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精神压力及应对方法
作者:home99
发表时间:2010-08-28
更新时间:2010-08-28
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最近总觉得时间过得飞快,也不知是否因为要应对的事情太多,时间似乎不是一天天过去,而是一周一周就完了,眼看离圣诞也不足4个月了!有时一天下来也觉得比较stressful,只是如果凡事想尽善尽美只怕很难能够做到轻松潇洒啊。

将我看到的一些资料贴出来,祝大家开开心心每一天啊!

●职场精神减压十大妙招
●工作中如何缓解精神压力
●三种营养物质帮助缓解精神压力
●如何缓解精神压力
●缓解压力的5项训练
●放松身心的十佳方法
●有关名言
●Stress Hormones
●Silent Signals You're Stressed
●Stay-Calm Solutions From Stress Survivors
●10 Tricks to Reboot Your Brain
●20 Simple Ways to Get Happy

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职场精神减压十大妙招

世界健康网[health.icxo.com]消息:现代快节奏的生活,带给人们不小的压力。如何才能减少紧张,使自己身心放松?以下十招,助你一臂之力。

打盹:学会在家中、办公室,甚至汽车上,一切场合都可借机打盹,只需10分钟,就会使你精神振奋。

想像:借由想像你所喜爱的地方,如大海、高山等,放松大脑;把思绪集中在想像物的“看、闻、听”上,并渐渐入境,由此达到精神放松的目的。

按摩:紧闭双眼,用手指尖用力按摩前额和后脖颈处,有规则地向同一方向旋转;不要漫无目的地揉搓。

呼吸:快速进行浅呼吸,为了更加放松,慢慢吸气、屏住气,然后呼气,每一个阶段各持续八拍。

腹部呼吸:平躺在地板上,面朝上,身体自然放松,紧闭双目。呼气,把肺部的气全部呼出,腹部鼓出,然后紧缩腹部,吸气,最后放松,使腹部恢复原状。正常呼吸数分钟后,再重复此一过程。

摆脱常规:经常试用不同的方法,做一些平日不常做的事,如双脚蹦着上下楼梯。

洗浴时唱歌:每天洗澡时,放开歌喉,尽量拉长音调。因为,大声唱歌需要不停地深呼吸,这样可以得到放松,心情愉快。

发展兴趣:培养对各种活动的兴趣,并尽情去享受。

伸展运动:伸展运动可以使全身肌肉得到放松,对消除紧张十分有益。

放松反应:舒适地坐在一安静的地方,紧闭双目,放松肌肉,默默地进行一呼一吸,以深呼吸为主。

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工作中如何缓解精神压力

工作压力对我们有很大的不良影响。我们能否消除现代工作生活所带来的压力?不——因为这不是一件绝对的坏事,所以我们不能消除。在生活中我们需要一定的压力。压力可以刺激我们采取一些行动,挑战我们自身的能力,帮助我们达到自己认为不可能达到的目标。问题就在于我们怎么处理、安排和缓解工作中的压力而不至于因为压力过大而垮掉。

缓解压力的四原则:

1、用积极的态度面对压力。

在充满竞争的都市里,每个人都会或多或少地遇到各种压力。可是,压力可以是阻力,也可以变为动力,就看自己如何去面对。社会是在不断进步的,人在其中不进则退,所以当遇到压力时,明智的办法是采取一种比较积极的态度来面对。实在承受不了的时候,也不让自己陷入其中,可以通过看看书、涂涂画、听听音乐等,让心情慢慢放松下来,再重新去面对。到这时往往就会发现压力其实也没那么大。 

有些人总喜欢把别人的压力放在自己身上。比如,看到别人升职、发财,就总会纳闷,为什么会这样呢?为什么不是自己呢?其实只要自己尽了力,做好自己的工作就得了,有些东西是急不来也想不来的。与其让自己无谓地烦恼,不如想一些开心的事,多学一些知识,让生活充满更多色彩。

2、减压先要解开心结。

有一则小寓言,说有一种小虫子很喜欢捡东西,在它所爬过的路上,只要是能碰到的东西,它都会捡起来放在背上,最后,小虫子被身上重物压死了。

人不是小虫子,但人在社会生活中的所作所为又像极了小虫子,只不过背上的东西变成了“名利权”。人总是贪求太多,把重负一件一件披挂在自己身上,舍不得扔掉。假如能学会取舍,学会轻装上阵,学会善待自己,凡事不跟自己较劲,甚至学会倾诉发泄释放自己,人还会被生活压趴下吗?

3、适度转移和释放压力。

面对压力,转移是一种最好的办法。压力太重背不动了,那就放下来不去想它,把注意力转到让你轻松快乐的事上来。等心态调整平和以后,已经坚强起来的你,还会害怕你面前的压力吗?比如做一下体育运动,体育运动能使你很好的发泄,运动完之后你会感到很轻松,这样就可以把压力释放出去。

4、对压力心存感激。

人生怎能没有压力?的确,想想并不曲折的人生道路,升学、就业、跳槽,从偏远的乡村走向繁华的都市,我们的每一个足迹都是在压力下走过的。没有压力,我们的生活也许会是另外一个模样。当我们尽情享受生活的乐趣的时候,都应该对当初让我们曾经头疼不已的压力心存一份感激。

生活本来就是丰富的。任何人的生活都不会一成不变。我们需要一帆风顺的快乐,但也要接受挑战和压力带给我们的磨炼。缺了谁,我们的生活都会显得有几分单调。

缓解压力的具体措施

1、了解产生压力的原因。到底是什么压垮了你?是工作?是家庭生活?还是人际关系?如果认识不到问题的根源,你就不可能解决问题。如果你自己在确定问题的根源方面有困难,那就求助于专业人士或者机构,比如心理医生。

2、分散压力。可能的话把工作进行分摊或是委派以减小工作强度。千万不要陷到一个可怕的泥潭当中:认为你是惟一能够做好这项工作的人。如果这样的话,你的同事和老板同样也会有那样的感觉,于是就会把工作尽可能都加到你的身上。这样你的工作强度就要大大增加了。

3、不要把工作当成一切。当你的大脑一天到晚都在想工作的时候,工作压力就形成了。一定要平衡一下生活。分出一些时间给家庭、朋友、嗜好等,最重要的是娱乐,娱乐是对付压力的良方。

4、暂时将压力抛开。休息一下,呼吸一下新鲜空气。一天中多进行几次短暂的休息,做做深呼吸,呼吸一下新鲜空气,可以使你放松大脑,防止压力情绪的形成。千万不要放任压力情绪的发展,不能使这种情绪在一天工作结束时升级成为压倒你的工作压力,时不时的做做深呼吸缓释一下压力。

5、正确对待批评。不要把受到的批评个人化。当受到反面的评论时,你就把它当成是能够改进工作的建设性批评。但是,如果批评的语言是侮辱性的,比如你的老板对你说一些脏话,那你就需要向你的经理或是人力资源部门反映情况。这样的批评是不能接受的。

6、随它去。辨别一下你能控制和不能控制的事情,然后把两类事情分开,归为两类,并列出清单。开始一天的工作时,首先给自己约定:不管是工作中的还是生活中的事情,只要是自己不能控制的就由它去,不要过多的考虑,给自己增添无谓的压力。

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三种营养物质帮助缓解精神压力

无论你是一名家庭主妇,是一位忙碌的商人,或是一个学生……每天都会承担着一定的压力。但是你是否知道,如果能够合理地吃低脂、高营养的饮食,不光对身体健康有益,还可以帮助缓解生活中的压力。美国MSNBC网站近日就撰文给我们介绍了三点饮食小窍门。

一、3种营养物质帮助缓解精神压力

1.多吃富含叶酸的食物,这种营养物质可以帮助你保持好心情。2.多吃含有维生素B12的食物,这种食物能够在你没有体力的时候有效地帮助你补充能量。 3.选择富含抗氧化物质的食物,比如,维生素C、维生素E和矿物质硒。这些抗氧化物质能够帮助修复因压力导致的细胞损伤。

二、尽情享受以下食物

火鸡中富含硒元素,可以有效地增高体内复合胺的水平――这是一种能够令心情保持平静的激素。可以配合三明治、沙拉、汤食用,亦可作为小吃。

蛤类。放在汤内,意大利面沙司里,或者作为开胃食物。蛤类还有丰富的维生素B12。

小扁豆富含叶酸,放在汤中食用,或是配合全麦谷物使用。

鹰嘴豆也是富含叶酸的植物。可以放在沙拉中食用,或是制成鹰嘴豆泥,配上胡萝卜、胡椒粉、黄瓜片食用。

木瓜和红色菜椒富含维生素A,维生素C和叶酸。

葵瓜子也富含维生素E和叶酸。可以放在沙拉中食用,或是当作小吃,或是放在冰淇淋中食用。但要注意的是,要食用烘烤熟的且不含盐的向日葵瓜子,因为盐会削弱向日葵瓜子中缓解压力物质的作用。

三、多用能够缓解压力的香料

芝麻菜。带有辛辣味和坚果气味。富含叶酸,可以放在沙拉、汤、三明治中食用。

罗勒。是一种具有芬芳气味的草药,可以配合西红柿,海鲜菜肴,鸡肉,火鸡肉或放入沙拉中食用。▲

(周文渊)

《生命时报》 (2008-06-03 第11版)

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如何缓解精神压力

龙吉敏

随着社会经济活动的日益频繁和现代生活节奏的不断加快,社会各阶层越来越广泛的人群已明显的感觉或体会到了精神压力带来的沉重,而由其引发和导致的如精神萎靡、神情恍惚、抑郁焦虚、心烦易怒、动作失调乃至神经紊乱、精神失常和记忆力减退、注意力涣散以及偏头痛、荨麻疹、高血压、缺血性心脏病。支气管哮喘、月经失调、性欲低下等一系列疾病目前也已呈现出逐年大幅上升的态势。可以这样说,精神压力迄今已经成为了现代社会的一大“隐形瘟疫”,对人们的身心健康构成了相当大的威胁,如不加以重视,其危害和遗患将十分严重。

那么,人们在日常生活中,如何缓解和消除精神压力呢?

1、轻快、舒畅的音乐不仅能给人美的熏陶和享受,而且还能使人的精神得到有效放松,因此,人们在紧张的工作和学习之余,不妨多听听音乐,让优美的乐曲来化解精神的疲惫。

2、健康的开怀大笑是消除精神压力的最佳方法之一,同时也是一种愉快的发泄方式,为此,人们不妨遗忧忘虑,笑口常开。

3、出门旅游也不失为一种好方法,但应多选择远离城市喧嚣的原野和乡村,因为人与自然的关系远比人与城市的关系亲近得多。

4、有意识的放慢生活节奏,甚至可以把无所事事的时间也安排在日程表中,要明白悠然和闲散并不等于无聊,无聊才没有意义。

5、沉着、冷静地处理各种纷繁复杂的事情,即使做错了事,也不要耿耿于怀的责备自已,要想到人人都会有犯错误的时候,这有利于人的心理平衡,同时也有助于舒缓人的精神压力。

6、勇敢地面对现实,不要害伯承认自己的能力有限,在某些的确不能办到的事务中,坦实地说一声“不”比硬撑着要轻松得多。

7、推心置腹的交流或倾述不但可增强人们的友谊和信任,而且更能使人精神舒畅,愁烦尽消,故不妨多找朋友聊聊天。

8、既然昨天及以前的日子都过来了,那么今天及以后的日子也一定会安然度过,因此,人们不妨豁达、开朗和乐观一些,这不仅可以有效的缓解和消除压力,同时也对健康大有裨益。

(摘自《科技日报》)

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缓解压力的5项训练

压力有时可以激励人进步。但是那些对未来的忧虑忧虑、对不同的情境下产生的心理压力等等,常常有着潜在的深刻后果。比方说:对生理和心理上的反作用,使人容易疲倦、暴躁、焦虑。更重要的是,它会把我们的身体击垮,使我们易于患病。

因此,学会如何解压是当我们面对压力时必须具备的一项能力——排除压力需要具体的方法,下面的一些有效的建议你不妨试试:

●学会丢包袱

生活中繁杂的事务会将我们宝贵的时间和精力支解,使我们没有充足的时间和精力去执行最重要的事情。这时,你会感觉到很大的压力。有效的办法是先分析一下什么对你是最重要的,哪些事情是次要的,重要的事情先做,次要的少做或不做,这样就可以为自己赢得宝贵的时间。参考阅读《为什么要区分紧急与重要任务》

●善待自己,放低标准

不要对自己太苛刻了,至善至美只是一个遥远的梦,摆脱完美主义的束缚吧!不要妄想把所有的事情都干得完美无缺。适当放低一下标准,放松一下自己的心情,或许在客观上也减轻了别人的压力。

●远离虚荣

在生活中,许多压力是完全由于自己的虚荣心导致的。为了穿名牌时装、用高档化妆品,住漂亮豪华的房子……不得不拼命地嫌钱,无端地增加了自己的压力。金钱、名誉、地位这些如同过眼云烟,却常常被人视为是最重要的东西,为之所累。学会真正地享受生活,摆脱虚荣。

●给自己留一点儿思考的时间

压力的产生也可能是因为对事情本身的理解造成的。过分夸大了事情的重要性和后果,导致心理负担加重。不少人往往因为急于求成,而忘记了对事情本身的思考。留一点儿时间思考能让你更清楚地看到事情本来的面目,同时也给了自己一下解剖情绪、分解压力的机会。

●不要忘了休息

过重的劳动会导致人生理疲劳,效率低下,从而导致过分的焦急与紧张。适当的休息不但会缓解大脑疲劳,而且可以放松一下紧张的心情,减轻心中的压力。特别是上班族,周末应好好休息一下,毕竟工作不是生活的全部。

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放松身心的十佳方法

你是否时常感到压力、焦虑、重负和疲劳?无法作出决定、解决问题,并且难以入眠?缺乏动力,就像整个身心被蒸干一样?有时候生活对我们来说的确如此。

不过,好消息是……通过一些简单的活动,当然需要持之以恒,我们就能很好的放松精神,以及浇灌“蒸干”了的整个身心。

●压力是如何蒸干你的身心的?

有压力是好事。我承认这完全正确,有压力的确是件好事……当且仅当它能助你一臂之力。在需要保持高度警惕时,有压力是好事;在需要于高负荷期调动足够的力量、肾上腺素和清醒状态时,有压力是好事。压力激活了你身体内部的能量,让你做起事来就像超人一般。

但是,当压力延绵不断,与上述情况相反的结果便会出现。长时间处于压力之下,人体内部的化学系统(内分泌)和电磁系统(神经网络)所出现的变化就会对我们自身造成巨大的伤害。

首先,人体组织受到伤害并导致体重增加,同时患有心脏病、糖尿病、中风、癌症的机率也有所上升。其次,在情绪上人们容易焦虑和沮丧,认知能力、创造力以及问题解决能力有所下降,睡眠困难,这些则会导致身心状态的继续恶化。而好消息是……

我们可以这样放松身心:

虽然我们都想摆脱身心交瘁的状态,但大多数我们未必想要逃离那些赋予我们压力的生活工作环境。

因此,对那些选择继续忍受而不是逃离压力的人们来说,以下的十种方法非常实用,它们帮助你找回宁静、专注、放松和活力,帮助你恢复原有的身心状态。

● 全神贯注减压训练

这是一项由心理学家 Jon Kabat-Zinn 发起,20000名来自各行各业的人们参与并取得显著成效的训练活动,叫做:八周全神贯注减压训练。现在的好消息是,你不必住在美国麻州,而是可以在当地的会员场所,或是通过 Kabat-Zinn 的书和CD光碟(或MP3)在家进行每天45分钟的训练。

● 沉浸于美妙音乐中

音乐使人放松是我们自我体会到的,但事实上,已有权威研究对此予以证实:聆听合适的音乐可以有效的减压并帮助人们相对迅速的恢复良好的身心状态。如果听音乐对你来说不足以使你兴奋,那么试着学习和演奏音乐吧。一项对奏乐和压力的关系的研究证明在办公室的角落里放把吉他并在午饭时间奏上一曲 Stebie Ray Vaughn的 Little Wing,人们的身心状态就会改善很多。

● 每天运动半小时

没错,就是运动。“但是,我每天已经没有空闲时间可以运动了”。简单说来,运动几乎可以算是人类众多活动的基础关键。

一项NASA(美国国家航空航天局)的调查显示,那些进行运动的人们在工作的最后两小时里也能保持100%的效率,而不运动的人们在最后两小时连 50%的效率也保障不了。现在想想,如果一天要工作10、12或者14个小时,运动会帮助我们提高多少效率节省多少时间。这不仅能帮助你节省出运动的时间,还可以节省出更多的时间用来做其它的事情。

● 做个深呼吸

呼吸频率直接反映出压力等级,处于高度警惕、高度压力的状态时,人们的呼吸急促而浅。实际上,情况可能会更糟糕,此时人们也许会唤气过渡,甚至可能会导致昏迷。而处于平静放松的状态时,人们的呼吸缓慢而深,并且毫不吃力。

有趣的是,我们可以反过来通过调整呼吸频率来消减压力。什么意思呢?如果在几分钟内有意识加深加长我们的呼吸,那么我们的身体就会不自觉地摆脱高度警惕和高度压力的状态而变得平稳。实际上,这招很灵,许多压力管理项目都把它列为常规减压方式之一。

● 生物反馈

生物反馈是什么玩意?这是通过改变并管理人体中的信号从而使人们处于良好状态的一种方法。通常,这会涉及到心律、血压、呼吸频率,甚至有时还会涉及到皮肤电反应。具体的方式有很多种,不过一般都是用简单的仪器测试人体的上述生物值,然后在指导下通过调整呼吸方式等使生物值恢复到正常状态。生物反馈适宜于热衷高科技以及祈求快速度的人们。以下是一些资料:

压力消除器(Stress Eraser)——这个iPod大小高科技的小装置很酷,能够帮助你练习如何通过调整呼吸而趋于心境平稳。我在一个星期前开始使用这个装置的试用款,还有几个星期试用周期才会结束,不过,就目前来讲,我感觉不错哦。

● 心理声学(Psychoacoustics)

什么?不是的,这不是60年代曾风靡一时的什么古怪药物。心理声学是利用特定的音频和视频技术使在意识集中方面有困难的人们不那么费力的就恢复全神贯注。不少研究者已研制出基于此技术的并针对特定目标的音频节目和工具,供更多的人使用。

● 玩游戏

这可不是鼓励你在游戏机前或是电脑前虚度几小时,也不是让你在街道上踩着滑冰鞋玩闹几小时。而是,游戏,具有游戏本质的那些游戏:集中注意力,并且消除压力。实际上,这也许也包括放松式的冥想。

我的建议是将运动和游戏相结合,由此在同一时间内得到健身和集中精力的双重收益。此外,这还有助于减少而不是增加坐在座椅上的时间,后者可是一个国家的国民身体变差、腰带增长的主要贡献者。

● 调整睡眠习惯

在最近的文章里我集中精力书写的就有这个话题,你的睡眠习惯是否令你肥胖、邋遢、迟钝?这里提供了迅速改善睡眠的一些方法。睡眠对集中精力、减少压力来说极端重要。缺少睡眠令人疲倦混沌,并导致厌倦运动和效能低下,并且反过来,从而导致工作时间的拖长以及更少的睡眠时间。这是个恶性循环,因此要想解决集中精力的问题就得首先关注关注睡眠习惯。

● 午睡

午间不超过30-40分钟的小睡可以使人重新精神焕发。但是不能睡太久,如果进入了深度睡眠阶段,想要清醒就很困难而且醒来后也不会拥有活力,反倒还会导致脾气暴躁。

实际上,午睡还引起一系列的后续反映,比如良好效率和活力四射,因此一些大城市里的公司纷纷创建了午睡中心。纽约就有很多这样的中心,而且现在想要得到预定都变得越来越难了。

● 把事情写下来

在完成任务前,任务的细枝末节都记得清清楚楚,但任务一旦完成,你就会突然立刻忘记它们。就好像你完成了一件事,然后消除它们留在大脑里的痕迹。同样,如果你用笔记录下那些整天盘绕在脑海里的未完成的任务,仔细列出现在的状态以及完成需要的关键步骤,你就为自己的大脑开辟了新的“空间”,而它足以使你恢复平稳的心境。

这些方法并非十全十美,但为放松身心、减轻压力、改善睡眠、促进人际关系、提高效能以及恢复健康提供了简单可行的方式、建议和工具,并希望对你有所帮助。

原文:Top 10 ways to un-bake your brain – Jonathan Fields
翻译:Sway(GTD翻译小组核心成员)

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有关名言

●承受压力的重荷,喷水池才喷射出银花朵朵。
●曲折,在人生的旅途中难以避免。面对曲折,有人失却了奋进的勇气,熄灭灭了探求的热情,而有人却确立了进取的志向,鼓起了前时的风帆,从而磨练出坚韧不拔的性格。
●挫折是块磨石,把强者磨得更加坚强,把弱者磨得更加脆弱。
●失败命名懦夫沉沦,却使勇士奋起。
●走过了漫长,曲折的开拓之路,泉水的心灵才显得格外纯洁。
●苦难是磨练意志和力量的砺石
●耕耘的汗水和收获的果实成正比。
●有缺陷的月亮因在不停地奋时,全能获得圆满的成功。
●辛勤的汗水洒在追求的沃土里,才能培育出成功的果实。
●曲折,不想念眼泪;悲伤,弥补不了曲折的遗憾。只有坚强的人,才能在曲折中奋时,获得加倍的报偿。
●曲折是人生的清醒剂,在曲折的道路上获得教益,是你一帆风顺时难以得到的。
●江水如果离开了堤岸,就会泛滥成灾。
●如果你不懂得决定箭头穿透力的是你手中的那根弦,你就永远不懂得成功的秘诀。
●有志者用奋斗汗水淘尽了挫折的泥沙;留下一颗闪光的金粒,那就是成功。
●失败——对强者是逗号,对弱者则是句号。
●人们总爱用鲜花,掌声迎接成功者,但须知成功的路上坎坷,荆棘,崎岖,有人爱用责怪,嘲笑对待失败者,但须知失败中包藏着希望,孕育着胜利。
●与其说成功是一杯甜酒,不如说这是一杯苦酒,是许多次失败的苦汁的聚结。
●天赋之手若不举起勤奋的利斧,也劈不开成功的道路。
●要想脚印留得深,就别尽拣光滑舒适的路走。
●汗珠--创作成功的诗篇的标点。
●太阳绝对平等地照耀一切,但阴沟里滋生的是细菌,大地上盛开的是鲜花。
●断了线的风筝,虽然无拘无束,但一定会很快栽下地来。
●断崖是山的挫折,却产生了壮丽的瀑布。
●白炽灯发出了光焰,那是因为有了阻碍。
●有人笑:瞧,松树被霜雪压弯。我说:不!是它斩断了冰刀。
●秋,是一座风雨搭成的桥梁,通过它才能走向成熟。
●钻石——人们往往羡慕你七色分明,光芒四射,可有谁知道这块“纯碳”,在地壳深处经受了数千年高温高压的考验。
●金鱼悠然自得地在精致的玻璃里游来游去它永远享受不到战胜风浪后的快乐。
●失败,是一笔难得的财富,而成功,则是对失败的结算。
●聪明人有时也地摔倒,但不会在同一地方摔倒第二次。
●机会就最没有耐心的客人,只敲一次门就走了。
●不要把希望寄托在漂泊不定的“也许”上。
●在失败时,企求得到别人的怜悯和同情,将会导致自卑,在成功时,奢望得到更多的荣耀和掌声,将会导致自负。
●成功的火花在勤奋中迸发,智慧的光谱在自满中消逝。
●青烟幻想占有整个空间,结果毁灭了自己。
●我们都有成功的时候,但不应有骄傲的片刻,我们都有错误的时候,但不应有隐瞒的念头。
●人应该在失败中挖掘成功,在争取成功中洞察挫折。
●一事无成是得过且过的必然归宿。
●不要为凋零的花而惋惜;花不谢,果是不结不出的。
●只有象塔吊那样站稳脚跟,方能昂起昂起头颅。
●妒忌是一簇无情的火焰,它可以使你自焚。
●因为他人的失手而获胜,千万不要太为此而高兴。
●即使在避风的港湾里,破船也仍然会沉没。
●一切成功的秘诀,都在于不懈的追求,如同生命的血液万物之阳光般不可缺少。
●对于时间,失败者跟着小时爬,成功者跟着秒时跑。
●成功是一把梯子,双手插在口袋里的人是爬不上去的。
●只有成功者才能真正体会到追求的价值。
●仅有一股冲刺的猛劲,是跑不完万米远程的。
●等待收获的人只能得到凋零的枯枝败叶。
●航海者虽然要比观望者冒风险,但是却有希望达到彼岸。
●谁能用勇气来迎接厄运,用笑脸来应付不幸,谁就能跨越一切艰难险阻。
●投入炉膛的矿石,并非都能成为钢材,撒进沃土的种子,并非都能开花结果。
●开拓者的一生,难免有失败的纪录。但是,凭着永远进击,不屈不挠的拚搏精神,他们终能如愿以偿,高唱凯歌。
●困难就角一只砂轮,它能砥砺能勇进者奋斗的利刃,也能磨去怯懦者不多的棱角。
●希望在探索中孕育,成功在搏中积聚。幸福在苦斗中成熟。
●谁要是害怕走崎岖的山路,谁就只好永远留在山脚下。
●激动,只是一颗流星,毅力,才是成功之永恒的太阳。
●通向山巅的路,没有一条是笔直的。
●当“私”字挡住了前进中处的光亮时,失败的阴影便出现了。
●获取成熟的唯一途径,就是将生命的火花献给耕耘的大地。
●顺着河流行进,便可找到海洋。
●开拓者,在困难中受到锻炼,在失败中获得经验,在挫折中不断成熟,在讥笑中逐步成长,在摸索中得到提高,在斗争中迎来胜利。
●不幸,是一块石头,对于强者,它是垫脚石,对于弱者,它是绊脚石。

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Stress hormone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stress hormones such as cortisol, GH and norepinephrine are released at periods of high stress. The hormone regulating system is known as the endocrine system. Cortisol is believed to affect the metabolic system and norepinephrine is believed to play a role in ADHD as well as depression and hypertension.

Stress hormones rise in the body during any neuroendocrine reaction such as surgery and they remain high to as long as 72 hours after which all these hormones return back to their normal level, the last being cortisol. It makes your heart beat faster.

Currently there are medications available which block the release of stress hormones.

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Stress Hormones

Stress is the sum total of all mental and physical input over a given period of time. The marker used to measure stress is the adrenal steroid hormone, cortisol. Stress, whether physical or emotional in origin, provokes a response by the adrenal glands. Many hormonal imbalances are the direct result of adrenal insufficiency.

The adrenal glands produce two primary hormones, DHEA and cortisol. Both are considered the major shock absorber hormones in the body. They buffer stress and the negative impact it can have on both mental and physical function. Long-term stress can have a serious impact on the adrenal glands and cause them to shrink and reduce production. This causes cellular damage, which sets off a chain reaction affecting all parts of the body, as well as accelerating the aging process.

The symptoms associated with adrenal dysfunction are diverse and can involve the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, as well as the brain and nervous systems. In addition, the adrenals can impact the growth and repair of bones, muscles, hair and nails. Research has shown that to cause a positive hormonal change, you must first normalize adrenal activity.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone made in the adrenal glands. Cortisol's important function in the body includes roles in the regulation of blood pressure and cardiovascular function as well as regulation of the body's use of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Cortisol secretion increases in response to any stress in the body, whether physical (such as illness, trauma, surgery or temperature extremes) or psychological pressures, (such as poor marriage, unemployment, etc.).

When cortisol is secreted, it causes a breakdown of muscle protein, leading to release of amino acids into the bloodstream. These amino acids are then used by the liver to synthesize glucose for energy, in a process called gluconeogenesis. Cortisol also leads to the release of energy source from fat cells, for use by the muscles. Taken together, these energy directing processes prepare the individual to deal with stressors and insure that the brain receives adequate energy sources.

The body possesses an elaborate feedback system for controlling cortisol secretion and regulating the amount of cortisol in the bloodstream. The pituitary gland, a small gland at the base of the brain, makes and secretes a hormone known as adrenocorticotropic hormone, or ACTH. Secretion of ACTH signals the adrenal glands to increase cortisol production and secretion. The pituitary, in turn, receives signals from the hypothalamus of the brain in the form of the hormone CRH, or corticotrophin-releasing hormone, which signals the pituitary to release ACTH. Almost immediately after a stressful event, the levels of the regulatory hormones ACTH and CRH increase, causing an immediate rise in cortisol levels. When cortisol is present in adequate, or excess amounts, a negative feedback system operates on the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which alerts these areas to reduce the output of ACTH and CRH, respectively, in order to reduce cortisol secretion when adequate levels are present.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is the most abundant hormone found in the bloodstream. When the adrenal glands are chronically stressed, your production of DHEA can be greatly reduced. DHEA in an important regulator of the thyroid and pituitary glands. Though the adrenal glands produce most of the body's supply of DHEA, the gonads (ovaries, testes) can also manufacture DHEA when the adrenals are overworked. DHEA exerts powerful effects throughout the body. Most cells possess DHEA receptors on their membranes. DHEA is vital to health. DHEA also regulates many other hormones; however it can be easily converted to estradiol and/or testosterone and therefore needs to be monitored by testing levels of estradiol and testosterone. DHEA is a good stress barometer, because when stress levels go up, DHEA levels go down. Generally, DHEA levels tend to decrease with age. DHEA peaks at age 25 then declines at a rate of about 2% per year. It is not until the 40s that we begin to feel the effects of lower DHEA levels.

The most accurate way to measure DHEA is to measure it in the stable form that the body keeps it in: DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate). Measurement of serum DHEA-S is a useful marker of adrenal androgen synthesis. Abnormally low levels have been reported in hypoadrenalism, while high or inverted diurnal levels have been reported in several conditions.

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Silent Signals You're Stressed
10 body clues that you need more time for calm

Are you more stressed than you think?
● 1. Weekend headaches
● 2. Awful period cramps
● 3. An achy mouth
● 4. Odd dreams
● 5. Bleeding gums
● 6. Out-of-nowhere acne
● 7. A sweet tooth
● 8. Itchy skin
● 9. Worse-than-usual allergies
● 10. Bellyaches

The occasional manic Monday is a fact of modern life.
But if you’re under chronic stress—suffering a daily assault of stress hormones from a demanding job or a personal life in turmoil—symptoms may be subtler, says Stevan E. Hobfoll, PhD, chair of the department of behavioral sciences at Rush University Medical Center. If you experience any of the signs that follow, take some time out every day, he says, whether it’s to go for a walk or simply turn off your phone.

1. Weekend headaches
A sudden drop in stress can prompt migraines, says Todd Schwedt, MD, director of the Washington University Headache Center. Stick closely to your weekday sleeping and eating schedule to minimize other triggers.

2. Awful period cramps
The most stressed-out women are more than twice as likely to experience painful cramps as those who are less tense, a Harvard study found. Researchers blame a stress-induced imbalance of hormones. Hitting the gym can soothe cramps and stress, research shows, by decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity.

3. An achy mouth
A sore jaw can be a sign of teeth grinding, which usually occurs during sleep and can be worsened by stress, says Matthew Messina, DDS, a consumer advisor to the American Dental Association. Ask your dentist about a nighttime mouth guard—up to 70% of people who use one reduce or stop grinding altogether.

4. Odd dreams
Dreams usually get progressively more positive as you sleep, so you wake up in a better mood than you were in when you went to bed, says Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, an emeritus professor of psychology at Rush University Medical Center. But when you’re stressed, you wake up more often, disrupting this process and allowing unpleasant imagery to recur all night. Good sleep habits can help prevent this; aim for 7 to 8 hours a night, and avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.

5. Bleeding gums
According to a Brazilian analysis of 14 past studies, stressed-out people have a higher risk of periodontal disease. Chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol may impair the immune system and allow bacteria to invade the gums, say researchers. If you're working long hours and eating dinner at your desk, keep a toothbrush on hand. And "protect your mouth by exercising and sleeping more, which will help lower stress," says Preston Miller, DDS, past president of the American Academy of Periodontology.

6. Out-of-nowhere acne
Stress increases the inflammation that leads to breakouts, says Gil Yosipovitch, MD, a clinical professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University. Smooth your skin with a lotion containing skin sloughing salicylic acid or bacteria-busting benzoyl peroxide, plus a noncomedogenic moisturizer so skin won't get too dry. If your skin doesn't respond to treatment within a few weeks, see your doctor for more potent meds.

7. A sweet tooth
Don’t automatically blame your chocolate cravings on your lady hormones—stress is a more likely trigger. When University of Pennsylvania researchers surveyed pre- and postmenopausal women, they found only a small decrease in the prevalence of chocolate cravings after menopause—smaller than could be explained by just a hormonal link. Study authors say it’s likely stress, or other factors that can trigger women’s hankering for chocolate.

8. Itchy skin
A recent Japanese study of more than 2,000 people found that those with chronic itch (known as pruritis) were twice as likely to be stressed out as those without the condition. Although an annoying itch problem can certainly cause stress, experts say it’s likely that feeling anxious or tense also aggravates underlying conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. “The stress response activates nerve fibers, causing an itchy sensation,” explains Yosipovitch.

9. Worse-than-usual allergies
In a 2008 experiment, researchers from Ohio State University College of Medicine found that allergy sufferers had more symptoms after they took an anxiety-inducing test, compared with when they performed a task that did not make them tense. Stress hormones may stimulate the production of IgE, a blood protein that causes allergic reactions, says study author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD.

10. Bellyaches
Anxiety and stress can cause stomachaches, along with headaches, backaches, and insomnia. One study of 1,953 men and women found that those experiencing the highest levels of stress were more than three times as likely to have abdominal pain as their more-relaxed counterparts.

The exact connection is still unclear, but one theory holds that the intestines and the brain share nerve pathways; when the mind reacts to stress, the intestines pick up the same signal. Because of this link, learning to manage stress with the help of a clinical psychologist, meditation, or even exercise can usually help relieve tummy trouble too. However, if you have frequent bellyaches, see your doc to rule out food allergies, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, or an ulcer.

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Stay-Calm Solutions From Stress Survivors
By Sarah Mahoney, Prevention
Tue, Aug 10, 2010

I'm married to a full-time soldier, so few things get my attention like a headline about post-traumatic stress disorder. I've been riveted by the recent surge in PTSD research spurred not just by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but also by terrorism and natural disasters. Government institutions, military hospitals, and universities have all stepped up efforts to understand this anxiety disorder, teasing out what makes some people vulnerable and others resilient, as well as how the brain can heal. What they're discovering about PTSD is yielding important insights into how the rest of us can manage the moderate stress we deal with every day.

"The mind needs support—we call it 'mental armor'—just as much as the body does," says Amishi Jha, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who studies stress-fighting techniques such as mindfulness to help military personnel. "Research shows it's possible to cushion yourself against stress, and the tactics we're using with soldiers also apply to real folks and more common types of anxiety." Key to the recent breakthroughs is a much clearer picture of how destructive stress can be. Persistent anxiety can kill neurons in brain structures concerned with memory and decisionmaking, and such damage is even visible on brain scans.

Although women are less likely to experience traumatic events than men are (about half of women in the United States will encounter a trauma in their lifetime, most commonly sexual assault, followed by car crash), we're twice as likely to develop PTSD when we do, says the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Women are also more vulnerable to everyday stress—mothers, for example, are 5 times as likely as fathers to rate their stress at the highest level, says the American Psychological Association.

Fortunately, experts are learning that all along the continuum—from severe anxiety disorders to garden-variety worry—coping and even prevention tactics are highly effective. Here's what new PTSD science can teach all of us about outsmarting stress. If these solutions work for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, they can certainly help the rest of us on the home front.

For Stress Survivors:
Build Mental Armor with Meditation
Mindfulness meditation works wonders to boost stress resilience, say experts from the University of Pennsylvania who are using the practice with military personnel. "We teach them to focus on the present moment instead of catastrophizing about the future," says Jha. After 8 weeks of meditation training, Marines became less reactive to stressors—plus they were more alert and exhibited better memory.

For the rest of us:
Take Short Mindfulness Breaks
"Even I get too busy to meditate," says Jha. "Then I remember the Marines in the study calling my colleague while they were deployed to ask for mindfulness pointers, and I think, If they can do it in a war zone, I can do it in my office!" Try this technique Marines use anywhere: Sit upright, focus on your breath, and pay attention to a physical sensation, such as the feel of air in your nostrils. When your mind wanders, notice the disruption, then return your attention to that simple sensation. Jha herself now meditates 5 to 10 minutes at a time, several times a day.

For Stress Survivors:
Remember the Tough Stuff
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—which helps you recognize and change knee-jerk reactions to stress triggers—is one of the most effective methods of managing PTSD. In the military, such training can include a technique called "exposure therapy," in which soldiers relive disturbing past experiences in small doses with a therapist until the memories become less overwhelming. Along the same lines, doctors have achieved promising results by asking patients who developed PTSD following an illness to imagine a relapse.

Such intense visualizations should be undertaken only with a licensed professional, but "practicing" feeling stressed can help anyone cope day to day, says Elizabeth Carll, PhD, a trauma specialist on Long Island, NY. "If you learn to recognize how your body feels when anxiety starts, it's easier to intervene and calm yourself."

For the rest of us:
Imagine a Moment of Tension
Fortify yourself against anxiety by trying an at-home exercise, says Susan Fletcher, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Plano, TX. Picture yourself in a stressful place, such as your commute, and imagine the tension you feel. Write out the realities of the situation: If I don't leave by 7:30, I'll be late. On the other hand, I'll be in traffic about 60 minutes, so I can listen to a book on disc. This lets you feel the stress and know it's not debilitating, and helps you devise solutions. If you want to try formal CBT, which encompasses a range of methods, you can find a certified practitioner through the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists (nacbt.org).

For Stress Survivors:
Bike for Long-Term Resilience
Researchers are learning that exercise doesn't just soothe stress, it also fortifies brain cells so they're less vulnerable to anxiety in the future. Neuroscientists at Princeton University recently discovered that neurons created in the brains of rats that run regularly are less stress-sensitive than those in rats that don't exercise.

While all exercise adds to your resilience, PTSD experts find that outdoor activities are particularly beneficial—especially cycling, says Melissa Puckett, a recreation therapist at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System in California. "It's so effective because of the fresh air and the fact that it can be a group activity," she says. "We've seen people who were once afraid to leave the house make tremendous strides."

For the rest of us:
Sweat Outside for 5 Minutes
Break from the gym and try something outdoorsy, like hiking or a simple walk. Even 5 minutes outside—especially if spent near water, like a fountain or stream—is enough for a mental boost, found a 2010 study from the University of Essex in England.

For Stress Survivors:
Pets Can Reduce Your Use of Meds
New research shows that owning an animal is an even more powerful way to cultivate calm than previously thought. An astonishing 82% of PTSD patients paired with a service dog reported a significant reduction in symptoms, and 40% were able to decrease their medications, in an ongoing study at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The specially trained pooches can sense before their owners do when a panic attack is coming, and then give them a nudge to start some preemptive deep breathing. "While we don't yet understand why, we know the dogs' presence affects serotonin levels and the immune system," says lead study researcher Craig Love, PhD. "The animals are so helpful, one soldier named her dog Paxil."

For the rest of us:
Bond with Fido
Pet owners can reduce stress by building extra playtime into the day, says Carll. If you don't own a pet, offer to take a neighbor's dog for an after-dinner walk or cat-sit for a friend—even short outings provide enough "pet exposure" to lessen anxiety.

For stress survivors:
Sleep to Rebalance Sneaky Stress Hormones
Sleep suppresses stress hormones, such as cortisol, and spurs the release of others, like DHEA, which plays a key role in resilience and protecting the body from stress. Yale University researchers tracked the hormone levels of a group of elite Special Forces soldiers who operate in treacherous underwater conditions and confirmed that higher DHEA levels predicted which divers were most stress hardy. Among women with PTSD, those with higher levels of DHEA have fewer negative moods, other Yale researchers found.

For the rest of us:
Do a Nightly Stress Scan
To boost DHEA naturally, get more sleep. Before you set your alarm, take stock of your stress status, says Fletcher. The more demanding your days, the more sleep you need to handle them. If the recommended 7 to 8 hours isn't possible, at least plan for an early night or two during a rough week or, if nothing else, a weekend nap. "And get anything that reminds you of work—laundry, your laptop—out of your bedroom," Fletcher adds. "It's psychologically noisy."

These coping skills don't just make it easier to manage stress, they help you thrive in general. "People who beat chronic stress often develop positive shifts in their outlook," says Elissa Epel, PhD, a stress researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. Cliched as it sounds, surviving a stressful event can open a new philosophical window on life. "People don't just cope, they grow," says Carll. "And the experience makes them stronger overall."

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10 Tricks to Reboot Your Brain
Feel sharper, concentrate better, and stop brain fog.

Ever walk into a room and forget why you entered? Or completely space out during an important meeting at work? It’s frustrating, but usually normal.

Your brain is naturally primed to wander whenever it can, according to a joint study by Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Using MRI, researchers found that brain regions responsible for "task-unrelated thought" (that is, daydreaming or mind wandering) are almost constantly active when the brain is at rest or performing a task that doesn't require concentration.

Fortunately, brain experts say it's possible to corral that brainpower, filter out distractions, and master any task by improving your concentration. Here are their top tips for refocusing during key moments when your mind starts meandering, but shouldn't.

By: Ann Hettinger

At Work

Unless you love everything about your job, you're bound to zone out occasionally, according to one study: Among 124 people, mind wandering occurred about 30% of the time, even during crucial tasks--adding up to many hours of lost productivity. Boredom, fatigue, and stress all spur mind wandering, says study author Michael Kane, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

And although women were no more likely than men to lose focus, they reported general worrying and anxiety when their attention drifted. Fear not: Some mind wandering is simply your brain taking a healthy break, although sometimes it's best left for another occasion.

Here’s what to do about it.

●At Work: Get Organized

If you have several to-dos, decide what to tackle first, and clear all other projects off your desk and computer screen. "Out of sight, out of mind applies," Kane says. "Get rid of memos, e-mails, and anything else that reminds you you're behind."

And go easy on your cubicle's decor. "Even family photos are potential thought stealers," Kane adds, because they're people you're prone to worry about.

●At Work: Participate

If you daydream during meetings, challenge yourself by thinking of questions and actively joining the discussion, suggests Jonathan W. Schooler, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. You may miss a moment if you're formulating a question, but you'll stay focused on the current topic.

●At Work: Change Your Scenery

When you start to lose concentration, leave your desk and take a walk outside or to the office common space for a mental breather. This way, your brain associates your desk only with work, not mind wandering.

Warns Schooler: "If you don't take regular breaks--especially when you're not enjoying your job--your brain will take them for you."

In the Car

We're most likely to space out during activities we can do automatically, according to a 2006 study. This is dangerous when you're behind the wheel: If a car ahead stops suddenly, your reaction time may not be fast enough to prevent an accident.

Here, 2 tricks to avoid it ...

●In the Car: Tie a String on the Steering Wheel

When you think about the same things during your commute--anticipating the day's workload, or what to cook for dinner--your brain begins to associate the car with zoning out, says Kane. A novel, visual cue such as a colored string or dashboard sticker can snap you out of your "dream-driving" habit.

●In the Car: Play a Game

Those involving counting and geography are great ways for kids to pass the time en route--for good reason: The contests use items that you should be aware of while driving. Try tallying all the states represented by the license plates of the cars in front of you.

When You Read

Do you keep rereading the same passages in your novel? Don't blame a poor memory. "Mindless reading" is common and requires considerable effort to control, says Schooler, who found that readers are actually mind wandering about 20% of the time: "Their eyes move across the page, but they're not thinking about the text," he says.

Fix it with these steps:

●When You Read: Take a Break

Take time-outs to process the material; mentally recap plot points or a character's motive, for example. "Periodically think over what you've read--it can improve comprehension, probably because it reduces mind wandering," Schooler says.

●When You Read: Go Backward

If you glossed over a few paragraphs, read them in reverse--reordering small packets of information can sometimes change how much of it you absorb. It may feel odd at first, but the extra effort required will force your brain back into focusing.

●When You Read: Join a Club

A little peer pressure to finish a book by a certain date can go a long way, especially if you're expected to talk about the content. Budget the number of pages you'll need to read daily, and if you own the book, write notes in the margin and mark meaningful passages to boost both concentration and comprehension.

If You Have a Personal Problem

People who report being unhappy, usually because of a difficult problem, have more intense mind wandering during tasks than their carefree counterparts, according to studies by Jonathan Smallwood, PhD, a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen's school of psychology. These feelings limit your ability to focus on anything else, he says: "You may spend a lot of time thinking about a problem when you're upset, but this type of ruminating is actually quite unproductive."

Instead ...

●If You Have a Personal Problem: Get It Off Your Chest

Talk about your worries with a friend or family member, either in person or on the telephone, to clear your head. Writing down your thoughts may be as effective as saying them out loud: List ways to address the problem and then move on, recommends Eric Klinger, PhD, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, who has studied thought patterns during daydreams. "Committing a plan to paper helps put the problem on the back burner, so you can shift your attention to other things," he explains.

●If You Have a Personal Problem: Meditate

Meditation, a proven stress reliever, may also let you tune out distractions, found recent research. Amishi Jha, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, studied attention control in people before and after they learned mindfulness meditation (sitting quietly for 30 minutes a day, focusing on breathing; when the subjects noticed their minds drifting, they gently guided their thoughts back to their breath).

After 8 weeks, they showed significant improvements at "orienting," or staying on task and quickly refocusing their thinking after being distracted. "Meditation trains you to put your attention where you want it and make sure it stays there," Jha says.

------------------------------------
20 Simple Ways to Get Happy
Take control of your mood and improve your health.

State of Mind
Happiness is ephemeral, subject to the vagaries of everything from the weather to the size of your bank account.

We're not suggesting that you can reach a permanent state called "happiness" and remain there. But there are many ways to swerve off the path of anxiety, anger, frustration, and sadness into a state of happiness once or even several times throughout the day. Here are 20 ideas to get you started. Choose the ones that work for you. If tuning out the news or making lists will serve only to stress you further, try another approach.

1. Practice mindfulness. Be in the moment. Instead of worrying about your checkup tomorrow while you have dinner with your family, focus on the here and now -- the food, the company, the conversation.

2. Laugh out loud. Just anticipating a happy, funny event can raise levels of endorphins and other pleasure-inducing hormones and lower production of stress hormones. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, tested 16 men who all agreed they thought a certain videotape was funny. Half were told three days in advance they would watch it. They started experiencing biological changes right away. When they actually watched the video, their levels of stress hormones dropped significantly, while their endorphin levels rose 27 percent and their growth hormone levels (indicating benefit to the immune system) rose 87 percent.

3. Go to sleep. We have become a nation of sleep-deprived citizens. Taking a daily nap or getting into bed at 8 p.m. one night with a good book -- and turning the light out an hour later -- can do more for your mood and outlook on life than any number of bubble baths or massages.

4. Hum along. Music soothes more than the savage beast. Studies find music activates parts of the brain that produce happiness -- the same parts activated by food or sex. It's also relaxing. In one study older adults who listened to their choice of music during outpatient eye surgery had significantly lower heart rates, blood pressure, and cardiac workload (that is, their heart didn't have to work as hard) as those who had silent surgery.

5. Declutter. It's nearly impossible to meditate, breathe deeply, or simply relax when every surface is covered with papers and bills and magazines, your cabinets bulge, and you haven't balanced your checkbook in six months. Plus, the repetitive nature of certain cleaning tasks -- such as sweeping, wiping, and scrubbing -- can be meditative in and of itself if you focus on what you're doing.

6. Just say no. Eliminate activities that aren't necessary and that you don't enjoy. If there are enough people already to handle the church bazaar and you're feeling stressed by the thought of running the committee for yet another year, step down and let someone else handle things.

7. Make a list. There's nothing like writing down your tasks to help you organize your thoughts and calm your anxiety. Checking off each item provides a great sense of fulfillment.

8. Do one thing at a time. Edward Suarez, Ph.D., associate professor of medical psychology at Duke, found that people who multitask are more likely to have high blood pressure. Take that finding to heart. Instead of talking on the phone while you fold laundry or clean the kitchen, sit down in a comfortable chair and turn your entire attention over to the conversation. Instead of checking e-mail as you work on other projects, turn off your e-mail function until you finish the report you're writing. This is similar to the concept of mindfulness.

9. Garden. Not only will the fresh air and exercise provide their own stress reduction and feeling of well-being, but the sense of accomplishment that comes from clearing a weedy patch, watching seeds turn into flowers, or pruning out dead wood will last for hours, if not days.

10. Tune out the news. For one week go without reading the newspaper, watching the news, or scanning the headlines online. Instead, take a vacation from the misery we're exposed to every day via the media and use that time for a walk, a meditation session, or to write in your journal.

11. Take a dog for a walk. There are numerous studies that attest to the stress-relieving benefits of pets. In one analysis researchers evaluated the heart health of 240 couples, half of whom owned a pet. Those couples with pets had significantly lower heart rates and blood pressure levels when exposed to stressors than the couples who did not have pets. In fact, the pets worked even better at buffering stress than the spouses did.

12. Scent the air. Research finds that the benefits of aromatherapy in relieving stress are real. In one study people exposed to rosemary had lower anxiety levels, increased alertness, and performed math computations faster. Adults exposed to lavender showed an increase in the type of brain waves that suggest increased relaxation. Today you have a variety of room-scenting methods, from plug-in air fresheners to essential oil diffusers, potpourri, and scented candles.

13. Ignore the stock market. Simply getting your quarterly 401(k) statement can be enough to send your blood pressure skyrocketing. In fact, Chinese researchers found a direct link between the daily performance of the stock market and the mental health of those who closely followed it. Astute investors know that time heals most financial wounds, so give your investments time -- and give yourself a break.

14. Visit a quiet place. Libraries, museums, gardens, and places of worship provide islands of peace and calm in today's frantic world. Find a quiet place near your house and make it your secret getaway.

15. Volunteer. Helping others enables you to put your own problems into perspective and also provides social interaction. While happy people are more likely to help others, helping others increases your happiness. One study found that volunteer work enhanced all six aspects of well-being: happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health, and depression.

16. Spend time alone. Although relationships are one of the best antidotes to stress, sometimes you need time alone to recharge and reflect. Take yourself out to lunch or to a movie, or simply spend an afternoon reading, browsing in a bookstore, or antiquing.

17. Walk mindfully. You probably already know that exercise is better than tranquilizers for relieving anxiety and stress. But what you do with your mind while you're walking can make your walk even more beneficial. In a study called the Ruth Stricker Mind/Body Study, researchers divided 135 people into five groups of walkers for 16 weeks. Group one walked briskly, group two at a slow pace, and group three at a slow pace while practicing "mindfulness," a mental technique to bring about the relaxation response, a physiological response in which the heart rate slows and blood pressure drops. This group was asked to pay attention to their footsteps, counting one, two, one, two, and to visualize the numbers in their mind. Group four practiced a form of tai chi, and group five served as the control, changing nothing about their lives. The group practicing mindfulness showed significant declines in anxiety and had fewer negative and more positive feelings about themselves. Overall they experienced the same stress-reducing effects of the brisk walkers. Better yet, the effects were evident immediately.

18. Give priority to close relationships. One study of more than 1,300 men and women of various ages found that those who had a lot of supportive friends were much more likely to have healthier blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar metabolism, and stress hormone levels than those with two or fewer close friends. Women, and to a lesser extent men, also seemed to benefit from good relationships with their parents and spouses. Studies also find that people who feel lonely, depressed, and isolated are three to five times more likely to get sick and die prematurely than those who have feelings of love, connection, and community.

19. Take care of the soul. In study after study, actively religious people are happier and cope better with crises, according to David Myers, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. For many people faith provides a support community, a sense of life's meaning, feelings of ultimate acceptance, a reason to focus beyond yourself, and a timeless perspective on life's woes. Even if you're not religious, a strong spirituality may offer similar benefits.

20. Count your blessings. People who pause each day to reflect on some positive aspect of their lives (their health, friends, family, freedom, education, etc.) experience a heightened sense of well-being.

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