How To Lead A Stress-Free Life
“One lesson a man learns from Harvard Business School is that an executive is only as good as his health.” –
How true this is! The pre-eminent health topic amongst people with executive responsibility, in both the private and public sectors of the economy, the world over, is stress!
Beyond the common-place understanding and application of the word, stress is defined as the condition or state of coming under strain or pressure. The stress you feel is your response to a strong stimulus called a stressor. Stressors are therefore the circumstances that cause your stress.
Stress has, arguably, become the single most important health issue threatening the existence of man, and Chronic stress is directly linked to the leading causes of death like strokes and heart attack. The world over, every six hours, an adult between the ages of 35 and 60 years is dropping dead from the effects of stress, making the Sudden Death Syndrome a major fall-out of stress.
1. Manage Your Anger
The first step is to, by a conscious act of your will, resolutely decide not to give in to feelings of annoyance and anger when next they rear their heads. I would be the first person to admit that this can be a Herculean task, as anger is certainly one of man’s primordial and basic instincts. Having said that, it is now acknowledged that anger is the most tragic of the human emotions, and no one can quite achieve his true potential if he has the unfortunate tendency to feel and express frequent feelings of anger. The sane option to pursue when you feel victimized is simply to refuse to allow yourself to dissipate valuable energy and thought in what is, at best, a useless and unproductive emotional indulgence, and simply let go by consciously deciding not to get angry or upset. The management of anger is, indeed, a valuable skill that has been mastered by great men and women throughout the ages.
2. Use Your Breath To Diffuse Tension
The second strategy is a close ally of the first. When next you find yourself in a potentially stressful situation, refuse to react to the circumstance. Instead, take three deep breaths, and then release them very slowly. Deliberately fill your lungs with as much air as you can at inhalation, and as you exhale, imaginatively feel your tension melting away as you breath out. This form of breathing can be put to maximal effect by doing it in conjunction with meditation and guided imagery.
3. Speak Slowly And Calmly
The third strategy lends itself to the practice of verbal composure. When next you feel overwhelmed by stress, attempt to speak more slowly than usual. You will discover, to your fascinated surprise, that you tend to think more clearly, and deploy a more reasonable reaction to perceived stress. People under intense stress tend to speak with a rapidity that is matched only by the breathlessness they suffer in the same instant. By slowing down both the tempo and the speed of your verbalization, you will appear less anxious and more in control of any situation.
4. Manage Your Time Efficiently
A poor management of time is a common source of stress. Here is an effective time management strategy for your universal application. Choose a simple thing you have been putting off, for instance, returning a phone call, or making an appointment to see someone on some matter of vital importance. Do that thing immediately. Believe it or not, the prosaic act of discharging just one nagging, outstanding obligation can be energizing enough to reduce your subconscious stress.
5. Get Some Fresh Air
Get some fresh air! Stroll outdoors for a brief break. The Sages were absolutely correct about the healing power of fresh air. Refuse to be deterred by an unfriendly weather or your tight schedule. Even five minutes on your balcony, or a leisurely stroll in your garden can prove to be exceedingly rejuvenating. Nature walks are known to be of tremendous value in reducing stress. This is why vacations at distant holiday resorts can be so beneficial. A stroll along the beach, with a view of cliffs and shoals, and the thundering of the tidal waves in the background, is the sort of surreal experience that can melt away years of subconscious tension in under a week.
6. Take Plenty Of Water
Avoid unmerited hunger and dehydration. Drink plenty of water, and eat small amounts of nutritious snacks. Hunger and dehydration, even before you are consciously aware of their presence, can provoke seemingly inexplicable aggressiveness, quite apart from excercabating feelings of anxiety and stress. These days, a rule of thumb is to ask people to take at least eight glasses of water every day. Quite apart from giving you adequate rehydration, it also helps in the elimination of toxins at a faster rate through the urinary system.
7. Always Maintain A Good Posture
Do a quick assessment of your posture. Hold your head and shoulders upright and avoid stooping or slumping. A bad posture can lead to muscular tension, pain and stress.
8. Simply Let Go At The End Of The Day
Recharge your batteries at the end of the day. Plan to do something rewarding for the end of your busy day. This could be as simple as a relaxing soak in the bath tub, or as mentally stimulating as a half-hour with a good book, depending on your inclinations. Dispense with work of any sort, house keeping or family matters for a brief period before bedtime, and permit yourself a relaxing respite. This should not be a time for planning tomorrow’s schedule, or doing chores you could not do at daytime. Remember that you need time to recharge and energize yourself, so that you will be much better prepared to face another potentially stressful day.
Mild to moderate intensity exercise is now recognized as an effective way for combating stress. A careful balancing of these is required for best results, and will include a combination of muscle toning and heart-fitness exercises. However, regular attendance at the neighborhood gymnasium should be to your advantage.
10. Take Vitamin Supplements
Lastly, it is of great benefit to take vitamin supplements on a fairly regular basis. Stress tends to deplete us of our vital nutrient elements, and our usual diet may sometimes be inadequate to replenish this loss. Pay a visit to your local pharmacy and avail yourself of expert advice on what supplements to take.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Yomi Garnett is a physician, author, public speaker, and a world-class Ghostwriter. He is HOST of the popular Internet Radio Talk Show, DREAM THE LIFE, LIVE THE DREAM, on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network, in Phoenix, Arizona. Eminently regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished Ghostwriters, Dr. Garnett is President/CEO at The Global Institute For Human Excellence, Chancellor/CEO at Royal Biographical Institute, ROBIN, and Host of The Garnett Interview- America’s First Celebrity Newsletter Interview, an Online, High Profile and Social Media-propelled Interview series. He is Author : “365 DAYS OF WISDOM: A Daily Companion For The Soul In Search of Enlightenment.”
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