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Another Idea Sixpack

Posted 07/23/2007

Here are six more ways to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being:

1. Feeling upset? Change the channel on your immediate surroundings (“I’ve gotta get out of here for awhile!”). Take a break and walk as you breathe deeply and look around. It’s a quick perspective fix…and a calmative. Pushups work too.

2. Are you a white-knuckled driver, teetering on the brink of road rage? Start planning how you can spend less time in your car. Walk more, learn about public transportation in your city. Consider moving closer to your workplace. Walking to work is one of life’s great joys.

3. Want to appreciate how rich your life has been until now? Write (or record) your autobiography. Start with one pleasant childhood scene and expand on it. You’ll open the floodgates of memory (some good, some bad) and may even learn things about yourself you never knew.

4. Want everything around you to be measurably richer? Practice what Buddhists call mindfulness. Pay undivided attention to whatever you’re doing at the moment. When you read, just read. Don’t check your messages. When you walk, unplug from your phone and iPod. Look around and be aware of every step. Smile at others.

5. Nothing breaks routine like doing something out of character. Sign up for a fun class or activity that won’t advance your career one iota. Tango lessons. Bread baking. Singing with a group. The choices are endless.

6. Hate your health club and bored by jogging? Be willing to get your hands dirty and start gardening. It’s a real calorie-burner and muscle-builder. Think how beautiful the world would be if everyone started gardening.


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