LifeHack.Org- Stress Relief Guide has published a complete guide to stress relief, and it’s here.
The best recommendation they make which I have tried, and when I do it, it works is making a daily schedule. If you’re like me, and it is impossible for you to have an absolute routine week (I take care of a 4 year old at home, run a side IT consulting business, and am finishing my masters), then it helps a lot to just take five minutes at the beginning of the day to note down a realistic schedule. It will kind of resemble a to-do list, but should include times, because that helps you focus on changing activities on-time (hard to do when immersed in Mine Craft).  I say realistic, because I have a tendency to overload myself, or expect too much of myself. So I have tried to engage in mindful self-compassion, and just focus on absolutely one or two achievements a day, and the rest can flex, move, or maybe not even get done. This helps me not  beat up on myself too much when the schedule doesn’t go as planned (like your 15 year old calling you at 6pm to take him to the ER for a broken hand).To Doist task list and schedule features relieve stress

So take a peek at that article for further tips, and also take a look at Christopher Germer’s site and free downloads for mindful self compassion! Relieve yourself by being a little more structures (the daily schedule), and letting go of all that stuff you can’t control.

A great app is called To Doist, and it allows you to make great lists and attach times/calendar dates to the items as well. You can use desktop/phone/tablet versions and they are always syched.

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More ways to ease stress…mindful dishwashing..really!

This article has some great ways to dial down your stress levels, and recommends amongst others, mindful dishwashing. I have tried this one, which I first read about in Thich Nhat Hanh’s books, noting that even a task like washing the dishes can be a meditation. If you try to really focus in the moment on the dish you are washing, getting the food off, putting it carefully into the dishwasher or drying rack, and not allowing your thoughts to wander as they often do. I have a habit of cursing people in my thoughts when I’m washing dishes lol, especially the ones who eat and leave oatmeal in the bowl without soaking it. When I catch myself starting to go off on a mental tangent, I refocus and think about the warm water on my hands, the brush swishing in the water in the bowl, and it helps let go of those negative thoughts and emotions.

So try it on for size when you clean up after dinner tonight (or tomorrow morning as in my house!), and read this article to find out more ways to relax, lower your blood pressure, and raise up levels of all the feel good chemicals in your body!

Psychology Today Stress Relief Article

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Work Stress Kills Us Faster

A New York Times article featuring a study from Harvard and Stanford shows work stress makes people die younger, and the age drops if you are lesser educated, work multiple jobs, or are under constant threat of losing your job despite doing well (contractors). Here is a link to the dismal news h

I recently started a job commuting some days over 3 hours total by car, into a major city where I work long hours, and my way of dealing with the stress is listening to audio books, and doing meditation mantras to fend off road rage.

How do you counter your work stress?

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Stress and Magnesium

Recently read a great article by Dr. Mark Hyman about the links between inflammation, stress, and a general deficiency in the mineral magnesium. You can read the full article here.

Be sure to check with your doctor before adding it, because it can impact people with heart issues in particular. Also the article indicates too much can cause diarrhea.

When it comes to stress relief and stress management, we need to take a multi-pronged approach. Nutrition is probably the first place we should start, and the easiest thing to change. The article provides a full list of foods to naturally boost your magnesium levels. Some of the foods listed that I love are cashews, brown rice, parsley, amongst others. Think I might find a recipe for a Mediterranean grain salad or something to add some of these ingredients and let go of my stress:-)

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Stress Relief and Your To-Do List

Relieve Stress, Choose to do nothing

Relieve Stress, Choose to do nothing

Certain personality types, especially those experiencing anxiety and high stress levels have a way of being which involves this innate pressure to push yourself to do the next thing. It’s like you never feel complete, done, and have this never ending to-do list that compells you to feel inadequate and busy. You will never find stress relief without letting go of that next to-do.

Not long ago, while talking to a friend, we were discussing this, and he just said he works his way to the top of the mountain, then waits for inspiration to find the higher mountain so to speak, but doesn’t feel compelled to do or finish anything. These are dangerous waters for me to tread, because it can be very difficult to finish things these days, so to actively give myself permission not to finish or do something next is like standing on the edge of a cliff.

Recently I read a good book called The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated), by Tom Ferris, and he recommends having only 2 things per day you have to accomplish, and the rest can fall by the wayside. This has been very helpful for me considering my to-do lists have always been miles long. I also started an accomplishments doc for the year, where I paste the things I’ve done after they are completed. When I feel that pressure, or beat myself up because I haven’t accomplished something, I try to look at that and realize, hey, I’ve done a lot!

Stress can be that low level anxiety of your to-do’s that are out there “waiting”, hovering above you, haunting your sleep (why do you think you wake up from sleep or toss and turn).  Think about the effects of that constant, low-level stress, it’s probably like a steady drip of fat saving cortisol, causing horrible inflammation and health problems along the way.

It’s amazing how a simple cognitive shift can help us turn off that “tap of stress” that’s always dripping inside us. Think about what gives you purpose or joy, and follow that to the next thing you want to do. Yes we have things we need/have to do, but usually those things can wait, and will wait for something that is worth doing, that fulfills us. If you can’t think of anything to do that gives you joy, or which you feel provides a purpose, then do a task like cleaning or gardening, but with great awareness and mindfulness.

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