• Positive Self-Talk

    Self-talk is one way to deal with stress.  We all talk to ourselves; sometimes we talk out loud but usually we keep self-talk in our heads.  Self-talk can be positive ("I can do this" or "Things will work out" or negative (I'll never get well" or "I'm so stupid".

    Negative self-talk increases stress.  Positive self-tal helps you calm down and control stress.  With practice you can learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.


    Emergency Stress Stoppers

    There are many stressful situations at work, home, on the road, and in public places,  We may feek stress because of poor communication, too much work and everyday hassles like standing in line.  Emergency stress stoppers help you deal with stress on the spot.

    You may need different stress stoppers for different situations and sometimes it helps to combine them:

    - Count to 10 before you speak

    - Take  3 to 5 deep breaths

    - Walk away from the stressful situation, and say you'll handle it later

    - Go for a walk

    - Don't be afraid to say "I"m sorry" if you make a mistake

    - Set your watch 5-10 minutes ahead to avoid the stress of being late

    - Break down big problems into smaller parts.  For example, answer 1 letter or phone call per day instead of dealing with everyone at once

    - Drive in the slow land or avoid busy raods to help you stay calm while driving

    - Smell a rose, hug a loved one, or smile at your neighbor


    Finding Pleasure

    When stress makes you feel bad, do someting that makes you feel goood.  Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress.

    You don't have to do a lot to find pleasure.  Even if you're ill or down, you can find pleasure in simply things like going for a drive, chatting witha friend or reading a good book.


    Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if you only do it for 15 minutes

    -Start an art project

    - Take up a hobby, new or old

    -Read a favorite book, short story, magazine, or newspaper

    - Have coffee or a meal with friends

    - Play golf, tennis, ping pong or bowl

    - Sew, knit, or crochet

    - Listen to music during or after you practice relaxation

    - Take a nature walk, listen to the birds, identify trees and flowers

    - Make a list of everything you still want to do in life

    - Watch an old movie or TV or rent a video

    - Take a class at your local college

    - Play cards or boar games with family or friends


    Daily Relaxation

    Relaxation is more than sitting in your favorite chair watching tv.  To relieve stress, relaxation should calm the tension in your mind and body.  Some good forms of relaxation are yoga, tai chi, and meditation.

    Like most skills, relaxation takes practice.  Many people join a class to learn and practice relaxation skills.

    Deep breating is a form of relaxation you can learn and practice at home using the following steps.  It's a good skill to practice as you start or end your day.  With daily practice, you will soon be able to use this skill whenever you feel stress.

    1. Sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap or lie down.  Close your eyes

    2. Picture ourself in a peaceful place.  Perhaps you're lying on the beach, walking in the mountains, or floating in the clouds.  Hold this scene in your mind.

    3. Inhale and exhale.  Focus on breathing slowly and deeply.

    4. Continue to breathe slowly for 10 minutes or more.

    5. Try to take at least 5-10 minutes every day for deep breathing or another form of relaxation