15 Ways to Destress Your Life

Although Deborah is a librarian, stress is no stranger to her. Each of Deborah’s days in the reference section of her city library is a constant juggling act. She deals with questions from library patrons, telephone reference calls, organizing and managing workshops in the library, as well as general administrative duties. At one time stressful days were more associated with certain jobs in our society–firefighter, police officer, neurosurgeon, or emergency room nurse.
Read more about 15 Ways to Destress Your Life

Rx: BFF

Recently when my schedule was particularly hectic, a friend sent me a greeting card advertising a hotline for stressed-out people. To reach this hotline one dialed 1-Need-to-Cope, and the following automated menu came on the line:

To hear a primal scream, press 1.

To record your own primal scream, press 2.

To play it back, press 3.

For a list of ideas on how to get revenge, press 4.

To order a stress survival kit for $500, press 5.

When I opened the card, it read “To reach a friend who’ll understand, dial my number.” Under my friend’s signature was his phone number.

Read more about Rx: BFF

Stress: Your Worst Enemy

The skier perches at the gate awaiting the signal, muscles tense, throat dry, heart racing.

The patient sits in a windowless room awaiting the needle, tense, sweating, heart pounding.

Adrenaline and noradrenaline race through both of their bodies. Their bloodstreams flood with glucose, and their hearts quicken to provide oxygen and fuel to their muscles for the qualifying run or the sprint from the clinic.

The skier spent her energy on the slope. The patient passed out.
Read more about Stress: Your Worst Enemy

Five More Reasons for Walking

The skeletons in my workout closet are many-an unused athletic club membership, a dusty NordicTrack, a lonely ab-buster. All purchased with the best of intentions. But, alas, they have all fallen to the same fate: while they may have physically challenged me, mentally I was “bored out of my gourd.” Consequently, I became a fitness failure, a workout wannabe.

Then one day my family upset me. Husband, sons, the cat; I can’t remember which one started it, but in the end I decided to take a walk to blow off steam. After 10 minutes I felt better. And after 20 minutes the argument seemed miles away.

Read more about Five More Reasons for Walking

How Hope Can Help You Cope

A school system in a large city had a special program to help hospitalized children keep up with their schoolwork. One day a teacher who worked in the program received a routine call asking her to visit such a child. She was given the child’s name, hospital, and room number. Her instructions were to help the boy with lessons in grammar.

Read more about How Hope Can Help You Cope

Forgiveness: A Key to Better Health

Forgiveness has long laid the foundation for spiritual well-being in the Judeo-Christian tradition. But scientific research now suggests its healing power may extend beyond the sacred realm. Research shows links between forgiveness and physical and mental health.

While this may come as some surprise to secular scientists, psychologist Dan Shoultz says God has created the need to give and receive as an important part of our makeup as human beings.

Read more about Forgiveness: A Key to Better Health

Ten Ways Your Outlook Enriches Your Life

Writer Joseph Goldstein tells of an experiment he did that helped him better understand the power of our speech to impact the mind. He decided that for a period of three months he would not speak about any third person. “That is, I wouldn’t speak to someone about someone else.” Here is what came to light for him during that three-month experiment when he eradicated gossip from his life: “First, my mind became much less judgmental, because I wasn’t giving voice to the various judgments in my mind. . . . And as I judged others less, I found that I judged myself less as well. Second, I discovered in this experiment that about 90 percent of my speech was eliminated. This silence led to a lot more peace in my mind. It was astonishing to see so clearly how much of the time our talk is about other people.”

Read more about Ten Ways Your Outlook Enriches Your Life

Gifts for That V.I.P. (Very Important Parent)

If you are a parent, then you are probably already familiar with the impact of children on your personal life. Even in the most functional families, parents who juggle rearing energetic children with careers and other commitments often tell of feeling burned out. Maybe your personal experience with burnout began the week after you brought your newborn home from the hospital and she got her days and nights mixed up. Perhaps it started the day your employer informed you that because of company downsizing, your job was history, and the pediatrician informed you the same day that your child needed his tonsils out soon.

Whatever the monumental interruptions are that you face juggling kids, career, and other responsibilities, I want you to remember one necessity of life: be kind to yourself.

Read more about Gifts for That V.I.P. (Very Important Parent)

'Tis a Gift to Be Simple

For the past three years I have worked 70 to 90 hours and seven days a week,” says Kenneth, a West Coast financial executive. “Although I complained about it, I secretly enjoyed it. Working long hard hours was contributing to the rapid growth of our company. It also showed I was an important person. People were impressed that I worked so hard–often until midnight.”

Read more about 'Tis a Gift to Be Simple