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Kill Your Stress: Eight Stress-Busting Secrets

Do you feel constantly tense? Are your muscles tight and aching? Do you find yourself snapping at colleagues or family members? Do you feel a sense of panic and overwhelm when you think about your to-do list, or your email inbox? Are you constantly “wired”, in a jittery, negative way?

Here are eight secrets – physical and mental – that will radically reduce your stress. Try focusing on one physical and one mental tip each week, until you’ve got all eight in play.

These four secrets are all to do with treating your body well in order to avoid stress.

You don’t need to hit the gym to reduce your stress – though moderate-high intensity exercise will do more good than a low-level activity. A brisk walk, a cycle ride, or a jog gives you the same stress-busting results. You’ll find that your worries, your work and your to-do list fade from your mind while you’re busy getting active.

My tips for getting enough sleep are:

For more tips, see Six Simple Steps to Successful Sleep.

Taking the time to eat a healthy meal can also help reduce stress by providing a break in your day. Don’t scoff down lunch at your desk – you’ll barely taste it, and eating in a hurry like this isn’t good for your digestion. Get away from your desk (outside the office, if possible) and give yourself time to enjoy and appreciate your food: this also helps you to eat less, which in turn means you’ll feel more awake in the afternoon.

If you’re looking to cut your caffeine intake, you might want to read How to Give Up Coffee and Caffeine Altogether.

Don’t resort to energy drinks either: these can contain huge doses of caffeine, along with a lot of sugar – which won’t do your short-term concentration or your long-term health any favors.

These four secrets are ones that primarily affect your mind.

There are a number of emotional signals that you’re getting stressed, including:

Often, stress can be stopped in its tracks by learning what your early-warning symptoms are.

Just getting out of the immediate situation is often enough to help you calm down and get perspective. This is important for your own mental health – but also for the people around you. If you’re getting very het up in a tense situation with colleagues or relatives, make an excuse and slip away for a few minutes. This will help you calm down so you don’t lose your temper.

For greater effectiveness, and less stress, learn to mono-task.

This is a great way to get problems into perspective, to find the good side in situations that might have been stressful at the time, and to notice patterns in your life. Through journaling, you can often see what’s causing you stress – and you can work to eliminate it.

Journaling is also a good way to get thoughts out of your mind before you go to bed; many people find this helps them to sleep better.

What are your secrets for killing stress? Add them in the comments!

Written on 9/08/2009 by Ali Hale. Ali is a professional writer and blogger, and a part-time postgraduate student of creative writing. If you need a hand with any sort of written project, drop her a line ( or check out her website at Aliventures. Photo Credit: Sara. Nel
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