Most of you know I have just written a new book Stress Express! 15 Instant Stress Relievers!(http://www.stressexpressbook.com) After researching burnout for over a decade, partly due to having experienced a great deal of stress personally, I have found several stress management techniques that really make a difference in terms of decreasing anxiety, preventing burnout and helping you feel better fast.
Here are my top 5 stress management tips! Let me know which works best for you!
Sleep!The World Health Organization is considering labeling less than 7 hours of sleep a carcinogen- a cancer-causing agent! That's how dangerous it is! If you get less than 7 hours, you are at a cognitive disadvantage, and are prone to weight gain and sugar issues. 40% of Americans get less than 7 hours a night- are you one of them? Try going to bed earlier- no phones, no TV, just a quiet dark room and settle in 1 hour before you want to sleep so your mind can quiet down.
DO NOT check your email before bed!
Laugh! Little children laugh 400-500 times a day; most adults laugh 7-10 times. One study showed that one big belly laugh is equal to 45 minutes of stress relief. Laughter also extends your life by improving your immune system, lowering your blood pressure and improving your brain function. We could all up our laughter quotient. Try listening to comedy channels on satellite radio, watching the comedy channel, or asking friends if anything funny has happened to them recently. Play comedy CD's in the car when driving in rush hour traffic and watch your tension melt away.
Optimism Did you know that optimists live 7 years longer than pessimists,have better lung function and are far less likely to die young or die from cancer? Several studies from NIH and Yale demonstrate this. Pessimists are 25% more likely to develop heart disease. And since optimism is 75% learned, you can shift if you have been a negative thinker up until now.
Creative Expression! No matter how you like to express your creativity, from dancing, painting, singing, playing an instrument, writing, gardening, woodworking, scrapbooking, etc., creative expression keeps you in the present moment, free from worry about the past or future. Women with creative jobs have the cardio-vascular fitness of someone 6 years younger. And listening to music can reduce your depression by 25%, according to a study in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Volunteer. Doing something for someone else less fortunate instantly changes your perspective and makes you grateful for your life. Research shows that volunteerism, relieves depression, improves interpersonal skills, increases your longevity and strengthens the community. There are infinite ways to volunteer, from helping your neighbor care for their pet to working in a soup kitchen to building houses for Habitat for Humanity. Get involved and see what a difference it makes in your life.
Have a fantastic week, filled with good stress-relieving activities. Stay Fired Up!