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Minimising Stress

Hard work doesn't kill anyone - stress does. Here's how you can reduce stress at home, and at work.

Stress. All of us have felt it at some time or the other. And when the problem that is causing us so much stress finally gets solved, we all heave a sigh of relief, feeling much lighter, as if a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders.

Some lucky few deal with stress once in a while, and don't encounter it too often, but for the most of us, stress is a daily part of life. Some get more stressed, others get less. If you are running a little late for a lunch appointment, some of us will just call ahead, say that we will be late, and lie back and relax, while others will zip ahead at top speed, and feel their hearts sink everytime they come across a red signal.

Not everything in a day goes as planned. If you have to get to a meeting at a certain time, your car will suddenly stall, or your driver will show up late, or you will spill coffee on your shirt and will need to change, you need to make a presentation and your colleagues haven't yet given you the inputs you need, or your computer starts working slowly, or you are getting ready for a night out when your mother in law falls ill, or says something nasty, your child does poorly in school, the share market crashes….

The reasons that can cause stress are endless. Everyday, we encounter objects of stress, and it is these little things that can really wear you down. You need to sit down and identify what causes you stress. Naturally, you cannot do anything about the behaviour of other people, like your boss, sister-in-law or neighbours, but you can, and should, do something about your own attitude towards dealing with situations.

Here are some tips on how you can relieve stress:

Take time out to have lunch with a friend every now and again. It will take your mind off work pressures and help you feel more relaxed.

Don't keep things in your heart. If something has upset you, talk about it with a few close friends or family. Let it all out. Speaking about things almost always makes one feel better and lightens the mind. It also helps give you a new perspective, and you always will come out of the conversation feeling better.

Stay away from people who pull you down. All of us know people who are on our side and wish us well, and those who put us down every now and again, compete with us, try to outdo us and try to show us that they are better than we are. Such people cause us little joy, and a lot of stress. As far as possible, keep your distance from people like this. First, cut yourself off emotionally, if not physically. Stop divulging your plans to them, cut down on phone conversations, and try and focus your energies on other people and interests.

Go for the window seat - and not just while commuting, but even when you are in the office. Aim for a seat next to the window. Even just a little thing like an outside view can lift your spirits on a good day.

Inculcate a hobby. You will be surprised to see how it relaxes you.

Make it a point to spend time with your children, and don't think about your problems when you are with them. Instead, just concentrate on being with them and enjoy the time you spend together.

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