Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1123, 22-28 November 2012-
Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Issue 1123, 22-28 November 2012-

Ahram Weekly

Amany Abdel-Moneim


Stress management 101

Stress is part and parcel of our modern, everyday lives. It is a normal response to the emotional, intellectual and physical demands we are burdened with. The more stressed out we are, the more vulnerable we become to colds, flu and a host of chronic and life-threatening illnesses and, sadly, the less open we are to enjoy the beauty and pleasures of life.  
Though stress is a fact of life, being stressed out is not. Experts have come up with the following easy, natural tips to lead a happier, healthier life and keep stress at bay:
- Maintain a positive attitude and accept that there are events that you cannot control.
- Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings, opinions or beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive or passive.
- Learn and practise relaxation techniques; try meditation, yoga or tai-chi. You can  also try a mini self-massage by massaging the palm of one hand by making a circular motion with the thumb of the other.
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals and exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
- Learn to manage your time more effectively.Make time for hobbies and interests.
- Set limits appropriately and say no to requests that would create excessive stress in your life.
- Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.
- Ease up and don’t rely on drugs, caffeine, food or alcohol to reduce stress.
- Seek out social support. Spend enough time with those you love.
- Look for treatment with a professional psychologist trained in stress management techniques to learn more healthy ways of  dealing with the stress in your life.

Stress fighters

Dark chocolate:
Contains phenethylamine, a mood-enhancing chemical. Chocolate is also high in flavonoids, which are lauded for their relaxing properties.

Contain antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which help to lower stress.

Pistachios, almonds, and walnuts:
The B and E vitamins in almonds are great for relieving stress. These nuts also contain stress-reducing magnesium and zinc.

Helps reverse stress symptoms by boosting serotonin levels, and suppressing the production of the anxiety hormones.

Help to reduce stress hormone levels.

Skimmed milk:
Reduces muscle spasms, alleviates tension and eases anxiety caused by stress.

Contains B vitamins and folic acid, which are known to reduce stress and anxiety.

Dried apricots:
Are rich in magnesium, a known stress-fighter and a natural muscle relaxant.

Next time you’re stressed take a step back, inhale and laugh. Be strong, flexible, love yourself, and love others. Always keep moving forward.



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