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Fighting Stress





Peace of mind is connected to a healthy body. Dealing with stress is about changing your life or your attitude
Stress can make us anxious and depressed. It’s the enemy of clear thinking and if allowed to get promise our health as well. According to Georgia Watkin, author of The Female Stress Syndrome, one of the top stressors is the “time deficit” – The difference between the amount of time we think we need to get every thing done an the amount of time we actually have to do it all.

But stress doesn’t have to be our constant companion. Here’s how Witkin and other self help experts diffuse the stress they encounter in their own busy lives:

Georgia Witkin, Ph.D., director of the Stress Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Troubled by debilitating migraines, Witkin suspected a busy schedule was at the core of her problem. “I never had anytime left over to take care of me,” she says. She fought back by keeping 20 minutes to her self daily – even if she hadn’t finished everything on her to-do list.

“ You brush your teeth morning and night: otherwise, you’ll get decay, Witkin says. “That’s how I started to view distressing.”

Witkin keeps tabs on herself throughout the day. If muscles tense, she counts back from 30 to one, and “breathes like a baby.” She says, “I take easy, gentle breaths and allow my belly to rise and fall with each one.” The result? A lot less aspirin.

Richard Carlson, Ph.D., author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

Living in the moment is how Carlson eliminates stress. I regularly remind myself that life is truly precious.” For him, freedom from stress also involves making peace with imperfection. “The more I’m able to accept things as they are – instead of how I want them to be – the happier I am.” Carlson believes serving others is another effective strategy. “It takes attention off my own little world. The less stress I harbour.” He recalls driving a new neighbour, who didn’t have a car, to the shops. “Being nice made my day.”

Louise Hay, lecturer and author of You Can Heal Your Life and Empowering Woman. “Stress is really fear,”

Hay explains. “It’s reacting to circumstances with a feeling of “this is too much. I can’t handle it.’”

When Hay is faced with uncertainty, she thinks thoughts such as “Out of this experience only good will come” Redirecting her thinking helps her feel serene and “gets my mental chatter out of the way,” she says. “We’re always talking to and the more we can say that’s positive, the better off we’ll be.”

For Hay, who is 73 years old, working in her garden banishes stress too. “ As I pull out weeds, I mentally eliminate the negative thoughts from my head,” she says, adding that five to ten minutes of absolute silence each day is also essential. “ Being quiet allows answers to surface.

Bernie Siegel, M.D., author of Prescriptions for Living.

According to Siegel, the father of five: “There’s only one person who gives me any problems, and that’s me. I create my own feelings, and if I am uncomfortable, I pay attention to my feelings.”

A longtime believer in the connection between peace of mind and a healthy body, Siegel says dealing with stress is about changing your life or your attitude. He recalls a frail patient named Edith who had survived a heart attack, a bleeding ulcer and invasive breast cancer. Stress often hinders healing, but the older woman had found a way to avert it.

Edith’s mother always told her daughter she’d live to a ripe old age. And every time something bad happened, Edith heard her mother’s words and she believed them. As for daily stress, Siegel suggests becoming so involved with what you love to do a hobby or your work that you lose track of time. “Painting removes me from my problems,” he says. “I might have a backache, but as soon as I pick up a paintbrush, the pain goes away.”
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