Five Essential Habits for Stress Control
by Melissa C. Stappler, M.D.
1. Develop your relaxation skills. Stress control requires your being able to put aside the demands and stressors in your daily life, at least temporarily. Many people have actually lost the ability to relax and create emotional distance from troubling thoughts and may need to re-train their body and mind to relax effectively.
2. Pay attention to physical health.. Remember that stress results from a combination of physical and mental factors. If your body isn't able to handle these challenges, you aren't going to be capable of effective stress management.
3. Become a time management expert. Finding extra minutes in your day need not be an insurmountable task, and those daily minutes add up.
4. Exercise regularly.. Exercise not only stimulates release of endorphins, the body's natural stress-fighters, but it also helps lower cortisol and other stress hormone levels. You'll also be healthier and better prepared to deal with both physical and mental demands.
5. Prioritize commitments and responsibilities.. Learn to differentiate between mandatory obligations and commitments you made due to guilt, to satisfy others, or to fulfill unrealistic expectations of yourself. Learning to say 'no' can help you reduce the stress of excessive demands on your time and energy.