7 ways to stress less

Cut down the tension with this easy advice.
Stop stress
Stress can motivate us to get things done, but it can get ugly, too. According to a recent study, stress can lead to medical problems and accelerate some effects of ageing. Yikes! Here are 7 easy ways to de-stress.

According to a recent study, stress can lead to physical problems such as high blood pressure, and can accelerate some effects of ageing. And we all know that stress may contribute to emotional upheaval — irritability, anger and even depression.

Here are seven easy strategies — one for each day of the week — to help you meet stress head-on and conquer it:

1. Breathe
Yes! It's that simple. Inhale as though you were sniffing a delightful scent. Then stre-e-e-tch your arms high over your head as you slowly and completely exhale.

2. Set boundaries
Decide what you will do — and when. Better still, decide what you won't do and say 'no'. Try to avoid things that will waste your time or make you feel anxious.

3. Clarify your goals
Decide exactly what needs to be done, and plan a smart way of accomplishing each task. Oh, and give yourself a pat on the back every time you achieve even one of your goals, no matter how small.

4. Put yourself first
Find time for yourself, and try to do at least one relaxing thing each day: Take a bubble bath or read a few chapters of a book.

5. Give yourself a break
It's OK to cancel a lunch date or miss a deadline now and then. In six months or 10 years, who will remember?

6. Get support
Don't keep it inside. Talk about what's stressing you with your friends and family. It alwasy feels better to get things off your chest.

7. Take five
Right now stop what you are doing to cherish the moment. Savour whatever you're drinking or eating. Or go outside and feel the sunshine on your face. Take a moment every day to marvel at the wonders all around you.