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Friday, July 29, 2011

37 ways to beat stress

Calm down! You can’t be that stressed. It’s not healthy! If you’re having trouble letting go of that little ball of stress, here are 37, yes Thirty Seven, things you can try from Reader’s Digest. You’re bound to find something that works. After all, who needs stress?

1. Embrace the number one truth about stress: Only you create it. Embracing the fact that stress is your reaction to external stimuli — and not the stimuli themselves — is half the battle toward managing it.

5. Use the otherwise stressful time of waiting in line as a chance to relax. As you wait, think about things in life for which you are grateful, meditate on your breath, talk to one of the other customers, or look at a magazine.

12. Don’t take the bait. Happy, low-stress people choose not to get angry, even when the opportunity is dangled right in front of them.

32. Carry a small notebook with you everywhere. This is your “worry” journal. When you feel stressed, whip it out and scribble down everything on your mind at that minute. Close the journal. Close your eyes. Take 10 deep breaths. Now open the journal and read what you’ve written. You’ll find your worries are not nearly as stressful as you thought now that you’ve gotten them out of your head and onto the page.


What to Do If Your Child Is Stressed
June 15 by ErinKurt | 2 Comments and 14 Reactions | Lifestyle | Tags: coping with stress, stress, stress and children
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Does your child often get sick, or do they constantly whine and cry? Do they bite their nails, act out or often throw tantrums? Then your child may be stressed. Here is a simple guide on how to handle this and change things around for the better.

The first step is to stay calm. If you become frazzled, your child’s stress level will only increase. You know the scenario – child falls and doesn’t flinch…until he hears his mother’s gasp.

The second step is to try and identify the reason behind your child’s stress. This way you will be able to develop a specific plan to reduce or eliminate it.

Here are the most common reasons children are stressed. Remember, even small babies and children can be stressed.

Overload: too many activities with no time to relax. (over-scheduled). This can refer to a baby or toddler registered in too many classes all the way to a school-aged child who has too many after-school activities.

Real-World Events: scary nightly news or exposure to world events

Trauma: divorce, accident, death in family

Peer Problems: peer pressure, bullying, rejection

Appearance: Concern with clothes, weight, appearance, fitting in

School: Grades, homework, over emphasis on performance by parent or teacher

Unrealistic Expectations: too pressured, standards too high in relation to ability

Home Problems: divorce, illness, a move, financial strain, stressed parents, sibling rivalry

After having identified the potential cause or causes of your child’s stress, move onto step three, which is to come up with a plan as to how you can reduce or eliminate the stress. Here are some things to consider working on:

1. Set a good bedtime routine.

Heavy workloads and over-scheduling can deeply affect a child’s sleep patterns. Without a good night’s sleep of at least 9-11 hours a night, stress can build. Sleep experts suggest turning off all electric items 30 mins to 1 hour before bed.

2. Turn off, eliminate, or ask for help to reduce potential stressors.

Keep the news and your adult conversations out of your child’s environment as much as possible. Hearing you discuss politics, the economic crisis or the recent death toll from a natural disaster can really stress some children. Also, ask yourself, “Is there too much yelling in our home?” Another solution to different types of problems could be to hire a tutor to help your child with homework.

3. Cut out one or more activities.

Evaluate your child’s daily schedule of school, home and extracurricular activities. How much free time does your child have left?

4. Create family routines and rituals.

Routines and rituals help reduce stress because it boosts predictability for kids. Not only will family meals, bedtime rituals, nighttime stories, hot baths, hugs and back rubs reduce stress, they will create lasting family memories.

5. Monitor TV viewing.

Kids say one big stressor to them is watching the news without an adult being there to explain late-breaking news events. We ALL could stand to watch less news as it does little to help us – limit TV or at the least, be there to help explain events that your child may see.

6. Teach your children to repeat the phrase, “I can handle this” when they begin feeling stressed, as well as to take 5 slow deep breaths when they feel overwhelmed.

Finally, the most helpful thing you as a parent can do to reduce the amount of stress your child has is to learn and practice ways of reducing your own stress. After all, less stressed parents = less stressed kids – that’s a fact.

One of the best things any parent can do for their kids once they reach about 5 or 6 years of age is to enroll them into martial arts classes for children. This is regardless of whether they are girls or boys. Martial arts are one of the best activities for kids because of the stress management, discipline and fitness. I've seen enough kids go through martial arts with so many benefits over the 40 so years I've been involved in the activity that it's now not surprising at all to me that kids now make up the majority of martial arts students. If martial arts works as a de-stresser for adults, it works just as well with additional benefits for kids.


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Fantastic article with practical advice:
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Defuse the stress bomb
KEVIN LOBO, Mumbai Mirror Jul 22, 2011, 12.00am IST


Getting inundated with information about the terror attacks could have affected you. We get experts to help you spot symptoms of having experienced terror, and how to rectify it

Even if you weren't physically affected by the terror attacks yesterday, just living in Mumbai, watching the gruesome images on TV or being scared for the wellbeing of your loved ones could have affected you psychologically. Stress can manifest itself both significantly and in a subtle manner. Life coaches Aprajita Singh and Malti Bhojwani share tips on how to first identify and then diffuse your stress.
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Physical patterns

Spot: While worrying about people you care is legitimate, don't visualize yourself in horrific situations. "The first place you will feel fear is in your stomach. The line between what you are imagining and where you really are starts blurring. Some people may start pacing around and breathe rapidly. Others sit with a hunch, constricting their chest, which causes them to take shallow breaths," says Singh.

Treat: You need to sit up straight, expand your chest and breathe deeply. Once you sense you are getting hassled, take a step back and look at everything you are worried about intelligently. "Stand on a tile in your house and feel everything negative you are going through. Then step on to another tile and think back to a time when you were very confident or felt like you achieved something remarkable. You need to see what you saw (the situation), hear what you heard (maybe applause) and feel what you felt. With these positive feelings, step back into tile one. Now assess your current situation and how you want to move forward," advises Singh.

Mood changes

Spot: Human beings are equipped to deal with physical changes, but we are quite unaware when it comes to matters of the mind. Most people will not know why they are feeling a sense of helplessness or anger towards nothing in particular after a terrorist attack. Some might feel inconsequential and small in this big universe. Bhojwani says, "If you notice yourself snapping at the wrong people or lashing out and looking to blame everyone, you need to check your mood. How are you affecting your loved ones."


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