This week, we are talking about stress. In the last 2 posts, I outlined symptoms to help you identify stress and then I offered some general strategies on how to deal with that stress. This time, I’d like to get even more specific. What can you do at work and at home to give yourself a break??

On work-related stress…

1. When in doubt, breathe in, breathe out. The Buddhists were onto something with this saying. Breathing relaxes your muscles and gives you a peace of mind and is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get stress relief.

When you’re at work and you feel that stress is already beginning to build up, get out and breathe some fresh air. Let the air soothe your tired and weary muscles before going back on track.

2. If breathing does no good for you, (I mean, it can only do so much, am I right?) try to walk around and stretch your muscles. Tackling your daily tasks head on may be great for your boss, but it’s terrible for your body. Sitting the entire day without moving a muscle is another cause of stress on your body. Proper posture and regular stretching are important. Even in your own little cubicle, always practice the art of exercise.

3. Drink plenty of water. Water helps revitalize and energize your body to give you enough energy to sustain you through your working hours. The doctors aren’t kidding when we say that your body needs at least 8 glasses of water a day.

4. Give yourself a break. While your career is important for your survival, it wouldn’t hurt taking a break from your busy schedule to just relax and enjoy a carefree life. Ya, right, you’re thinking, this doctor doesn’t know my life! But I do. And I still say it’s important. Plan a trip with your loved ones to de-stress. If time won’t allow, you can simply choose to unwind on your days off. Go out with your family and friends; go for dinner, watch a movie. The key here is to pamper yourself after a week of hard work. So there you have it, vacations are doctor prescribed.

On emotion-related stress…

1. Getting into an argument can cause serious stress; it’s even worse when you have heart problems. If you’re not on good terms with, say, your loved ones or a colleague, try not to get into a serious argument with them. Or, if it cannot be avoided, try not to overreact on things. Using up your energy to shout and nag can really stress your body out. Before you know it, you’re shaking: this is a foolproof sign that you’ve allowed the stimulus to get the better off you. As much as possible, always try to remain calm.

2. If there are things that are bothering you, learn how to address them piece by piece. Instead obsessing over it, try to take a more productive approach and focus on ways to resolve whatever it is that’s keeping you awake at night. Stress can cause insomnia, and if you keep on letting things get in the way of your snooze haven, you’d be causing harm to your body, and that’s not a good thing.

3. Always think positively. Positive thinking can change the way you see things, especially when it comes to dealing with people around you. Bringing out the optimist in you can change the way you perceive things. Who knows? You might just get that inner peace that you need to keep stress at bay and get some real stress relief.

Making even one of these adjustments in your life has the potential to reduce your daily stress. Again, please feel free to share with me what you’re doing to find stress relief in your life and the impact it has had on the quality of your life.