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july 2010
10 De-Stressors
Dr Pooja Puskarana
Although stress is a very real threat to one’s emotional and physical well-being, what matters most is not the nature of specific problem or incident but how an individual handles it. One of the best ways to think of stress is captured by the Chinese word for crisis, which consists of two characters: one means danger, the other opportunity.

Specific strategies can help to manage stress and to minimise its negative effects. Here are some of the most effective ways to ease your stress:

Learn to identify stress
By keeping a stress diary, you are able to understand what elements in your life are causing stress to you. At the end of the day or a week, you will be able to see the pattern of stress in your life and then be able to make plans to cope with it.

Build Support
Develop a strong network of friends and family members who would be there when you need them, in times of change or crisis. In turn, be there when they need you.

Become a Good Communicator
Poor communication is a major cause of stress; be an active listener. Try to understand what the other person is saying without interrupting. When responding, address the behaviour or the problem; avoid attacking the individual.

Take Charge of your Finances
Money problems are becoming the leading cause of stress in our lives. Adjust your spending and savings properly.

Appreciate yourself
Increase your personal ‘Self –Esteem’ so that you have the courage to handle the risk of failing. Every night, before going to bed, name at least one thing you’ve done during the day that made you feel good.

Avoid over loading on Caffeine
Coffee, tea and cola drinks are stimulants that increase your heart rate and make you more irritable.

Taking an Optimistic View
Change your perception – if you have a habit of ‘Making a Mountain out of a Molehill’.

Set Realistic Goals
Review commitments and plans, and if necessary, scale them down. Assess what you’re doing and ask why. Is it what you want to do or what you feel you should do? All of us have to do things we’d rather not do; the strategy is to make sure the ‘we don’t’ overwhelm the ‘want-to’ in our life.

Cultivate Humour
Cultivate a kind of humour that often enables us to express fear and negative feelings without causing distress to ourselves or others.

Many studies have suggested that prayer is a very effective calming technique; so add it to your way of life. Walk these simple ten-step measures to a stress-free life and you’ll see the magic work at every step you take.

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