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                                    Stress Busters

What are some of the signs and symptoms that you are under stress?

1. Tightening of your neck or shoulder muscles.
2. Irritability:  you start losing your patience with people.
3. Clenching or grinding your teeth together
4. An Increase in your pulse or heart rate.
5. Raising your voice or becoming angry.
6. Difficulty sleeping.

What are some of the best ways to deal with stress?

1. Listening to music.   Music activates the pleasure center in the brain. There are many different types of music from classical to rock to music specifically made music to relax to.

2. Humor     Look for humor in life. If you can learn to laugh at your self and the things that you do, you can entertain yourself the rest of your life.   Humor can lighten any situation.

3.  Plan ahead    Carry  a day planner, which could be a $8 paper pocket calendar  or an electronic organizer  to record where and you are suppose be  every day for business and family commitments so that they do not conflict..  I recommend keeping the same one for your business and personal obligations to avoid schedule conflicts.

4. Schedule your time realistically.  Don’t over commit or over estimate how much time your commitments will take, which leads to more stress.  Open your pocket calendar when someone asks for your time.  If you can’t spend time with them now give them:

          a.  A specific date and time you can meet or call them.
          b.  A definite time frame you will get back to them if you are unsure of your
                  schedule and write this down in your planner.       
          c.  Or a definite “No.” and an explanation why.

5. Reduce the amount of sugar, caffeine and alcohol (Pick me ups) you consume.
          These “pick me ups” will cause a rapid increase in alertness, but are also followed by a fast fall to lack of alertness and energy.   Taking these all the time is like putting your car in neutral and revving the engine.   This is bad for the car motor and the human body and you do not get anywhere.

6. Take a break, even if it is a short one to stretch, walk around and remove yourself from your work spot.  Schedule times each week for activities that relax you.  This can be anything from seeing movie, reading, watching a little TV, taking a Jacuzzi at the fitness center, getting a massage, relaxing in your favorite chair at home or taking a nap.

7. Exercise regularly.  Research confirms that 20 minutes to 2 hours of exercise at least three times a week decreases the electrical activity in your muscles reducing tension.  Reducing muscle tension reduces stress and enables you to deal with it easier.
Choose low impact activities like walking, swimming, yoga or bicycling to start with if you have not been physically active..

8. Eat a balanced diet and take a multiple vitamin daily. 

9. Find a good listener that you can talk to.  This could be a friend, spouse, God  or even a pet.  Pets are God’s great listeners. If you do not have one, who do you know who does?  

10. Thinking positive and having faith that you will get through the situation is the best attitude to take.

11. Try to get the same amount of hours sleep every night, so that you feel rested in the morning.   This will vary from person to person.

12.  If you have tried these stress busters with out success then see your physician.

13. If you are grinding or clenching your teeth together your dentist can help you with a night guard or occlusal splint that will minimize damage to your teeth and lessen the tension in your jaw muscles.