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Daily Habits to Decrease Stress

Daily Habits to Decrease Stress

By Lesley Spencer Pyle

August 18, 2008

If your eating and sleeping habits are off kilter and you’re finding yourself being irritable or grouchy, chances are you’re overstressed. If you want to keep your stress levels in check, the best thing you can do is to work at getting healthy. Here are six tips to help relieve stress:

1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is one way to improve your overall health. It also helps you keep things in perspective and think rationally. We don’t think as clearly when we’re tired. Therefore, our stress levels increase while we struggle to think through situations.

2. Eat a Balanced Diet. Eating healthfully gives you the nutrients you need, such as vitamin B. Deficiency in the B-complex can lead to depression and irritability. What’s more, when under stress, we tend to lose vitamins C and E. Yet the more hectic our lives become, the more we tend to grab and eat on the run, throwing a balanced diet – and balanced nutrition – out the window.

3. Solutions. Keep healthy snacks in your desk drawer to help curb hunger pangs and stop you from reaching for unhealthy treats. Also consider taking a multivitamin to help with those vitamins you may be missing.

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4. Indulge in Exercise. Another important factor in improving your overall heath and reducing stress is exercise. According to, “Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike can also contribute to this cause.” Even going out for a long, hard walk can benefit you.

If you look at the benefits of exercise, you have to ask yourself how you can leave it out of your schedule. Exercise gives you more energy, relieves stress, improves overall health, gives you clearer focus and a sharper mind, and provides better sleep, better bone health and a better sex life. It also decreases the risk of cancers, heart attacks and heart problems. Exercise not only makes you feel good, it can help you live a longer, healthier life.

5. Don’t procrastinate. Stress can also be elevated by procrastinating and dwelling on problems that need to be addressed. Tackle tough issues and move on. They aren’t going to go away; so deal with them right away and take the weight off your shoulders. And if it’s something you can delegate or outsource, do so.

6. Stay organized and prioritize. Living and working in a cluttered, chaotic environment can increase stress levels. Reduce and purge until you’re down to your basic needs. Being organized doesn’t mean everything is neat and tidy—it means everything’s in a particular place.

Organization isn’t a gene we possess but a set of processes and procedures we need to make a part of our regular routine. If organization isn’t your strength, hire an organizer to come in and set you up to be organized. A few tips and tricks can make your life much easier and less stressful. What’s more, you’ll save tons of time if you no longer have to hunt for things.

Stress is part of life; it helps keep us on our toes. But when it gets out of control, it has a negative impact on our health, our relationships and how we manage our personal and work lives.

Stress is even more pronounced for entrepreneurs because of the responsibilities that come with the job. Implementing the suggested tips can help you get back on top of your game and manage your stress. In fact, add one more indulgence: An hour-long (or two-hour-long) massage at least once a month. There’s nothing better to make yourself relax and release the tension in your muscles.

Lesley Spencer Pyle is the founder and president of the Inc. Network, which includes Home-Based Working Moms and Pyle is also a columnist for She has four children ages 8 months to 13 years and has been working from home for more than 13 years.

Courtesy of © 2008 YellowBrix, Inc.

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