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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stress less, smile more - 7 tips for reducing stress

To say last week was a stressful week was an understatement.  I had (or at least was meant to have) a head office visit at work. Not just any head office visit, I'm talking owner of the company, CEO, national manager and state manager. Like major visit. I have never met the owner in the whole five years Ive worked there (because he lives in France - lucky for some) so I was beyond paranoid about it. After rushing around like a crazy person all week making sure everything was perfect, they didn't even come. Sometimes they come for a visit and just skip our store, but this time they didn't come at all. Like didn't even set foot in the state. Biggest, most stressful visit of my life and it never even happened! Beyond annoyed. I swear they do this on purpose so they know we are running around making everything perfect, just to make sure we are 'focused'. I could have done without it.

I'm no stranger to stress, seriously. I usually stress about everything, including stuff that has already happened and is over and stuff that could happen, but hasn't actually happened yet. I'm surprised I don't have constant headaches and my hair isn't falling out all the time. Somehow I have learnt to cope over the years. I thought I would share my tips for reducing stress with you guys. They always seem to help me.

7 simple ways to reduce stress

1. Smile - Find reasons to smile, even little ones. While you're smiling you wont be worrying about the problem at hand, just thinking about something that makes you happy.

2. Laugh out loud - Laughter really is the best medicine. Do something funny, pull a funny face in front of the mirror. Dance like a crazy person in the car on the way to work (and pretend nobody can see you doing it). Trust me its funny dancing only with your arms while seated, it will definitely make you laugh (just don't do it while the car is in motion - traffic lights are always good for this).

3. Listen to music - Not sad music, something you love. I find listening to music really loud or with headphones on is really good. It helps you block out everything else that is happening. Music can also help you to smile & laugh.

4. Dance like no-one is watching - This is my favourite one. Dancing is fun all the time, but especially good when your stressed. Just listen to the music and move to the beat. Who cares if you look strange, your dancing like no-ones watching so it doesn't matter! And if someone does happen to walk in, no problem, that just leads to laughing which as mentioned above is good too.

5. Ask for a hug - Its OK to ask for a hug. They make you feel protected, needed, wanted and loved all at the same time. All good feelings for when your stressed. They also make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside (which is better than feeling like your going to throw up).

6. Exercise - This is one of the best ways to release stress. If you have pent up anger or frustration go for a run, lift some weights or better yet do some boxing. It will get rid of the stress and make you stronger and fitter at the same time.

7. Look at the sky - I am obsessed with this even when I'm not stressed. I love looking up at the clouds and the sun. They say sunlight helps when your depressed so maybe that's why I like it - all the vitamin D soaking up into me. I remember as a child lying on the trampoline just looking up at the sky for ages. Its equally as good to look up at the sky at night. All the stars are so calming.

So there you go, next time your stressed try one of those (or all of them if your super stressed) and it will make you feel at least a little bit better I promise.

Toni x

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