Stressed out? Try these suggestions

There are a million reasons why you could be stressed. Not only does it make you feel stiff and irritable, stress can weaken your immune system.

The Mayo Clinic has come up with 10 tips to help you relax. Even if you’ve read 30 lists of relaxation techniques, if you’re stressed out, you should try something different.

  1. Get active. Not only does physical activity pump endorphins, it offers on a way to focus on something other than sitting at your computer with your thoughts nagging at you.
  2. Meditate. You CAN do it. If you can’t seem to sit alone without your brain running wild, try assisted meditation at a yoga studio or at your gym. It’s easier to stop thinking when someone else is instructing you to concentrate on your breathing.
  3. Laugh. Just letting go and laughing can put things in perspective and make you feel like you can handle anything. Call up your funniest friend, treat them to tea, and let them do all the work.
  4. Connect. While we often equate relaxation with alone time, we can start to wallow if we’re alone too much. Get in touch with other survivors through YACC programs or volunteer in your community. You’ll get a lot out of it.
  5. Assert yourself. If your stress is caused by someone else’s demands, learn to say “no.”
  6. Do yoga. It will strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility and balance, control your blood pressure, and make you feel relaxed. The results will speak for themselves after a few sessions. The popularization of the discipline and yoga wear means people of all ages, sizes, and genders are going. Dr. Lorenzo Cohen is even conducting a study on the effects of yoga on cancer patients.
  7. Go to sleep. I don’t care when your deadlines are, what’s happening tomorrow, or what you’re thinking about. Go to bed. You can’t operate properly if you’re not fully rested. Besides, it’s been proven that people who regularly sleep fewer than seven hours a night are at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
  8. Write. Whether it’s in a journal, a blog, or the back of a napkin, write down what you’re thinking about. Doodle if you’re not into writing. It will help you organize your thoughts and figure out solutions for what’s causing the stress.
  9. Indulge in a hobby. Hobbies are guilt-free ways to feel productive. If you’re playing music, gardening, or woodworking, you’re doing something you enjoy and that takes your mind off of what you think you should be doing otherwise.
  10. Talk to someone. Stress is a big deal in the age of cell phones that are always on and technology that’s supposed to make us do our jobs faster. Talk to a health professional if you suffer from chronic stress. Even talking to a friend can help organize how you’re feeling (much like journaling but with feedback). It’s better to feel good than worry about what they’ll think.


How do you stay calm, cool, and collected?