Stress management

What makes some people go to pieces when there’s a two-hour traffic jam and other people take it in stride? A key element is how people decide to manage the stress, and not the fact that a stressful situation has occurred.

Your emotions and thoughts have a significant impact on your health. Stress weakens the immune system, depletes the body of nutrients, disrupts digestion, and causes organs to overwork, increasing the risk for illness and disease. Thus you may eat a nutritious diet, but if you do not manage stress in a healthy way, your body will not benefit from those positive foods. Generally, people who have learned how to manage stressful situations in a healthy way are rewarded with better overall health.

Effective stress management can and should be enjoyable, and there are many techniques you can try and incorporate into your lifestyle to help you better manage stress. Don’t limit yourself to just one approach! Exercise is certainly a stress reducer, and so are meditation, tai chi, yoga, playing or listening to music, writing poetry or journaling, or watching humorous movies.

Of course, potentially stress-reducing activities alone won’t help you if your attitude is negative. Nurture a positive mental attitude about life and situations as they come. It may sound simplistic, but the truth is that a simple approach is often the one that works, with practice. Only you can decide: is the glass half full or half empty? When you get up in the morning, will you look for the positive in every situation—or the negative?

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