Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Four Tips To Reduce Stress

I got this in my inbox today and thought it is good to share. Stress is one of the factors that does cause sleeping problem.

Stress is linked to over 70% of all diseases in the United States. Studies show that more people feel stressed out during winter than any other time of year.

Many people are unaware of the severe impact that stress has on their lives. Stress-related illnesses include: hypertension, migraine headaches, ulcers, anxiety, allergies, asthma as well as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Your New Year's resolution may be to lose weight, but watch out, stress can sabotage your efforts. Studies show that biochemical changes during high stress prevent weight loss and in some cases cause weight gain, even during dieting.

Take the following Stress Level Quiz and see how many statements apply to you.

I yawn constantly.
My breathing is often irregular.
I don't sleep well.
I bite on my fingernails, pens or pencils.
I feel lightheaded sometimes.
I get clammy hands.
My mouth gets dry a lot.
I grind my teeth or wrinkle my forehead a lot.
I suffer from indigestion.
I often have acne.
I get frequent headaches or migraines.

If two or more statements describe you, you may be more stressed out
than you know! Here are four easy ways to reduce stress in your life:

1. Diet and vitamins
Unrelenting stress may deplete your nervous system of essential nutrients. If you are under constant stress, it may be important to avoid things that negatively impact the nervous system, such as caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Choose foods that nourish the nervous system, such as whole grains, fresh vegetables and foods rich in essential fatty acids like nuts, seeds and cold-water fish. B vitamins help support the nervous system and may be depleted by stress; consider adding B vitamins to your diet.

2. Sleep
Set aside more time for sleep. Create an environment that helps you get a good night's rest by keeping the room cool and turning off the telephone ringer. Also, try to relax before going to bed. Take a hot bath, drink a cup of herbal tea or read a relaxing book. Aim for a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night.

3. Quiet time
Try to take at least 15 minutes per day just to relax. Find a quiet space and unwind by writing in a journal, listening to peaceful music or meditating.

4. Exercise
Daily exercise not only reduces tension and frustration but also boosts the brain's feel-good chemicals. If you prefer to exercise in the evening, make sure that you finish your workout at least 3 hours before bedtime.

Reducing the stress in your life is important for your physical and emotional health. Take a few minutes to evaluate your stress level.

Do you have moments in the day that you feel stressed or do you suffer from chronic stress? Count the number of times you feel stressed out and overwhelmed each day. Start by gradually eliminating the amount of stress in your life and make sure to get proper nutrients. If you are feeling constantly stressed or anxious, it may be a good idea to seek professional advice, especially if your stress leads to depression.

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