are not learning how to cope with it. Nobody teaches us how to deal with the stresses and strains of our daily life. We simply plunder through the issues on a day to day basis.

I have read probably hundreds of thousands of books on all manner of topics but the few that stand out and I consistently go back to are the teachings of the Dalai Lama. I will be honest, I am not a Buddhist, I am a Christian but many of his simple teachings are things even us Christians should learn. In one of his books and I have seen many journalists over the years ask the same question, he is asked "How do we solve the great atrocities and wars we have in our society today?" His answer to me is quite staggerring, he simply replies "I do not know."

One of the things he goes onto say, is that there is no simple answer to this question. Most of the major wars simply occur because of one consequence that lead to another and then to another until it compounds into a situation where no one is in control and there are no answers to the problems in front of us and no one really knows why it started in the first place. How can it happen?

Let us take an example …

Let us imagine you are driving down the road and somebody cuts in front of you and causes you to break suddenly. What is your reaction? Well there could be many… one response could be that you simply under your breath say, "What a fool" and continue driving.

Let us expand on the days events a little more …

Let us say you just lost your job and you were stressed about loosing your house, what would your response be now? You might speed up and get in front of them and then do the same to them as they did to you (An eye for an eye), you might then have a major accident because they ran into the back of your car. One of the people in the car might be killed. What happens if a family member of the deceased then decides retribution is in order for the death of the family member and kills one of your own. What will you do?

A little meladramatic I will admit but this is how wars begin. One thing leads to another and another until things get out of control but it can all be stopped by simply controlling how you feel. By removing the stress in your life or at the very least controlling it, you will be in a situation where you can control your reaction to a situation that maybe devastating.

So I want to outline seven things you can do to help reduce the stress in your life …

1. Exercise for 30 minutes Every Day

Exercising 30 minutes a day is one of the best things you can do to help relax. It helps you to keep fit and a fit person is obviously a happy one. It also helps to pump the blood around your body and whilst you are doing exercises chemicals are being released from your brain to help the way you feel.

2. Listen to Relaxation Music

Listening to the right type of music is really important when you are trying to reduce stress and find your inner peace. Some music when listened to, whilst stressed, can in fact heighten your stress levels. One type of music, which research has shown to help reduce stress is Baroque music. This music is written so that there is only 60 beats per minute and funny enough that is what our heart rate should be. The baroque music has been found to increase the alpha waves in your left and right sides of your brain which help improve your learning ability, creativity and calmness.

Many corporate trainers are now turning to baroque music during memory training sessions to help their students improve their comprehension and their memory.

3. Meditate for 20 minutes In The Morning and Evening

Meditation is a great way to help relieve your stress. When done correctly it should release you from your mind and allow it to focus on peace. Meditation when you first start our can be a little tricky and it honestly does take some time to learn. There are many great articles on how to meditate, but you can easily start off by simply sitting in the corner, closing your eyes and listening to music like the Baroque music.

Some meditation masters will also encourage you to listen to natural sounds during meditation and even recommend the use of incense during the meditation process to help break the stress in your body.

4. Limit Alcohol and Coffee Consumption

Alcohol and Coffee are both great sources of stress as they increase the heart rate and make us more susceptible to stressful situations. Limiting the amount of alcohol and coffee you drink each day will certainly be a good start to reducing your stress. However, note one thing, unless you are an alcoholic, removing alcohol from your life totally may not be the best advice and you really need to talk to your doctor. Research in the scientific community tends to lead towards the belief that one to two glasses of alcohol like a red or white wine is in fact a healthy choice but you should always check with your doctor. Plus, we can not destroy the Australian Wine Industry as I too like a good red.

Also watch out for Caffeine high soft drinks. Just like coffee, caffeine high drinks can make you more vulnerable to stress because it gives you that buzz in your body and accelerates your heart rate.

5. Dink a Minimum of Eight Glasses of Water A Day

Without water, we human beings are nothing and it is one of the most precious resources we have on our planet. To maintain your health, most medical practioners will recommend a minimum of eight glasses of water a day and I should note - PLAIN WATER. One research program I recently read said that drinking a cup of coffee did not count as a glass of water. In fact their recommendation was for every one cup of coffee, you should be drinking two glasses of water. You will be amazed that as you become more hydrated, the less stressed you become. A great show to watch is Survivor. This show is about people deserted on a remote location that have to survive for so many days to win a million dollars. You will notice in these shows that people who do not hydrate themselves correctly seem to become more stressed as they go. It is worth a watch next time it is on.

6. Schedule Breaks During Your Day

Work is one of the most stressful environments you can be in, except for the stay at home moms (My hat goes off to them). One of the biggest mistakes people make in their working career is to fail to schedule breaks into your day. There is absolutely no business on the planet that requires you to work 24 hours a day non-stop. If fact, if you do not schedule yourself at least one 1 hour break every day, research shows that you are more likely to end up having health issues over a prolonged period of time.

Remember, life is extremely ridiculously short. Do not waste it all on work, get out and enjoy your day regardless of where you are and make sure you schedule a number of breaks during the day, even if it is just to go outside for 5 minutes for a cup of coffee. That sort of break will at least help you to get some fresh air, clear your mind and get you ready for the coming on-slaught.

7. Limit Email Replies to just 60 minutes A Day

The email phenomenon that we know today, is born from our own desires to be in control. The email juggernaut today has gotten so out of control that some people simply spend all day trying to respond to emails which is utterly crazy. My recommendation to all my students is to develop an office policy which says that you are only required to respond to emails for 60 minutes a day. I know this seems amazing, but in the thousands on thousands of people I work with every year, nobody has a job yet where more than 60 minutes of emailing is required per day.

Oh and by the way, if you sit next to a person in an office, simply pop your head around the corner and ask them a question, DO NOT SEND AN EMAIL.

Stress is a real killer in our society and I have seen many friends of mine suffer major health complications because they allowed the stress of their lives to overwhelm them and in some cases it has shortened their lives. Whilst there are many things we can all do to reduce stress, if you implement these 7 items it will go along way to ensuring you live a long and happy life.

Just to finish off, let me quickly outline the seven things you can do to reduce stress -

1. Exercise for 30 minutes Every Day
2. Listen to Relaxation Music
3. Meditate for 20 minutes In The Morning and Evening
4. Limit Alcohol and Coffee Consumption
5. Dink a Minimum of Eight Glasses of Water A Day
6. Schedule Breaks During Your Day
7. Limit Email Replies to just 60 minutes A Day

About the Author: The author Chris Le Roy has written a number of stress relief articles- Relaxation Techniques for Stress Management. Chris also has a CDROM of Baroque Music that was recorded by a Baroque Guitarist to help you with your meditation - Meditation Music.

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