Posted on Apr 16th, 2006

Whether it’s induced by too little time, too much to do, family commitments or disagreements at work – stress is the buzzword of the decade. From headaches to ulcers to heart disease, everything can be blamed on this syndrome that has taken over today’s men, women and children. Try the following relievers the next time stress has got you down:

Take a day off. Use a vacation day for a day to yourself. Resist the temptation to pack it full with all the things you “should do” to catch up. Instead do something you really enjoy. Take a road trip and crank the music, read a good book or have a movie marathon.

Give up always being right. Of course it would be wonder-ful if everything always went out way – but that just isn’t possible. Have cooperation as your goal and let confron-tations slip away. Remember that always being right equals more chances for a fight. Let go of high expecta-tions and encourage give and take in all aspects of your life.

Give up the guilt. Guilt is a learned emotion. After parents, teachers and adults hound us with “shoulds” and “coulds,” we learn to feel guilty and hold many of our mishaps against ourselves. While some guilt is necessary to keep a conscience, most of us carry around far more than our share. Learn to let go of the guilt, it doesn’t of-fer any benefit and hurts no one but yourself.

If you find you cannot let go of the guilt, then indulge in it. Take twenty minutes and think of everything you want to feel guilty about. Get wild with it. Make everything your fault. Then take a deep breath and let it go. After giving in to the guilt, work on letting go.

Ask for help. When there is too much to do, call a friend and ask for help. Create a help list before you need it. Ask friends or relatives if you can call on them should you find yourself in a bind.

Squeeze ten minutes out of your sleep time to awake each morning and lay quietly. Think about the day ahead or day-dream a little as you collect your thoughts.

Breathe. One of the quickest combatants for warding off stress is a few deep breaths. Place one hand on your stomach and focus on breathing from your stomach instead of your chest. Close your eyes and inhale for the count of ten. Then, exhale for the count of ten. Repeat five to ten times for a quick escape from stress.

Learning to successfully deal with emotions from our past, as well as dealing with new emotions arising from current situations, is key to living a balanced life. Invest time into nurturing your family’s base asset – you.

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