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10 ways to KO stress

Sep. 30, 2013
 
Six to eight hours of sleep each night can keep depression at bay.
Six to eight hours of sleep each night can keep depression at bay. / Getty Images
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Physical activity can lower tension. / Getty Images

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Healthy habits can protect you from the harmful effects of stress. Here are 10 habits suggestions to get you going.

1. Talk with family and friends.

Friendship is great medicine. Call or write your friends and family to share your feelings, hopes and joys.

2. Get physical — daily.

Regular physical activity relieves mental and physical tension. Physically active adults have lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning. Try walking, swimming, biking or dancing every day.

3. Accept the things you cannot change.

Don’t say, “I’m too old.” You still can learn new things, work toward a goal and help others.

4. Remember to laugh.

Laughter makes you feel good. Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip.

5. Give up bad habits.

Too much alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine can increase stress. If you smoke, quit now.

6. Slow down.

Try to “pace” instead of “race.” Plan ahead and allow enough time to get the most important things done.

7. Get enough sleep.

Try to get six to eight hours of sleep each night. If you can’t sleep, take steps to help reduce stress and depression. Physical activity also might improve the quality of sleep.

8. Get organized.

Use “to do” lists to help you focus on your most important tasks. Approach big tasks one step at a time. For example, start by organizing just one part of your life — your car, desk, kitchen, closet, cupboard or drawer.

9. Practice giving back.

Volunteer your time or return a favor to a friend. Helping others helps you.

10. Try not to worry.

The world won’t end if your floor hasn’t been swept or hedges haven’t been trimmed. You might need to do these things, but today might not be the right time.

Source: American Heart Association

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