How to Cope With Stress – Step 3 part 2

This is a continuation from yesterdays blog of tips to help reduce your stress level.

6.  Sleep 7 – 8 hours each night.  Very few people can be productive with fewer than 7 hours of sleep.  I have found that when I am rested, I seldom get stressed.  I have more energy to think and focus, which means I accomplish more.  When we don’t get much done, it often increases our stress level.  My problem is I like to stay up late.  That is fine if I can sleep in a little.  The days I have to get up early, my brain doesn’t function well.  I’m working to hit the sack earlier to avoid this problem.

7.  Eat a healthy diet – one with fruits and vegetables, protein and whole grains.   Avoid WHITE flour, sugar, rice, and bread because they turn into sugar too fast in your body.  They are called high glycemic foods.  It’s critical to keep your blood sugar level with no huge spikes.  When I eat one of these white foods or something sweet, my blood spikes.  After a little while it goes way down and I get irritated easily and feel hungry.  When people feel like that, they tend to eat whatever is around, whether it is good for them or not.  They also tend to overeat. A lot of dairy products have high fat content so beware.  Read labels to see what you are getting.  If you can’t pronounce the words on the label, don’t buy it.  When I feel hungry or tired, before I eat food, I drink a glass of water.  After that frequently I don’t eat anything because the problem was that I was dehydrated.  Try drinking your weight in ounces of water each day.  You’ll find you will feel better and your skin will look better.  A healthy diet will make you feel and think better, which will help with your stress level.

8.  There are a number of other relaxation techniques, which you can find on the Internet, such as: progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, and tai chi. A slow walk in nature can be relaxing.   Smell the flowers, hear the birds, and watch the squirrels play.   The smells after a rain are amazing, the air is clean, and the birds sing – loud.  If you aren’t able to walk, visualize those smells, the sounds,  and how you felt.  This can quickly have a calming affect on you.

9.  According to John Gray in the book, Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus, he said that women get over their stress by talking.  Find someone who will LISTEN and not solve your problems.  This most likely will be a woman because men are wired to solve problems.  This listening technique works well.  For men, they are to stare at the TV for a while – it’s a substitute for the fire cavemen stared at after a stressful hunting trip.

10.  Living in gratitude helps give a more positive perspective to life, which seems to reduce the stress level.  Start a gratitude journal where you write down 5 things that you are grateful for each day.  It could be something like – you are grateful for getting up on time that morning or that you are grateful for your best friend who called to have you meet her for tea.  If you are not getting along with someone, each day list at least one thing that you appreciate about them in your journal.  You will find that when you change your perspective, your relationship with them will improve.  Having strong relationships helps keep our stress level down.

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