by bharathi 2010-01-30 09:00:55

Five Keys to Manage Stress in Your Life It's impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, but what you can do is learn how to manage the stress that is there in a more effective manner. Here are five tips to do just that.

1. Exercise: "Exercise is a great stress reliever," Lewis says. Aside from strengthening your heart and lungs, two organs that can become physically affected from too much stress, it's great for your mental health too. Exercising increases the levels of endorphins in your body, which stimulate your immune system, reduce stress and put you in a better mood.

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2. Take Time to Relax: This may sound easy, but how many of you are reading this actually. Schedule time into your day to relax and enjoy life? It's imperative to do so, because without adequate down time, it will be near impossible to soothe your stress woes away. Relaxing can take on many forms, like:




3. Proper Sleep: Another essential tool for stress reduction is getting enough sleep. When we sleep, the stress hormone, cortisol, is lowered, but when we are asleep deprived, cortisol levels rises. Further, your energy levels will go down and you'll be less able to cope with any setbacks during your day.
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4. Proper Nutrition: Fortifying your body with the nutrients it needs is key to reducing stress and staying healthy while you're feeling it, as stress can actually rob your body of nutrients. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and other antioxidant-rich foods while avoiding junk foods.

5. Build Strong Friendships: Because stress can lead to feelings of depression and even isolation, keeping a network of social ties can help to reduce those negative feelings and boost your mood. Says Psychologist Elissa Epel of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, "Building strong friendships and developing new goals and priorities often can help curb stress."

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